I’m often asked why the number of African Americans are declining in baseball at the college and professional levels.
As a player development professional in the baseball industry, I’m expected to say it’s because of a lack of professional player development resources. I’m obviously biased, but this is also very true.
Parallel the baseball industry to education. What happens when you build the finest schools, equip them with the best state of the art resources money can buy and then open the doors and tell the children to have at it? No teachers, no professors; just lots of expensive stuff that looks good.
What happens is this: less than 8% of African Americans competing at the professional levels and less than 6% at the college levels.
It’s time for a change in the way we approach this solution.
L.E.A.D. provides that change. Through curriculum based year round programming derived from a proven methodology, my organization has successfully provided inner city, African American youth with the professional player development resources necessary to compete for college baseball scholarships. You see, new equipment and uniforms are nice and they definitely play a role in the solution, but I don’t value a bat, ball or jersey over my professional coaching staff. L.E.A.D.’s professional coaching staff is the knowledge source that helps our young men understand how to use the glove to field the ball properly, how to use the bat to bunt or hit opposite field and how to wear their uniforms properly and with pride. Those things can’t transfer knowledge on their own. I mean, I have never seen a baseball glove explain to a player how to use it or a ball explain to a pitcher how to throw certain pitches.
For over four years now, 100% of L.E.A.D.’s Ambassadors graduate from high school, enroll in college and 89% have received college baseball scholarship opportunities. And by the way, these young men also complete over 2,000 hours of community service annually.
From where we’re standing…change is good.