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A World Series Without Any African American Players? Say It Ain’t So

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The MLB postseason has been as exciting as it has been surprising.

Gone are the big-name, big-market teams like the Yankees, Dodgers and Mets. Finished is the thrilling run made by the Padres. And while the Astros were expected to contend, no one saw the Phillies coming.

Not even the city of Philadelphia.

Yet while baseball fans are anticipating the start of the World Series on Friday, an alarming fact has surfaced that seems unlikely to change in 24 hours.

There will be no African American players in the 2022 World Series.

Looking at the rosters of both the Phillies and the Astros, they’re both pretty diverse as they feature many players of color thanks to a slew of Latino players.

Yet, frustratingly, neither field a single American-born Black player.

Not one.

For cities with large Black populations, that’s both shocking and sad, and a manifestation of the consistent decline in Black baseball participation.

No longer do we see players like Gary Matthews, Ryan Howard or Jimmy Rollins suiting up for Philadelphia.

This is a flashback to 2020 when, if it wasn’t for the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts, the World Series would have been completely devoid of African American players.

In his story for the AP, Ben Walker notes, “(But) for the first time since 1950, shortly after Jackie Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color barrier, there project to be no U.S.-born Black players in this World Series.”

That’s infuriating.

According to, the Phillies had no African-American players on their roster for the first time since 1959, and the Astros’ Michael Brantley (OF) and Josh James (P) are both injured.

That blanks Black people from the World Series rosters.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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