Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced Wednesday the creation of an On-Field Diversity Task Force to address the talent pipeline that impacts the representation and development of diverse players and on-field personnel in Major League Baseball, particularly African-Americans. The wide-ranging group, which includes representatives from Club ownership, Club front offices, MLB's Central Office, Minor League Baseball, former players, the Major League Baseball Players Association, the MLB Scouting Bureau, and collegiate baseball, will focus on the myriad of issues influencing on-field diversity at all levels of baseball.
"As a social institution, Major League Baseball has an enormous social responsibility to provide equal opportunities for all people, both on and off the field," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "I am proud of the work we have done thus far with the RBI program and the MLB Urban Youth Academies, but there is more that we must accomplish. We have seen a number of successful efforts with existing MLB task forces, and I believe we have selected the right people to effectively address the many factors associated with diversity in baseball."
Members of the Commissioner's On-Field Diversity Task Force include:
According to the Player Diversity Report (released on 11/13/12), the diversity of the Player Profile on 40-Man Major League rosters was 62% Caucasian, 28% Hispanic, 8% African-American, 1% Asian, and 0.2% Native American. And according to MLB records, which is a collection of data compiled by the clubs, the percentage of players on 2013 Opening Day, 25-Man Major League rosters who identified themselves as African-American or black was approximately 8.5%, which is in a consistent range with the past few years. The first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft featured the selections of seven African-American players, the most by total and percentage (7-of-31, 22.6%) since 1992.
Major League Baseball operates two youth initiatives designed specifically to address on-field diversity: