Major League Baseball has reclassified the Negro Leagues as a major league, and said it will count statistics and official records from its thousands of Black players. MLB said in a news release on Wednesday that it is “correcting a longtime oversight in the game’s history” with the elevation of the Negro Leagues to major league status. About 3,400 players in seven Negro Leagues competed from 1920 to 1948 as “major league-caliber ballplayers,” MLB said.
MLB officials had discussions with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the Negro League Researchers and Authors Group, and considered studies by other baseball researchers before the decision was made to reclassify the Negro Leagues.
The Negro National League I, which operated from 1920 through 1931, was the first of the Negro Leagues. The Eastern Colored League ran from 1923 to 1928. The American Negro League operated in 1929. The East-West League and Negro Southern League each operated in 1932.