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Oscar Charleston, Josh Gibson

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Black excellence was on full display in the Negro League, and now it’s going up against some of the best records in Major League Baseball history.

The MLB has been embracing the Negro League in recent years, and now the two will join the same record books to really debate the two sets of talent within the organizations.

Not only with just how comparable the talent was in the Negro Leagues to the MLB, but also rightfully added all those Black players to baseball’s history books.

“We are proud that the official historical record now includes the players of the Negro Leagues,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “This initiative is focused on ensuring that future generations of fans have access to the statistics and milestones of all those who made the Negro Leagues possible. Their accomplishments on the field will be a gateway to broader learning about this triumph in American history and the path that led to Jackie Robinson’s 1947 Dodger debut.”

It didn’t take long for some memorable names to get knocked down a few pegs, with longstanding Negro League Legend catcher Josh Gibson becoming the MLB’s career-leading batting average. The record was previously held by Ty Cobb since the 1900s, with a .367 average, and it has now been bested by Gibson’s .372, which he averaged with the 1943 Homestead Grays.

Even the great Babe Ruth was upheaved from two leading spots by Gibson in slugging percentage and On-base Plus Slugging, with Ruth averaging .690 and 1.164 in the respective categories compared to the latter’s .718 and 1.177.

This integration also highlights the achievements of other Negro League stars, including Satchel Paige and Willie Mays and more than 2,000 others.

It’s been long thought that it’d be hard to compare the MLB and the Negro League because it only averaged between 60 and 80 games a year, a far cry from the MLB’s 162.

However, with the 2020 abbreviated season, MLB brass decided it was time to give the Negro League the respect it rightfully deserves.

So for the past few years, MLB’s official historian John Thorn led a group of 17 –including Negro Leagues experts and statisticians– to successfully merge the two league stats, which was a feat given troubling documentation of players’ nicknames, dates of birth, and ballparks used.

The updated database will be made public in June.

See how social media is reacting to the shake-up below.

Negro League Stats Integrating Into The MLB Is Shaking Up & Rewriting The History Books  was originally published on