Remarkably, Minnesota fields the only all-black starting outfield in the big leagues. The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s La Valle Neal III on the trio of Jacque Jones, Shannon Stewart and Torri Hunter.
It’s common for players from each team to greet each other on the field in the hours before game time. Inevitably, Twins outfielders Torii Hunter, Jacque Jones and Shannon Stewart will chat with fellow black players on opposing clubs.
Those groupings are usually small. “We’ll be like, ‘Man, where are all the brothers at?'” Hunter (shown, above right with Stewart) said. “They’ll look at us and go, ‘You’ve got three, and that’s a lot.'”
They’re aware that MLB has included black players in its promotions but feel more needs to be done. And they would like to see advertisers take more interest.
“You watch commercials and you see Allen Iverson dribbling, and he’s rapping and kids like that,” Stewart said. “You don’t see that in baseball.”
Hunter, who last year filmed a McDonald’s commercial that’s shown locally, added: “You don’t see a black player for MLB. Kids see that and don’t see any blacks and go, ‘That’s like looking at hockey.'”
Sometimes, in those pre-huddles with opposing players, they will talk about what has happened to black players in baseball.
“We crack jokes about it,” Hunter said, “but in all seriousness we think about it. That’s why we’ve called it ‘The Blackout.'”