Prejudice in Major League Baseball: Have Black Players Been Held to a Higher Standard Than White Players?

Leonard Scott Newman, Lyvia Zhang, Raymond Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It has long been suggested that even after baseball’s “color line” was broken in 1947, Black players had to be better than White ones to be given an opportunity to play in the major leagues. The present article provides empirical support for that claim, using data from the point at which all major league teams were integrated and five subsequent major league seasons, sampled at equal time intervals through 1999. Average annual wins above replacement (Win Above Replacement or WAR, an overall measure of a player’s value) were significantly higher for non-Latino Black players than White players promoted to the majors at least until the mid-1970s. As discussed, the bias suggested by these data could be due to a combination of explicit (conscious) and implicit prejudice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-337
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sport and Social Issues
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Keywords

  • baseball
  • prejudice
  • stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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