KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Wednesday that moving forward, MLB will recognize the players and activities from the Negro Leagues as “Major League.”
On the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues, Manfred recognized the contributions of the league’s players.
“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,” Manfred said in a statement. “We are now grateful to count the players of the Negro Leagues where they belong: as Major Leaguers within the official historical record.”
The league's history is celebrated at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.
Wednesday’s announcement means that stats and records accumulated by roughly 3,400 Negro Leagues players will now be a part of the major league record books.
In an article on MLB.com, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick described the announcement as “extraordinary.”
“For historical merit, it is extraordinarily important,” Kendrick said. “Having been around so many of the Negro League players, they never looked to Major League Baseball to validate them. But for fans and for historical sake, this is significant, it really is. So we are extremely pleased with this announcement. And for us, it does give additional credence to how significant the Negro Leagues were, both on and off the field.”