Seven Negro Leagues have been recommended for Major League classification. This recommendation would include the Negro National League I, Negro National League II, Negro American League, Eastern Colored League, American Negro League, East-West League and Negro Southern League. If approved, stats from these leagues would be added to Major League Baseball's record books.
The Society for American Baseball Research describes the criteria for the seven leagues chosen as "a league of high quality, containing a large number of the best available baseball players, with a defined set of teams and a defined roster of players."
"Teams should have played a set schedule, with the league maintaining standings and records, some of which may no longer be available," SABR added.
If approved a few changes would be made to the all-time record books. Seventeen more hits would be added to Willie Mays's all-time total and Satchel Paige would be credited for 28 more wins. Most notably, Josh Gibson's .441 batting average in 1943 would be the highest in league history.
These recent recommendations come six weeks after Major League Baseball announced that it would classify Negro Leagues as Major Leagues.
"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 said.
"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, SABR will continue to study more leagues from the early 1900s to the late 1940s.
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