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Negro Leagues Are Officially Part Of MLB History – With Records To Prove It

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Negro Leagues
Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images

(CTN News) – A century after the Black baseball players were rejected by Negro Leagues Baseball, hundreds of them are now playing in this league.

The MLB released a fully integrated online database of nearly 2,300 Black League players from 1920 to 1948 on Wednesday.

“Today’s announcement represents the first significant step toward providing fans with access to the Negro League players’ accomplishments through the official historical record,” MLB said. After four years of research, the league approved the transfer in December 2020. That year saw nationwide anti-racism protests and the Negro Leagues’ 100th anniversary.

The MLB said it was “correcting a longtime oversight” by raising the Negro Leagues to Major League status and adding their data in its historical records.

MLB commissioner Robert Manfred said, “All of us who love baseball have long known that the Negro Leagues produced many of our game’s finest players, innovations, and triumphs against the backdrop of injustice.”

The seven Negro Leagues produced 35 Hall of Famers.

According to the Hall of Fame, “Cool Papa” Bell “may have been the fastest player ever.” Josh Gibson, the best slugger in Negro leagues, Satchel Paige, the best pitcher, and others dominated the game.

Some on top of the leaderboards will go down in MLB history. Aside from his hitting average, Gibson holds the MLB records for slugging percentage, on-base plus slugging, and on-base plus slugging. Gibson died at 35 from a stroke in 1947. He holds single-season records in all three categories.

Like “the Black Babe Ruth,” Gibson had a higher batting average of.372 than Ty Cobb (.367) and a higher slugging percentage of.718 than Ruth (.690). Sean Gibson, Josh’s great-grandson, told NPR that his grandfather “was known for his home run greatness.” This proves he was a tremendous batter and all-around player.

Other Hall of Famers who played in the majors will now have Negro League stats. Minnie Miñoso’s New York Cubans hits surpassed 2,000, Paige’s career wins rose from 28 to 125, and Jackie Robinson’s Negro League hits rose from 1,518 to 1,567.

Major League Baseball (MLB) experts estimate that the 1920–1948 Negro Leagues data are just over 75% complete, highlighting the need for leaderboard changes. The Negro Leagues always felt they were Major Leaguers anyway,” he said. “The Negro Leagues always felt they were Major Leaguers anyway,” he said. “Society made that choice to divide them.”

In the late 1800s, black Americans played baseball on company and military teams but not professional ones. And “barnstorming” the country to play rivals,

According to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Seven leagues—the Negro American League, Negro Southern League, Negro National League, Eastern Colored League, and East-West League—organized in 1920 with 3,400 players.

Black baseball and its fan base grew in the 1930s and 1940s; the MLB had 3 million fans in 1942. Negro League players and fans compared it to major league skill. While playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, Robinson broke the MLB color barrier. In the middle of the century, the Negro Leagues folded after several Black players joined the majors.

The Negro Leagues were disregarded for decades despite their huge contributions to the sport. When “The Baseball Encyclopedia” was published in the late 1960s, MLB’s Special Baseball Records Committee debated whether earlier professional leagues should have been included.

During an interview with NPR in 2021, the director of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Bob Kendrick stated that other leagues were discussed, but the Negro Leagues were not mentioned. In his opinion, this was a league that was as good as any, and it had a greater impact on Major League Baseball than any of the leagues that were recognized at the time. Additionally, he noted that several major league owners benefited from the 1947 talent infusion and the ability of Negro League clubs to fill ballparks.

As of 2020, the MLB announced that historians and statisticians will overturn the judgment, thereby “righting a historical wrong”.


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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