The Reasons for Revival?
Take Me Back To The Ball Game?
- Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities--History
". . . John Young, a former Major League Baseball player and scout, developed the concept of RBI to provide disadvantaged youth an opportunity to learn and enjoy the game of baseball. . . . "
The City Game No More
Steve Solomon was in quite a spot. With no one out the bases were loaded, and his team was nursing a one-run lead. A pop-up out gave him a little breathing room. When he struck the next batter out, he let out a roar and pumped his fist in the air.
For the second straight year, Harrisburg PA will compete for Reviving Baseball in The Inner Cities championship in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This will be the second trip for Harrisburg, having finished runner-up in 2011.
The question is, why is such a program necessary. Why does baseball need a program to encourage urban youth to play? Why has baseball lost urban youth to football and especially basketball?
One reason may be that urban youth don't see many folks like them playing baseball. While there are many, many Hispanics in baseball, there are few African-Americans. Football and Basketball teams, especially at the college and professional levels, have a greater amount of urban athletes.
This could be because of several issues. Baseball requires a lot of equipment; bats, gloves, and special shoes. To play basketball, you merely need a ball, a hoop, and the shoes most urban youths wear. A game of street football requires only a ball and sneakers, the field can be marked with bottles, hats, etc.
A second issue is that baseball does not scale well. Most playground or street games of basketball are played by teams of 3, or even one on one! Street football is often played by 3-5 people, or just two people throwing the ball around. Baseball seems to require two teams of nine, and a field the size of an American Football field, if not larger.
Or perhaps baseball is better off being a bit like soccer, a sort of "niche sport". A game played in the suburbs or areas that are less urban. Kids from those areas look at a football or basketball team, and may not see folks like them on those teams.