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In a long-overdue action, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, Major League Baseball properly exalted the Negro League to Major League status. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred characterizes this move by, saying:
[This is] correcting a longtime oversight in the game’s history.
What Does That Really Mean?
Now, what does that really mean for those old Negro players? Moving forward the statistics and records of over three thousand players that participated in the seven negro leagues between 1920-1948 will be a part of the official statistical record of MLB.
There have been other leagues that have received this distinction. They were awarded that status by the Special Baseball Records Committee in 1969.
Some MLB Greats Came From Negro League
America’s many fans of baseball have long known that our games’ best players came from the Negro League. MLB feels that the Special Committee on Baseball Records from 1969’s omission of the six Negro Leagues from consideration was wrong and demands correction.
This recognition came about as a result of discussions with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Also looking into the studies of baseball authors and researchers, a 2006 study done by the National Baseball Hall of Fame (the Negro League Researchers and Authors Group), and other historical records.
MLB would like to recognize the dedicated hard work of four men who nurtured the construction of the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database; Gary Ashwill, Scott Simkus, Mike Lynch, and Kevin Johnson.
John Thorn, MLB’s official historian states:
Perceived deficiencies that led the SBRC to decide as it did were born of MLB’s exclusionary practices, making the change during the centennial of the Negro Leagues is profoundly gratifying.
This will possibly impact Major League Baseball’s history, Hall of Fame memberships, Museum, and some of baseball’s Hall of Famers that were holding historical baseball records.
Written by Omari Jahi
CBS Sports: MLB elevates Negro Leagues to ‘Major League’ status, giving ‘overdue recognition’ to 3,400 players, R.J. Anderson
The Boston Globe: MLB to officially recognize Negro Leagues, rectifying ‘a longtime oversight in the game’s history’, Staff and Wire Reports
SBNation: Major League Baseball to officially recognize Negro Leagues as a Major League – A Hunt and Peck, lil_scooter93
Feature and Top Image Courtesy of Chris Murphy’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by Djmaschek Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License