Chris Rock’s plea to baseball, for HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel

HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel has added a comedy segment to round out episodes in this spring’s new season, and this week, Chris Rock stepped up to the plate with several minutes of warning and encouragement for baseball. Not just Major League Baseball, but all of it, speaking as a baseball fan who’s becoming a shrinking minority in the sport.

“We don’t really need baseball, but baseball needs us!” said Rock, a New York Mets fan.

When the Mets won it all in 1986, Rock noted:”Back then almost 20% of all Major Leaguers were African American, and I could actually have conversations with other black people about baseball.” Now, not even black colleges can field black baseball players.

“Of the people who still watch baseball on TV, five out of six are white and their average age is 53. That’s not an audience — that’s a Tea Party rally. Baseball is dying. Literally! Maybe if baseball gets a little hipper, a little cooler, just a little more black, the future can change. But ’til then, blacks and baseball just ain’t a good match any more. Blacks don’t seem to care, but baseball should be terrified.”

Roll the clip.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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