Andrew McCutchen was on the MLB Network last night to talk Pittsburgh Pirates baseball. Perhaps more importantly, McCutchen promoted his article on The Players Tribune. The article is linked here for you to check out, don’t miss it. Left Out by Andrew McCutchen
The focus of the captivating piece is about how difficult it is for lower income families with talented children who love baseball to be discovered. It’s a big problem for Major League Baseball despite massive, record setting revenues for the sport.
The most riveting paragraph for Pittsburgh Pirates fans should be this one.
"And you know what’s crazy? Even despite all the breaks I got with baseball, I probably wouldn’t be a Major League player right now if I didn’t tear my ACL when I was 15. I thought I was going to play college football. Why? Economics. If I could’ve been a wide receiver for a D-I school, I would have chosen that path because of the promise of a full scholarship. The University of Florida offered me a baseball scholarship, but it only covered 70 percent of the tuition. My family simply couldn’t afford the other 30 percent. The fact is, no matter how good you are, you’re not getting a full ride in baseball."
While the article is fascinating, it’s hard for me to imagine that Major League Baseball will make the moves necessary to fully address the situation. Building fields in inner city neighborhoods is a great idea, it’s just twenty years late. The sport is thriving without African American stars, it’s hard to fathom just how popular baseball would be if it could begin to solve the challenge McCutchen points out.
Think about this sentence from the article before you click over to check out McCutchen’s work.
"There is only one other African American player, Josh Harrison, on the Pittsburgh Pirates with me. People have asked me why I think the numbers are declining overall."