It has been long overdue. Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday morning that they have officially elevated the status of the Negro Leagues to that of a Major League.
“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,” MLB 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.”
The announcement comes during the centennial celebration of the Negro Leagues, which was founded in 1920 as a top-tier organization for Black ballplayers to participate due to MLB’s “gentleman’s agreement” that barred people of color from playing.
The seven leagues are the Negro National League, the Eastern Colored League, the American Negro League, the East-West League, the Negro Southern League, the Negro National League and the Negro American League. The MLB’s decision is that Negro League legends such as Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston and Cool Papa Bell have achieved the Major League status denied to them in their living years by the injustice of segregation. That all changes right here in 2020.
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