Historic: Negro Leagues Statistics Shake Up Major League Baseball Leaderboards – Fans and Players React!

Chicago, Illinois – Baseball fans and players are delving deeper into the history of the Negro Leagues following a three-year research project that incorporated statistics for over 2,300 players into the major league record book. Historic names like Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, Satchel Paige, and Mule Suttles are now at the forefront, shedding light on their incredible contributions to the sport.

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen expressed excitement over the newfound recognition, highlighting the opportunity to explore the lives and careers of players previously overlooked. A 17-person committee, led by Major League Baseball’s official historian John Thorn, meticulously examined statistics from seven Negro Leagues from 1920-1948, with nearly 75% of available records now included in the MLB records.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene echoed the sentiment, acknowledging the need to delve deeper into baseball history and understand the impact of players from the Negro Leagues. The incorporation of Negro League statistics resulted in significant changes to the major league leaderboards, with Josh Gibson taking the spotlight as the new career leader in batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS.

Tyrus Cobb, the great-grandson of Ty Cobb, emphasized the significance of the major leagues acknowledging and integrating the Negro Leagues into baseball history. The recognition of Josh Gibson’s achievements prompted fans like Cobb to explore further and appreciate the contributions of players like Oscar Charleston.

The inclusion of Negro League statistics also altered the career numbers of some major league players, such as Willie Mays, Minnie Minoso, and Jackie Robinson, further emphasizing the impact of this historical revision. As the majors face a decline in Black players, the recognition of the Negro Leagues and tribute games like the one scheduled for June 20 at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, serve as a reminder of the rich history and talent that once graced the game.

For fans like Brett Tinker, whose grandfather played for the Pittsburgh Crawfords in the Negro Leagues, the incorporation of these statistics is a long-awaited honor that finally gives recognition to players who never received their due. This moment of acknowledgement brings tears to those connected to the legacy of the Negro Leagues, celebrating their enduring impact on baseball history.

The unveiling of Negro League statistics marks a significant step towards honoring the legacy and contributions of Black players in baseball, reminding fans of the diverse and impactful history that shapes America’s favorite pastime.