Photo credits: The Nodaway News Leader
Major League Baseball officials announced they are elevating the Negro Leagues, which existed from 1920-48, to “major league” status.
On Wednesday (December 16), MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, via the league’s communications department, relayed the news. Commissioner Manfred 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 reads.
“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 message continues.
“The Negro Leagues were a major league from inception to end. This is indisputable. For MLB to recognize that and for the record books to acknowledge it, however, serves to right a wrong,” another tweet reads.
The new status means the MLB will recognize statistics and records of the roughly 3,400 players who participated in the seven Negro Baseball 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 America’s greatest baseball players ever will now have their stats recognized by the majors. Legends, such as Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Buck O’Neil, Turkey Stearnes, Oscar Charleston, Jackie Robinson, Walter Leonard, James “Cool Papa” Bell, and other greats will finally get their just due.
This was an excellent move that will forever put the MLB on the right side of history.
Reference: Meara, P. (2020, December 16) MLB Officially Elevates Negro Leagues To ‘Major League’ Status. Retrieved from https://www.bet.com/news/sports/2020/12/16/mlb-negro-leagues-major-league-status.html
*BlackThen.com writer/historian Victor Trammell edited and contributed to this report.
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