An ad just played on TV for an upcoming news report on the decline of baseball as a popular sport amongst African-Americans.

Just a couple minutes later, there are three kids (all African-American) playing catch on the street in front of our house, each with a mitt.

What makes this even weirder is that the kids around here usually prefer to play with footballs or basketball. I’ve never seen them tossing a baseball before.

Oops. They just bounced it off the roof of our car…

Update: To round out this all-American scene, a short time later another kid showed up and started playing his trumpet. (That’s always struck me as an “only in New Orleans” type thing.) Xy recognized him as Chris, to whom she’d lent her guitar a couple weeks ago. She hadn’t seen Chris or her guitar until now. So she ran out on the street half-dressed and gave him the crazy white lady routine and he promised to bring it back.

  1. Perhaps the reason is the migration of African-Americans from rural America to urban America. One cannot help but notice the prevalence of African-Americans in basketball, a predominantly urban sport.

  2. It’s economics. Also, baseball is sort of hardware intensive compared to hoops, and you need a lot of people to play. To play basketball, you really only need two people and one hoop. Baseball has no equivalent to that (playing catch hardly counts).

  3. It’s also expensive to be a baseball fan. The biggest growing demographic of fan attending games has an income double that of the national average, and ballparks now price accordingly. And with no fixed clock or TV timeouts, MLB is more of a pain in the ass to televise.

    I wouldn’t doubt if this news report was vaguely influenced by the idea that MLB could potentially add another round of expansion teams (someday.) New Orleans is usually on the short list, but there’s always argument that a new baseball stadium would not be worth it if no African-American fan base would support it. (See also the opposition to the new Washington Nationals team and stadium.)

    I would bet that if there was another round of expansion, one of the teams would go to a Mexican city, because baseball is much more popular there, and the peso/dollar exchange would make it more economical. (Same was true for the two Canadian teams when the US dollar was stronger against the Canadian.)

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