Scarce Six: The African-American Players in the Giants System

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Scarce Six: The African-American Players in the Giants System

I just realized this fact after I saw Emmanuel Burriss get transferred to the 60-day disabled list on May 22 to make room for Santiago Casilla: The Giants haven't had one African-American player take the field for them this year.

Burriss has been hurt and on the disabled list all season, and Fred Lewis, the only other African-American player on the 25-man active roster this spring, was traded away to Toronto shortly after the season began.

In my mind, this is incredible, and may be the first year in a long time that the Giants have not had an African-American player take the field.

I mean, this is a franchise that has housed great African-American players like Willie Mays, Monte Irvin, Hank Thompson, Willie McCovey, Bobby Bonds, Jeffrey Leonard, Kevin Mitchell, Ellis Burks, Reggie Sanders, Kenny Lofton (for half of a season anyways), Ray Durham, and of course, Barry Bonds.

Now, I don't think you can blame this one on the Giants organization or use the racism card on Bill Neukom or Brian Sabean (though I wish we could because it would get Sabean fired).

The lack of African-American ballplayers on the Giants roster is simply a reality of the game nowadays. It's not just the Giants that lack African-American players, a lot of teams do. Last year, in a tweet, Bill Simmons joked that the Red Sox "had more Jewish guys on their team than African-Americans."

Anybody claiming the Giants as a "racist" organization may have a hard argument to make.

That being said, the organization isn't completely bare of talented African-American players. Let's take a look at the African-American players in the Giants organization and how soon (or if) they will see playing time in a San Francisco Giants uniform.

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