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Baseball Polling, in Black and White

Is baseball still a "national" pastime? (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Roughly one-third of Americans surveyed in a HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll released recently think the decline in African-American participation in baseball is reason for concern.  

Interesting news in light of Clinton Yates' recent story in The Washington Post about how the Washington Nationals have demoted Chuck Brown's "Busting Loose" from the rotation when a Nats hits a home run at Nationals Park. The go-go anthem is an icon for people from the Washington area, particularly African Americans. "This isn’t merely another case of a certain era of the District’s culture being wiped off the map because it didn’t appeal to corporate and/or commercial interests. It’s about where the Nationals want to stand in the overall power rankings of the Washington sports fan experience. ... This franchise is too young and not nearly rooted enough to be ditching the few traditions it has already established," Yates wrote.  

What else from the HBO/Marist poll? Of those who said the decline in black players in baseball is a problem, 49 percent were black and 34 percent were white. And baseball could use all the fans (including in D.C., black or white) it can get. Only 15 percent of those surveyed think baseball is the most popular sport for children to play, trailed closely by the 14 percent who said that about basketball. Topping the list was football at 35 percent and soccer at 28 percent.  

The survey of 944 adults was conducted Aug. 4-7 and Sept. 22-24 and has a 3-point error margin.  

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