It's been nearly 70 years since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. If you ask his widow, Rachel Robinson, Major League Baseball hasn't made enough progress in the time since.
Speaking on MLK Day at a screening of a new Jackie Robinson biography, filmed by Ken Burns, the 93-year-old Robinson had a polite-but-firm message for baseball
"There is a lot more that needs to be done and that can be done in terms of the hiring, the promotion" of minorities, she told gathered media.
And while she's grateful that MLB instituted an annual "Jackie Robinson Day" 20 years ago, she suggested that the gesture isn't as meaningful as an increased effort to install minorities into prominent leadership positions within the game.
"We're talking about very few [black] coaches, very few managers," Robinson said. "So there's room for real progress, where people can come into the sport and feel they're going to be respected and given opportunities."
Currently, there are only two black managers in baseball, both of whom were hired this offseason: Washington's Dusty Baker and the Dodgers' Dave Roberts. After Seattle fired Lloyd McClendon earlier this season, Major League Baseball only had one minority manager, its lowest total in more than 30 years.
Other leagues aren't doing much better: After its latest hiring cycle, for example, the NFL has just six black head coaches. But in baseball, which prides itself on breaking the color barrier, the low numbers remain baffling -- and troubling.
At the screening, the documentarian Burns had a succinct response for what Jackie Robinson himself might think of baseball's minority presence. He recalled the Dodger once saying, in his final public appearance before his death, that he would be more proud to look over to third base and see an African-American coach.