Major League Baseball has officially reclassified the Negro Leagues as a Major League. Their decision to do so overturns the Special Committee on Baseball Records' verdict in 1969 and adds the baseball league to the original seven leagues dating back to 1876.
"It is MLB's view that the Committee's 1969 omission of the Negro Leagues from consideration was clearly an error that demands today's designation," Major League Baseball stated.
The Negro Leagues consisted of seven leagues and ran from 1920 to 1948. Over time, the leagues produced all-time greats like Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige and Cool Papa Bell. Unfortunately, the Negro Leagues began to dissolve after Jackie Robinson integrated Major League Baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
"All of us who love baseball have long known that the Negro Leagues produced many of our game's best players, innovations and triumphs against a backdrop of injustice," Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred added.
"We are now grateful to count the players of the Negro Leagues where they belong: as Major Leaguers within the official historical record."
Moving forward, Major League Baseball will collaborate with the Elias Sports Bureau to incorporate Negro League bseball statistics to Major League Baseball record books.
"The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is thrilled to see this well-deserved recognition of the Negro Leagues. In the minds of baseball fans worldwide, this serves as historical validation for those who had been shunned from the Major Leagues and had the foresight and courage to create their own league that helped change the game and our country too," Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick said.
"This acknowledgment is a meritorious nod to the courageous owners and players who helped build this exceptional enterprise and shines a welcomed spotlight on the immense talent that called the Negro Leagues home."
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