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.
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.