When it announced the first annual Civil Rights Game between the Cardinals and Cleveland Indians less than four months ago, Major League Baseball envisioned this weekend as a commemoration of the civil rights movement and baseball's role in enacting social change.Uh, but Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, Vladimir Guerrero, Big Papi, etc. are black. Right? And I'm pretty certain that African-American kids aren't playing the game because they like other sports more, not because white people are keeping them off the diamond. Right?
Cardinals outfielder Preston Wilson, meanwhile, notices that he is part of another change: the game's ever-diminishing minority of African-American players.
The veteran Wilson is the only African-American player on the Cardinals' projected opening day roster. He has witnessed the steady ebb of black athletes from the game for two decades.
"I think the perception is if there's a dark-skinned Latin guy out there, then he's black," Wilson said before Friday's game against the Memphis Redbirds. "A lot of people don't differentiate. But it's not the case. There are a lot of issues involved."