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Weiss reflects on Jackie, game's diversity

SAN DIEGO -- The Majors on Tuesday celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, which meant it was a time to remember Robinson breaking the color barrier in 1947. But it was also an opportunity to reflect on the dwindling number of African-American players in the Majors and the game in general.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss said it's "above my pay grade" to specifically address some of the cost-related issues -- especially the private instruction and club/travel-ball system -- that is narrowing the pool of players in the U.S., at a time when underprivileged Latin American countries are producing Major Leaguers like never before. But Weiss sees a lot of good happening.

Although the Rockies have just one African-American player, veteran pitcher LaTroy Hawkins, Weiss sees a diverse team. He also believes the game is strong enough to find answers.

"You look in our clubhouse, it is a melting pot," Weiss said. "I think baseball will always be that way. We have Jackie Robinson to be thankful for that in a lot of ways. I don't know if I have the answer to how do you do that at the youth level and all those things. But I do know you look at every clubhouse in baseball and it's a melting pot."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.
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