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How one Chicago teacher is working to help Black kids break into baseball

Chicago teacher helps Black kids get into baseball
Chicago teacher helps Black kids break into baseball 01:45

Monday marks Jackie Robinson Day, and 77 years after the Dodgers star broke the Major League Baseball color barrier and blazed a trail for Black players, coaches like Earnest Horton know the work is far from over.

On opening day this year, just 6% of active players in MLB were Black — the fewest in decades.

"If the grassroots are suffering and there's no baseball being played in the community, of course there's a lack of Black baseball players in the MLB," Horton told CBS News.

Horton is a public school teacher in Chicago and the founder of Black Baseball Media, an organization that gives players from predominantly underserved communities access to top-notch facilities and exposure to college scouts.

"Seeing is believing. People are drinking the Kool-Aid," he said.

At least two members of the group, high school senior Khamaree Thomas and junior Demir Heidelberg, will be playing college ball. While Heidelberg is looking to follow in the footsteps of current Black big leaguers, he said there are often barriers to success for people like him.

"Kids with my skin color, they can't get into it because they don't have the money or they don't have the exposure to it," he said.

Horton said the best way to solve that problem is through action.

"It's time for everybody to get their boots on the ground. It's time to unite," he said. "We can't just sit on the sideline and complain about it."

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