April 12, 2013
-contributions from MLB.com
Bernard Muir, the Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics at Stanford University, will join Commissioner Bud Selig and Major League Baseball's On-Field Diversity Task Force. The Task Force is charged with looking at the talent pipeline that impacts the representation and development of minority players and on-field personnel, especially African-Americans. According to the most recent Player Diversity Report, eight percent of the players on 40-man rosters last November were African-American.
The committee includes a wide swath of representatives from MLB ownership, front offices, MLB's Central Office, Minor League Baseball, the MLB Scouting Bureau and college baseball. The 17 members, with Rays' principal owner Stuart Sternberg serving as committee chairman and Tigers' president Dave Dombrowski as the task-force chairman, will focus on "the myriad issues influencing on-field diversity at all levels of baseball."
In the collegiate space, Muir is one of two representatives along with Roger Cador, head baseball coach at Southern University.
"I am humbled to be on a task force with so many esteemed professionals connected to this great game of baseball," said Muir. "It is important to have collegiate voices on this issue; we all hope to benefit from the continued development of this game at all levels of play."
The announcement was made several days before the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier, a move widely seen as having helped pave the way for integration of the nation as a whole.
Indians' owner Larry Dolan will be a committee advisor. Tom Brasuell, MLB vice president of community affairs, will represent RBI. Darrell Miller, MLB vice president of youth and facility development, will represent the Urban Youth Academies.
Also serving will be Dennis Gilbert, special assistant to White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf; Derrick Hall, president and chief executive officer of the Diamondbacks; Wendy Lewis, MLB senior VP of diversity and strategic alliances; Jerry Manuel, MLB Network analyst and former Major League manager; Frank Marcos, senior director of the MLB Scouting Bureau; Jonathan Mariner, MLB executive VP and chief financial officer; Kim Ng, MLB senior VP of baseball operations; union official Tony Clark ; Pat O'Conner, president and CEO of Minor League Baseball; Frank Robinson, Hall of Famer and MLB executive vice president of baseball development; and Ken Williams, executive VP of the White Sox.
Major League Baseball supports seven Urban Youth Academies, which provide free year-round baseball and softball instruction and education, and the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program in an effort to create opportunities for minority youngsters.
"As a social institution, Major League Baseball has an enormous social responsibility to provide equal opportunities for all people, both on and off the field," Selig said. "I am proud of the work we have done thus far with the RBI program and the MLB Urban Youth Academies, but there is more that we must accomplish. We have seen a number of successful efforts with existing MLB task forces, and I believe we have selected the right people to effectively address the many factors associated with diversity in baseball."