Where Have We Gone, Mr. Robinson?

Sixty years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, only 8% of major league players are black. What that says--and doesn't say--about America

Hulton / Getty

Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In 1964, at the height of the civil rights movement, Jackie Robinson published a compilation of interviews with major league players and managers about the state of integration of the game. Robinson concluded that baseball had achieved considerable progress. Less than two decades after Robinson became the first black player in the major leagues, African Americans made up close to 20% of professional baseball players. The name of Robinson's book was Baseball Has Done It.

So what would Robinson make of the relationship between the game he loved and African Americans today? He would find reasons to be encouraged: baseball is...

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