(ThyBlackMan.com) The 2017 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros has started and it is full of fascinating storylines. Both teams were very successful during the regular season by winning over 100 games and the Dodgers leading all Major League Baseball teams with 104 wins. The Astros are a fun team to watch with a MVP candidate in the small-statured but productive Jose Altuve and talented shortstop Carlos Correa.
Because Houston has been among the cities in America that has been strongly affected by natural disaster following Hurricane Harvey, the Astros’ terrific postseason run takes on a different look. Their success doesn’t restore the possessions lost by numbers of people affected by Hurricane Harvey but the city has rallied behind the Astros and the team has been active with relief efforts in Houston and Puerto Rico, where some members of team are from.
The Los Angeles Dodgers has seen the temperatures around Dodger Stadium increase as the result of the wildfires in California that have destroyed so much property and resulted in plenty of missing people. On a less important yet still significant note, the Dodgers have the opportunity to show that minority leadership can win the biggest team accomplishment in baseball, the World Series.
It has become widely known that prior to becoming the current president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers, former NBA great Magic Johnson joined with Guggenheim Partners, Mark Walter, and Stan Kasten to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 for a then-record $2 billion. While Johnson is a minority owner of the Dodgers both in terms of equity and socially, he is a prominent figure with the Dodgers. The Los Angeles Dodgers are led on the baseball field by another man of color, manager Dave Roberts.
Prior to becoming the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dave Roberts was probably best known to casual sports fans during his playing days as a member of the Boston Red Sox for his “Steal of the Century,” the stolen base in the bottom of the ninth of Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series against the Yankees. He played 10 years as a starting outfielder for multiple teams. If the Dodgers win the World Series, Roberts has the opportunity to be the first manager of Asian descent and only the second black manager to win the World Series.
Born in Naha, Okinawa, Japan, Dave Roberts was the son to a Japanese mother and his father who was a black United States Marine stationed in Japan. Roberts’ dad, Waymon Roberts died at 68 during spring training earlier this year. Roberts had instant success as the Dodgers manager last year by winning the NL Manager of the Year award in his first year. Now he has an opportunity to win the Fall Classic and join former Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, who won as black men to lead baseball teams to the top. It makes sense that for the franchise known for the important Jackie Robinson that Dave Roberts is showing a man of color can be the leader of a championship Dodgers team.
Staff Writer; Mark Hines