Black baseball players represented 8.3% of opening day rosters in Major League Baseball this season according to the New York Times. That figure is down slightly from 8.5% a year ago, but is consistent with the percentage seen over the past decade.
After Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier in 1947, the number of black players peaked in the 1970s and 1980s when approximately 18.0% of players were identified as black.
While the number of black players has declined, baseball’s diversity has continued to increase. In 2013, 28.2% of players were Hispanic, a figure that has doubled in the last 25 years. In addition, as recently as 1996, less than 0.5% of rosters consisted of Asian players. That figure was 2.1% in 2013.
Data via MLB.com, NYTimes.com, and the Society for American Baseball Research
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