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Wilson on Bonds, Black History Month

Special to MLB.com

Preston Wilson, who played 10 seasons in the big leagues, was a Marlins outfielder from 1998-2002. The 41-year-old is now a Marlins analyst for FOX Sports Florida.

I'm glad Black History Month exists so the accomplishments of African-Americans in all walks of life can be acknowledged. But to me, it's a shame that many of these achievements are not just part of history.

Preston Wilson, who played 10 seasons in the big leagues, was a Marlins outfielder from 1998-2002. The 41-year-old is now a Marlins analyst for FOX Sports Florida.

I'm glad Black History Month exists so the accomplishments of African-Americans in all walks of life can be acknowledged. But to me, it's a shame that many of these achievements are not just part of history.

There are so many African-Americans who have made contributions that didn't get recognition, like Vivien Thomas, a surgical technician who helped perform pioneering heart surgeries. Or inventor Garrett Morgan, who helped develop the traffic light. Nobody talks about them.

Instead, they talk about Thomas Edison. They talk about all these people. They never talk about the African-Americans who have contributed to this country and did great things.

In baseball today, a number of the steps are being taken to get more minorities into front-office positions and managerial jobs. But it has to be up and down -- it's not just managers. You've got to get bench, hitting and pitching coach opportunities.

The Marlins now have Barry Bonds as a hitting coach. I think he's going to be phenomenal. He's going to be the best thing to happen to these hitters.

Why? Because Barry is going to elevate these guys' mentality. He's going to change what they are going to consider as "acceptable."

That's the one thing about Barry. What was acceptable for somebody else was not nearly good enough for him. If Barry hit a home run in batting practice, it had to be going out on a line. It couldn't be a high, lazy fly ball. That's the way he was as a player. That's the way he prepared mentally. Barry was just a different animal.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miami Marlins