Major League Baseball's 2006 All Star Game airs tonight on Fox here in the States.
Baseball (unlike basketball or football) is perceived to be one of the last sports fully embraced by hip hop culture. This can in part be attributed to a decline in African American players in the professional level and also the difficulty for And 1 to create mixtape for a suicide squeeze play.
A few MLB players are vocal with their love of hip hop and rap music. Earlier this year MLB.com provided rapper Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest an internet show to interview players including Carl Crawford and Ryan Howard.
A handful of white players defy the "wigger" baggage by showing their hip hop support on the field. Former All-Stars and leadoff hitters David Eckstein (shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals) and Brian Roberts (second basemen for the Baltimore Orioles) start each home game by walking out to Ludacris's "Number One Spot" and Notorious B.I.G's "Hypnotize" respectively. Oakland A's pitcher Huston Street chooses to instill fear in opposing batters by coming out to Nas' "Hate Me Now", cued up to the "You can hate me now/ But I won't stop now" chorus.
Another white hip hop fan and pro baseball player presents an interesting side note. Khalil Greene, shortstop for the San Diego Padres often thanks a higher power for being a gifted athlete. He should be thankful, given that with such a "ghetto" or "black" name he'd find it difficult to get employment in any other profession.