MLB recognizes Negro Leagues as Major League, gives 3,400 players ‘overdue recognition’

MLB recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues back in August.

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The Negro Leagues are finally getting the recognition it deserves.

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Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that the Negro Leagues will upgrade to the “Major League” which includes recognizing its “statistics and records.” Due to racism within MLB, Black players were not allowed to play in integrated leagues. But now MLB is symbolically righting its wrong,” per CBS Sports.

(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

“This long overdue recognition is the product of evaluation throughout this year, which included consideration of: discussions with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and other baseball entities; the previous and ongoing studies of baseball authors and researchers; the 2006 study by the National Baseball Hall of Fame (the Negro League Researchers and Authors Group); and an overall historical record that has expanded in recent years,” per a press release about the change. 

“In particular, MLB commends the work of Gary Ashwill, Scott Simkus, Mike Lynch, and Kevin Johnson, who drove the construction of the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database, and Larry Lester, whose decades-long research underlies and adds to their work.  MLB credits all of the baseball research community for discovering additional facts, statistics, and context that exceed the criteria used by the Special Committee on Baseball Records in 1969 to identify six “Major Leagues” since 1876.  It is MLB’s view that the Committee’s 1969 omission of the Negro Leagues from consideration was clearly an error that demands today’s designation.”

MLB recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues back in August. According to Commissioner Rob Manfred, the change is “correcting a longtime oversight in the game’s history.” 

About 3,400 players played in the league between 1920-48. According to the press release, the following leagues will be elevated:

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The Negro National League (I) (1920–1931); the Eastern Colored League (1923–1928); the American Negro League (1929); the East-West League (1932); the Negro Southern League (1932); the Negro National League (II) (1933–1948); and the Negro American League (1937–1948).

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