(New York) Major Baseball has reclassified the Negro League as a major league and will consider the stats and records of its 3,400 players as part of history.
MLB said on Wednesday that it was “correcting a long-term review in its sports history” by raising the black leagues to major league status in the centenary. The black leagues were composed of seven leagues, and MLB will now include their statistics collected between 1920 and 1948.
The Black Leagues began to disintegrate a year after Jackie Robinson became the first black to play in the Majors with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 after a period with the Montreal Royals.
These leagues were excluded in 1969, when the Special Committee on the Annals of Baseball identified six official major leagues since 1876.
In a statement, MLB claimed that “the committee’s failure to include the black leagues in 1969 was clearly a mistake that needs to be corrected today.”
Major League Baseball has reviewed the statement from the Hall of Fame, Negro League Researchers and Authors Group, as well as various studies done by other authors and historians.
MLB will partner with Elias Sports Bureau to review Black League statistics and records to find a way to incorporate them into Major Baseball history.
“All of us who love baseball have long known that the Black Leagues have produced some of the best players, the greatest innovations and great triumphs against a backdrop of injustice,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred. We are grateful to include the Black League players. They are Major players, and they must integrate our history. ”