ST. LOUIS -- In the year that the movie "42" dramatized the story of
"It's sad to see," said
The percentage of African Americans in the major leagues has declined from about 19% in 1984 to about 8% today.
When the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies met in the World Series five years ago, baseball officials were optimistic about turning the tide. The Rays alone had five African Americans on their roster, and the series featured such engaging stars as
At the time, Commissioner
"I'm proud of what we have done. This is not an overnight job," Selig said.
"We have all the academies. They are very productive. I do feel very much that we are on the right track. So, no, I am not disappointed.
Berry said he was inspired to play baseball by Dave Roberts, the 2004 Red Sox hero. Roberts, like Berry, grew up in the San Diego area.
"I'm definitely blessed and honored [to represent] he African American community," Berry said. "Hopefully, I can get in there and do something that might spark somebody else to do something, just like Dave Roberts did for me."