Negro League Baseball records have been added to the Baseball-Reference website, meaning players such as Josh Gibson can take his statistical place amongst his white legendary counterparts.
In a major boost to the legacy of Negro League Baseball, records of several leagues have been officially added to the history of the game’s statistics, vindicating the credibility of many great players who were denied the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues against white legends of the game.
According to the BaseballReference.com website, the statistical authority on the game’s records has expanded its coverage of the Negro Leagues Black major league players from 1920-1948.
Those statistics are now officially listed with the National League and American League as major league records. That now means the records of Josh Gibson and Satchel Page can be legitimately compared to their white counterparts such as Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson.
The historic announcement admits that the research is ongoing and that 28 years of statistics that have been incorporated into the record banks are “incomplete”
However, it does bring credibility to those who are looking to have Gibson’s name added to either the National or American League Most Valuable Player Award.
“The Negro Leagues are not less than the National and American Leagues,” reads the statement on the Baseball-Reference website. “They are different, and we recognize that our work must acknowledge those differences.”
This era and the Negro League teams they encompass don’t include the barnstorming teams that were ambassadors during their travels to play against Caribbean counterparts.
They also don’t include other independent teams many historians consider to be as good as the teams that have been included as major league Negro teams on their website now. The complete register of baseball history contains a significant record of Independent and non-major Negro Leagues including a page for the 1917 Chicago American Giants.
The research is ongoing and there has been no timetable for when it will be complete. Record-keeping was fractured because of what Baseball Reference acknowledges was systemic racism and the lack of media accounts and record keeping.