Saturday, March 1, 2008

MLB's initiative a worthy one

For those who say Major League Baseball isn't doing enough to make inroads into the black community, check out the Urban Invitational MLB hosted Saturday night.

Historically black colleges Bethune-Cookman and Southern traveled to Los Angeles to face UCLA and USC, respectively. Additionally, the event, started by MLB executive Jimmie Lee Solomon, included a job fair for the players.

Part grass roots, part commercial act (the games were televised by ESPN2), the Urban Invitational helped spotlight MLB's Urban Youth Academy in Los Angeles. The games were played there in what approximated a minor-league setting.

For all MLB has done wrong, and there's a laundry list of that, this is something that, if kept alive, could steer at-risk inner-city kids away from drugs and gangs and onto a path to become the next Eric Davis, a survivor of Los Angeles' inner city who went on to become a household name during his MLB career.


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