Major League Baseball announced they are officially elevating the Negro Leagues, that ran from 1920-48, to “major league” status.
On Wednesday (December 16), MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, via the league’s communications department, relayed the news and described the move as "correcting a longtime oversight in the game's history."
“Commissioner Manfred announced today that @MLB is officially elevating the Negro Leagues to ‘Major League’ status,” a tweet announcing the new distinction read. “Culminating the centennial celebration of the founding of the Negro Leagues, MLB is proud to highlight the contributions of the pioneers who played from 1920-1948.”
“The Negro Leagues were a major league from inception to end,” another tweet reads. “This is indisputable. For MLB to recognize that and for the record books to acknowledge it, however, serves to right a wrong.”
The new status means the MLB will recognize statistics and records of the roughly 3,400 players who participated in the seven leagues. Those leagues include the Negro National League (I) (1920–1931), Eastern Colored League (1923–1928), American Negro League (1929), East-West League (1932), Negro Southern League (1932), Negro National League (II) (1933–1948), and Negro American League (1937–1948).
Some of the greatest baseball players ever will now have their stats recognized by the majors, including Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Turkey Stearnes, Oscar Charleston, Jackie Robinson, Walter "Buck" Leonard and James "Cool Papa" Bell.
Photo: Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images