Apr 12, 2018 - Sports

Share of black players in Major League Baseball rises to 5-year high

New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia. Photo: Adam Hunger/Getty Images

The percentage of black Major League Baseball players from the United States and Canada on opening-day active rosters (750 players) rose to 8.4%, the highest level since at least 2012, per AP. But that's still less than half of the peak of 19% in 1986.

Behind the numbers: "Major League Baseball attributed the increase at least partly to its efforts to increase baseball youth participation with programs that include Urban Youth Academies and Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) ... As the 71st anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the major league color barrier approaches Sunday, MLB said the percentage was up from 7.7 last year and 8.27 the previous two seasons."

Go deeper