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KC-area historian reacts to news of Negro League baseball stats being inserted into MLB database

Todd Peterson edited the book 'The Negro Leagues Were Major Leagues'
Todd Peterson
Posted at 10:13 PM, May 29, 2024

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Todd Peterson is a lover of baseball and a dad who enjoys watching his son play the game, but as an author and historian, he enjoys looking into the Negro League baseball.

“Black men have been playing as long as white men have been playing, and they have been playing against white men that long as well," Peterson said. 

Peterson has stepped up to the plate for many publications about Negro League statistics to tell the important stories of the league.

This includes editing the publication "The Negro Leagues Were The Major Leagues," which was published in 2019.

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Peterson is excited to see the Negro League stats front and center in the Major League Baseball database where they belong.

"It's like everyone forgot about it; it's like this big story that was happening," Peterson said. “Everyone agreed to forget, but it came out and sort of dug up, and now it's back, so it's great."

Peterson talked about the impact Negro leagues baseball statistics being integrated into national MLB record books will have on future generations.

"In 50 years, kids may not know why, but they will be able to see that Josh Gibson has the highest batting average," Peterson said. 

For future players, Peterson says this decision from Major League Baseball hits a home run for the game.

"They tried their darnest to separate them and keep them separate, but you know baseball won," Peterson said. "Fans won and baseball won, and eventually it all came together."