Latest Diversity Victim: Baseball
July 10, 2007, 02:09 AM
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In the San Francisco area, local media are busy ginning up interest about the All Star Game, which is being played Tuesday afternoon in the Giants` spiffy new stadium.

The Giants are putting on a gaggle of festivities at Moscone Center to sell baseball stuff and generate excitement about the game and baseball generally. The green-eyeshade guys figure that fans will spend up to $65 million on items like souvenir shot glasses and celebrity cruises on the Bay.

This being San Francisco, diversity is being served up as a main course. Tony La Russa is being inducted into the Hispanic Baseball Hall of Fame — who knew? All those years as an A`s fan, I thought he was Italian. Oh, well!

But it`s worse than ethnic plaques being awarded. Baseball has decided to market itself to the global marketplace, and that means diversity outreach in the usual style, by importing skill-challenged foreign players and using a lot more Spanish.

[Giants Executive Vice President Larry] Baer said the Giants` fan base already is seeing more — but not enough — diversity. A study by the team in 2004 found that 64 percent of Giants fans — including those who attend games and watch or listen to broadcasts — were non-Latino whites. Latinos made up 14 percent, followed by Asian fans (11 percent) and African Americans (6 percent).

In an effort to attract Latino fans, the Giants have upped the number of games broadcast on Spanish-language radio to 93 from 62 last year, officials said. The team each year wears "Gigantes" uniforms during a game and throws a "Carnival" party, and has a promotional partnership with Univision, the Spanish-language TV station.

"We see it as a bubbling, growing momentum, moving toward the Hispanic part of the Giants fan base," Baer said. "We`re much more inclusive in our outreach than we were 10 years ago." [ `Futures Game` shows baseball`s global allure, San Francisco Chronicle 7/907]

Uh oh, too many white American fans — the Giants better hire a diversity consultant!