“Stacking” in Major League Baseball: A Multivariate Analysis

in Sociology of Sport Journal

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Benjamin MargolisUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison

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Jane Allyn PiliavinUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison

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This research studied stacking—position segregation by race or ethnicity in team sports—in the 1992 Major League Baseball season using a multivariate analysis, with control variables of height, weight, age, power, speed, and skill. The strong relationship between race and centrality found in previous studies was confirmed; African-American players were predominantly in the outfield positions, Latino players in the middle infield positions, and white players in the most central position of catcher, as well as the other infield positions. The multiple regression analyses revealed direct effects of some control variables on centrality; however, only the variable of speed was found significantly to reduce the bivariate relationship between being African-Americans and centrality. A proportion of the variance in allocation of African-Americans to the outfield may thus be due to this job-related ability; the residual race effects, which account for the majority of the explained variance, must at present still be attributed to direct discrimination.

J.A. Piliavin is with the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI 53706. She can be reached at <jpiliavin@ssc.wisc.edu>.

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