The MLB Negro League stats tie with Josh Gibson for the all-time record book.


Major League Baseball has matched the former’s statistics The Negro Leagues Players have made history on its website, meaning legendary leaders in some categories such as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb are now in the record books.

Josh Gibson, one of the greatest sluggers in Negro Leagues history, is now listed as MLB’s new all-time career leader.

The MLB website shows Gibson surpassing Babe Ruth in career slugging percentage.

“We are proud to now have Negro Leagues players in the official historical record. “This initiative focuses on ensuring future generations of fans have access to the statistics and milestones of everyone who made the Negro Leagues possible,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

“Their accomplishments on the field will serve as a gateway to broader learning about this hit in American history and the path that led to Jackie Robinson’s 1947 Dodger debut.”

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Josh Gibson hit a home run during the 1944 Negro Leagues East-West All-Star Game at Comiskey Park in Chicago.

Gibson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

“We’re excited,” Slugger’s great-grandson Sean Gibson told CNN. “It’s been a long time coming. Not only for Josh Gibson, but for all the other great members of the Negro Leagues family.”

The power-hitting catcher’s Baseball Hall of Fame plaque — one of 35 Negro League stars inscribed in Cooperstown — says he “hit nearly 800 home runs in league and independent baseball” during his 17-year career.

However, most of those homers did not come in league-sanctioned games (about 50 to 75 per season) but in exhibitions where White played against former major leaguers and semi-pro teams.

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“It is indeed an exciting day. It’s been a long time coming,” Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, said at a news conference Wednesday. “It was an absolute watershed moment in Black baseball and Negro Leagues history.”

Kendrick continued, “You can’t reduce the story of the Negro Leagues to statistics. You can’t.

“This story is bigger than just statistics. This story is bigger than the game of baseball in many ways.

Kendrick addressed baseball fans who were worried their favorite players had gone down a few rankings.

“That doesn’t slow them down,” Kendrick said. “It now presents some names that you probably already know, and you get a chance to learn about them.”

More than 2,300 Negro League players from 1920-1948 were added to the MLB database because more statistics are “still being discovered.”

Also, MLB career statistics for Hall of Famers such as Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige and Minnie Minoso now mirror their Negro Leagues accomplishments.

For example, Robinson’s 49 hits with the Kansas City Kings in 1945 raised his career total from 1,518 to 1,567. Paige’s career hit total increased from 28 to 125, and Minozo’s 150 hit total with the New York Cubans pushed his career hit total to 2,113 over the 2,000 hit milestone.

It comes after three and a half years MLB recognized the Negro Leagues as its equivalent and tallied the statistics and records of thousands of black players. Played in the Negro Leagues from the 1920s to the late 1940s.

Although that recognition will take place in December 2020, MLB at that time That said, MLB needs time to review how that recognition will affect the record books. That’s in part because some statistics are still being compiled and MLB is required to sort league-sanctioned games from exhibitions.

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“Negro League schedules, interspersed with revenue-raising exhibition games, were born out of MLB’s exclusionary practices,” MLB historian John Thorne, chairman of the Review’s Negro Leagues Statistical Study Group, said in a statement. “To deny the greatest black players of the era their rightful place among the all-time leaders would be a double whammy.”

Baseball historian Larry Lester, who served on the committee, added: “Stories, folklore and embellished facts have long been staples of Negro Leagues lore. Those storylines will always be entertaining, but now our conversations will be measured and worthy of supporting the truly great of these athletes.

“Every fan should welcome this statistical reorientation towards social compensation.”

Mark Rucker/Deep Graphics/Getty Images

The Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues pose for a team portrait at home in Rupert Stadium in 1939. Monte Irvin is in the back row, far left, and Mull Suttles is in the middle of the back row.

In 2020, MLB said it was “correcting a long-standing oversight” by elevating the status of the Negro Leagues, which spanned seven leagues from 1920 to 1948 and about 3,400 black and Latino players.

“Many people have heard of Martin DiHigo and Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige. But what about the thousands of men who played in the Negro Leagues from 1920 to 1948? They are finally being recognized as big-league caliber ballplayers,” said Scott Simkus, one of the researchers compiled by MLB. Seamheads Negro Leagues DatabaseHe said then.

“Their statistical records, their careers are considered the equal of anyone who played in the National League or the American League during that period.”

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“It’s sad that this great history is being protected from them,” said Lester, co-founder of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, said the recognition “serves as a historical validation for those who were excluded from the Major Leagues and had the vision and courage to form their own league that helped change the game and our country. Too.”

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