MLB Elevates Negro Leagues To Major League Status

Major League Baseball announced it will recognize the Negro Leagues as “Major League” status going forward. The decision comes after holding discussions with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and various baseball authors and researchers.

With this action, the approximately 3,400 players of the Negro Leagues from 1920-48 will be acknowledged in MLB’s record books. The league will work closely with Elias Sports Bureau to “determine the full scope of this designation’s ramifications on statistics and records.”

Among the most notable players that had stints in the Negro Leagues include Willie Mays, Satchel Paige and Monte Irvin. John Gibson, considered of the greatest sluggers of the Negro Leagues, will also be recognized as a Major Leaguer.

The seven leagues that comprised the Negro Leagues of 1920-1948 were 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).

MLB acknowledged that the Special Committee on Baseball Records’ decision to exclude the Negros Leagues from consideration as a Major League was a mistake that demanded reconsideration.

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

“We are now grateful to count the players of the Negro Leagues where they belong: as Major Leaguers within the official historical record.”

Roberts appreciated MLB celebrating 100th anniversary of Negro Leagues

The 2020 season marked the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues. MLB celebrated the milestone on Aug. 16, with players, managers, coaches and umpires wearing a symbolic Negro Leagues 100th anniversary logo patch during games.

“It’s an exciting day. I’m really excited and proud that Major League Baseball is honoring this 100-year anniversary,” Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said at the time.

“The more people have learned and been educated by the Negro Leagues, and really the direct impact it’s had on Major League Baseball. Whether it’s playing at night or having women come to games, and obviously the players from the Negro Leagues that impact Major League Baseball, and there’s many more things.

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