Dave Dombrowski's Role As MLB Diversity Committee Chair Seen As Critical To Success
Tigers President & GM Dave Dombrowski last month was named Chair of the MLB Diversity Oversight Committee, and his "buttoned-down approach could be critical" in making MLB Commissioner Bud Selig’s campaign to make the league more racially diverse "something other than a feel-good mission laden more with words than action," according to Lynn Henning of the DETROIT NEWS. Dombrowski is "known in baseball circles as a follow-through manager with administrative punch." MLB Senior VP/PR Pat Courtney said that Selig "had Dombrowski’s experience and resume in mind" when making the appointment. Courtney: "Dave has on-the-ground experience in all of these areas. And he has great interest in this area. He has talked with Bud about this, and the commissioner thought, based on their conversations over the years, that Dave not only would want to be a part of an effort such as this, but that he had earned the right to be one of the chairmen.” Henning notes MLB has "launched previous programs designed to bring more diversity to baseball, notably the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities effort, as well as baseball’s push to establish urban youth academies." But with numbers "lagging and with baseball’s supposed importance to all of American society at stake, a new push is under way." Henning cites a USA Today study as showing that last season's 7.7% African-American representation in MLB was the "least presence since the Red Sox became baseball’s last integrated team" in '59. The Diversity Oversight Committee met once in April, and Dombrowski said that it "will meet again in June." Dombrowski: “We’ve got a lot of quality people and ideas, but we need a comprehensive plan for how we can increase participation among African-Americans on and off the field" (DETROIT NEWS, 6/4).