Colgate University Libraries


Mark Kanter


While Major League Baseball employs a wide variety of races and ethnicities, including white, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian players, it is possible that professional rosters may not be organized based on talent alone. Although studies have shown that salary discrimination is no longer present in Major League Baseball, this paper explores the possibility of a marginality bias in the sport, allowing for whites of comparable ability to non-whites to receive a roster spot due to an implicit bias in managerial and organizational positions. This possibility of marginality is explored within the MLB for the 2009 season by regressing a variable indicating whether a player was called up to a major league team against a player’s race and variety of control variables. Results from OLS regressions indicate that on average, neither blacks nor Hispanics must exhibit production numbers superior to whites in order to be “called up” to the major league level. However, it does appear that non-white players perform, on average, to a greater offensive level than their white competitors within the minor league system. While a player’s race may not contribute to management’s decision to promote them, this study does find a variety of variables that do significantly affect such a decision.