MLB marks Jackie Robinson Day

But the percentage of African-American players in the major leagues has been cut in half since peaking at about 18 percent at times from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s.

Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon, who is black, says some of this generation's players don't know of Robinson's accomplishments.

"They don't know a lot about the history, and I don't really blame it all on them. I think their generation is a generation that was force-fed these things," he said, holding up a smartphone. "Everything's now. Not much of an appreciation for the past and what it meant, particularly when it comes to baseball and baseball players. The paths that were paved for them, I don't think they really get it, or really understand it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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