MLB Elevates Black Leagues To ‘Major League’ Status


Major League Baseball elevated seven black leagues from 1920 to 1948 to official “Major League” status, “correcting a long-standing oversight in the history of the game.”
Official recognition will cover the Negro National League (I) (1920-1931); the League of Oriental Colors (1923–1928); the American Negro League (1929); the East-West League (1932); the Negro Southern League (1932); the Black National League (II) (1933–1948); and the Negro American League (1937–1948). The 3,400 or so players who played in these leagues will now be considered Major League-caliber players and their stats and records will become MLB history.

“Anyone who loves baseball has long known that the Negro Leagues have produced many of the best players, innovations and triumphs in our game against a backdrop of injustice,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “We are now grateful to count the players. Negro leagues to which they belong: as major leagues in the official historical archives. ”

The MLB statement says Wednesday’s announcement corrects a mistake made in 1969, when the Special Committee on Baseball Records omitted the Negro Leagues from the Major League review. The decision to elevate the Black Leagues comes after a year of evaluation, including discussions with the National Baseball Hall of Fame, as well as past and ongoing research by baseball historians, among other groups.

In particular, the MLB salutes the work of Gary Ashwill, Scott Simkus, Mike Lynch and Kevin Johnson, who led the construction of the Seamheads Negro Leagues database, and Larry Lester, whose decades-long research underpins and add to their work ”. The MLB statement reads.

In August, Sportsnet’s Joyce Station showcased Lester’s work in keeping Black League history alive.

“What I learned and what we can all learn from the Negro League is how the players persevered against all odds,” Lester told Joyce. “They had an attitude of refusing to lose in achieving their goals and objectives. The biggest advantage is that they persevered. They faced systemic racism and played through it. ”

This summer, the MLB celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues with player badges and special ceremonies ahead of the August 16 games. was produced in February.

MLB says she is working with Elias’s sports office “to determine the full scope of the ramifications of this designation on statistics and records. ”


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