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MLB Recognizes Negro Leagues as Major Leagues

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#1 prouster

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Posted 16 December 2020 - 11:57 AM

Major League Baseball announced today that they officially recognize the Negro Leagues as major leagues. A terrific decision that goes toward remedying the fraught history of the sport. I thought it would be appropriate to start a thread where everyone can discuss it.
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#2 notoriousgod71

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Posted 16 December 2020 - 01:27 PM

Before everyone jumps all over me as a racist, how can MLB possibly hope to accomplish this?

 

Statistics keeping was shoddy at best in these leagues so how are you going to be able to come up with stats?

 

There were also different levels of the Negro Leagues so it's like saying minor league stats count too.

 

Some teams were basically the Harlem Globe Trotters as they just did things for entertainment rather than actual baseball.

 

I've been to the Negro Leagues Museum at least six times and love their history and always come away saddened and inspired at the same time but I don't think their statistics should be included until it is known with certainty that they are accurate, which sadly may never happen.

I have the Negro Leagues stratomatic cards and the guy (Scott Simkus) that poured over all these box scores said in an interview that it was impossible to know for certainty the actual statistics these players accrued.

 

 

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#3 PDX Twin

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Posted 16 December 2020 - 01:54 PM

It is possible to recognize them as "major," yet not pool them for establishing records. To the extent that statistics allow, they could give them a separate analysis and let people decide whether X home runs in the Negro Leagues is equivalent to X home runs in the traditional major leagues.

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#4 prouster

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Posted 16 December 2020 - 03:15 PM

Before everyone jumps all over me as a racist, how can MLB possibly hope to accomplish this?

Statistics keeping was shoddy at best in these leagues so how are you going to be able to come up with stats?

There were also different levels of the Negro Leagues so it's like saying minor league stats count too.

Some teams were basically the Harlem Globe Trotters as they just did things for entertainment rather than actual baseball.

I've been to the Negro Leagues Museum at least six times and love their history and always come away saddened and inspired at the same time but I don't think their statistics should be included until it is known with certainty that they are accurate, which sadly may never happen.
I have the Negro Leagues stratomatic cards and the guy (Scott Simkus) that poured over all these box scores said in an interview that it was impossible to know for certainty the actual statistics these players accrued.


How comfortable are you including stats from the American Association or the earliest days of the National League? Isn’t this about finally recognizing—in an official capacity—the fact that the men in the Negro Leagues were playing baseball at the game’s highest level?

#5 ashbury

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Posted 16 December 2020 - 03:23 PM

It is possible to recognize them as "major," yet not pool them for establishing records. To the extent that statistics allow, they could give them a separate analysis and let people decide whether X home runs in the Negro Leagues is equivalent to X home runs in the traditional major leagues.

There have been similar determinations made on leagues in the 1800s, where additional criteria like playing to a predetermined schedule and then executing that plan without one team or another dropping out also factored in, besides just the strength of the competition. It's quite tricky and nuanced, even when there isn't the additional complex factor of race. All in all I am comfortable with this change in denotation, but I'm sure it won't please everyone (nor would have the status quo), as with the decision to call "major" the Union Association of 1884, only 100x moreso.
 

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#6 ashbury

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Posted 16 December 2020 - 06:19 PM

Someone on a facebook group I belong to posted the following opinion. His name is Roy Rossi and I don't believe I know him personally. Because it is heavy on specifics, I thought some folks here might find his words interesting. If you don't recognize the player names mentioned last... that's the point.

 

I think it is great that this finally getting done. For the all time greats like Satch, Josh, Cool Papa, Willie Mays, and Henry Aaron it doesn't really move the stick because there greatness is already assured. Where it helps I think is for the lesser know greats like John Beckwith, Bruce Petway, Oliver "The Ghost" Marcell, Dick" Cannonball" Redding, Grant "Homerun" Johnson and other deserving players stronger consideration for the Hall of Fame. People can become more aware of these great baseball players and they get the recognition they deserve.
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#7 Nine of twelve

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Posted 16 December 2020 - 07:50 PM

Of course the Negro Leagues were major leagues. This was the highest attainable level for Black professional baseball players. 


#8 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 December 2020 - 07:20 AM

Before everyone jumps all over me as a racist, how can MLB possibly hope to accomplish this?

Statistics keeping was shoddy at best in these leagues so how are you going to be able to come up with stats?

There were also different levels of the Negro Leagues so it's like saying minor league stats count too.

Some teams were basically the Harlem Globe Trotters as they just did things for entertainment rather than actual baseball.

I've been to the Negro Leagues Museum at least six times and love their history and always come away saddened and inspired at the same time but I don't think their statistics should be included until it is known with certainty that they are accurate, which sadly may never happen.
I have the Negro Leagues stratomatic cards and the guy (Scott Simkus) that poured over all these box scores said in an interview that it was impossible to know for certainty the actual statistics these players accrued.

If statistics are what you’re most concerned about, I think you’re coming at this from the entirely wrong angle.

But yes, stats are going to be an issue with the negro leagues, though I don’t think it matters all that much. The sport and its history is much more than a collection of numbers.