In her latest radio commentary, the Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly calls for a ban on foreign players in Major League Baseball because these players are taking “positions that should have gone to American players.”
Schlafly insists that “American baseball players are better” and speculates that MLB team owners are using foreign-born players because they are “cheaper and easier to control”:
When I was growing up, my favorite sport was baseball. One of my most exciting memories was attending the World Series in 1944 between the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Browns. Baseball is a wonderful activity for boys and young men. It helps develop mental discipline, patience and obeying rules. A lower percentage of professional baseball players have post-career troubles compared with football and basketball players, and baseball is a safer sport, too.
The best baseball players today are American-born. All six of the six recipients of the top awards this past season are native born American, but more than a quarter of Major League Baseball players are foreign-born, with whom our youth are less likely to identify. Some of these players cannot speak English and they did not rise through the ranks of Little League. These foreign-born players enter on visas and take positions that should go to American players. Fewer than four percent of the Baseball Hall of Fame is foreign-born, yet 27 percent of today’s players are foreign-born.
This foreign influx into our National Pastime may help explain why our youth is abandoning baseball. Youth who play baseball have declined by more than 40 percent since 2000, and some communities where baseball was once booming now struggle to fill their teams. Television ratings for World Series games are less than half what they were three decades ago.
Baseball owners are doing the same thing that big corporations do: Bring in foreign labor to take jobs that ought to go to Americans. American baseball players are better, as the awards and Hall of Fame prove, but perhaps baseball owners think that foreign players are cheaper and easier to control.
It is time to cut off visas for foreign baseball players, and return our national pastime to Americans.