New pro baseball league looks to give African-American players their shot

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DALLAS — There’s a new pro baseball league taking shape in Dallas that’s looking to bring the game back to the urban community.

Tryouts were held today at Reverchon Park for the National Urban Professional Baseball League.

“It’s a new professional league to start up in the spring of 2018, looking to promote and diversify baseball for minorities,” said coach Michael Mayden.

Yeah, even though first pitch might be almost a year away, they’re hard at work with tryouts all over the country. When the teams do take the diamond, they’ll all be named after legendary players from the old Negro League, like Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson.

“We want to invoke those legacies and make those names become a household name like they were in the past for a younger generation that knows nothing about the history of Negro League baseball,” said Mayden. “And for older generations that has great memories of past baseball history.”

But most importantly the league is an opportunity for young African American ballplayers to keep swinging at their pro dreams.

“There’s a steady decline of African American baseball players in the game,” Mayden said. “So we want to restore that hope, give them that enthusiasm about the game and make them feel like they have something that will embrace them.”

And hopefully leagues like this will keep giving everyone the same shot of playing ball.