I love baseball, deeply.

I played stickball and punchball growing up on the potholed streets of Jersey City, and dreamed of becoming a second baseman for the New York Yankees.

I hungrily digested book after book on historic and mythical figures such as Joe DiMaggio and Ty Cobb, and played Little League, Babe Ruth League and high school baseball.

Little did I know that Jackie Robinson, the first Black player in Major League Baseball in the modern era, had created the possibility of dreams for Black boys like me. As a child I only vaguely knew that he broke baseball's color line.

In the new film 42this weekend's top-grossing movie, more Americans will learn about how Robinson heroically integrated Major League Baseball.

But on Jackie Robinson Day,  there are fewer African-American players in the sport, and many Black boys no longer aspire to play baseball.

There are a number of reasons for this decline.

One, it is simply far cheaper to play basketball than to purchase equipment for baseball, especially if you are poor, as I was. There is no longer the kind investment in the sport as we see with youth basketball leagues and camps.

Second, there is more interest in basketball and football.

Read it at CNN.