Tony Clark addresses baseball writers' luncheon

Players Association executive director Tony Clark on Tuesday called on the baseball industry to redouble its efforts to better market players and improve its record in hiring minorities into on- and off-field leadership positions.

"To be in a position where we don't have those who reflect our membership in positions of leadership is disappointing," Clark said in response to a question during his annual All-Star Game question-and-answer session with the Baseball Writers Association of America.

"We're focused on and invested in doing everything we can to try and move that arrow in the other direction, particularly against the backdrop of the young people we are trying to connect with as well as the membership we support who are minorities.

"It's unfortunate in a lot of ways that we find ourselves having this conversation in 2016, but I'm hopeful there is a commitment from top to bottom to affect some meaningful change here."

Following an appearance by commissioner Rob Manfred, Clark responded to a wide range of questions during the hour-long session, including the status of collective bargaining, the Joint Drug Agreement, international and domestic player acquisition, scheduling, concussions, domestic violence and media access.

Clark told the media members that he believes more can be done to make players' names well known on a national basis.

"To the extent a young person can connect with a player and say, 'I want to be like him.' that 'he looks like me, so I want to be like him' or 'he comes from my area, so I want to be like him,' I think, as an industry, we haven't done as good a job as we could do," Clark said. "I'm hopeful we can make some changes in that sooner rather than later."

In his third year as executive director, Clark, a San Diego native, also spoke with pride about returning to his former home town.

"Growing up, downtown wasn't a place you spent a whole lot of time. Now it's the place to be," he said. "Seeing young and old folks walking the streets downtown and enjoying all that San Diego has to offer has been a lot of fun."