Negro Leagues Stats Officially Recognized by MLB

Negro Leagues Stats Officially Recognized by MLB

Major League Baseball has officially incorporated Negro Leagues statistics into its record books, resulting in revised leaderboards featuring Hall of Famer Josh Gibson and other Black stars. This move follows the 2020 announcement recognizing seven Negro Leagues from 1920-1948 as Major Leagues.

On Wednesday, MLB confirmed that it has integrated available Negro Leagues statistics into the official historical record, following recommendations from the independent Negro League Statistical Review Committee. Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed pride in the inclusion of Negro Leagues players in the official record, emphasizing the importance of preserving their accomplishments for future generations.

Over 2,300 Negro Leagues players, including three living players from the 1920-1948 era, are now part of a newly integrated database at This database combines Negro Leagues statistics with existing data from the American League, National League, and other Major Leagues.

Negro Leagues expert Larry Lester described the leagues as a product of segregated America, providing opportunities where none existed. Official MLB historian John Thorn highlighted that the new database allows fans to explore the stories behind the statistics.

Here are answers to some questions about this historic development:

What were the Negro Leagues?

The Negro Leagues were formed in 1920 due to segregation in the American and National Leagues. Black players established their own leagues, beginning with the eight-team Negro National League. Over 30 years, various Negro Leagues emerged, and the Negro World Series took place from 1924-1927 and 1942-1948. The Negro Leagues produced 37 eventual Hall of Fame members.

Why are the Negro Leagues being added to the historical record?

The inclusion of Negro Leagues in the historical record aims to correct a historical wrong, as Black baseball stars were barred from participating in the AL or NL. This recognition aligns with the belief that the quality of segregation-era Negro Leagues was comparable to MLB.

Which Negro Leagues will be included in the official record?

Seven Negro Leagues operating between 1920 and 1948 will be included: Negro National League (I), Eastern Colored League, American Negro League, East-West League, Negro Southern League, Negro National League (II), and Negro American League.

Is this the first time leagues have been granted “Major League” status long after they ceased to exist?

No, in 1969, MLB granted Major League status to the American Association, Union Association, Players’ League, and Federal League. However, the Negro Leagues were not considered at that time.

Why did it take so long to incorporate the Negro Leagues into the statistical record?

The process required MLB and the Elias Sports Bureau to review Seamheads data and discuss its utilization. A 16-member Negro Leagues Statistical Review Committee was formed to establish minimum standards for Negro Leagues players in season and career leaderboards.

Learn more…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *