Move over, Ty Cobb. Josh Gibson is the biggest sheriff in Cooperstown, now. 


At least as a hitter, of course. 


According to multiple reports on Tuesday, the MLB is set to officially recognize Negro League statistics into its record book on Wednesday, making Gibson the MLB’s all-time batting average leader at .372 — surpassing Cobb’s .367. 


“It’s a great day,” Negro League Museum President Bob Kendrick told Yahoo Sports. 


Josh Gibson Becomes Single-Season Batting Leader


It doesn’t stop there, though. With the integration, Gibson will also be the single-season leader in batting average for his .466 batting average in 1943. Topping it off, he’s the single-season and career leader in slugging and on-base plus slugging percentage — overtaking Babe Ruth in the two career categories. 


Why The Negro Leagues Still Matter | It Was Never an Inferior League, The Proof Is In Books

Who Is Josh Gibson?


Gibson, a Baseball Hall of Famer, played from 1930-1946 where he became a 12-time Negro League All-Star and two-time Negro World Series Champion thanks to his powerful pop of the bat.  


“This means so much for not only the Josh Gibson family,” Gibson’s grandson, Sean, told USA Today, “but representing the 2,300 men in the Negro Leagues who didn’t get the opportunity to play (in the Major Leagues).” 


Gibson is among the many Negro Leaguers who will see their Negro League stats enter the books, with Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige and living legend Willie Mays being some of the prominent players



Most notably, Paige moves to third in ERA in a season with 1.01, a mark he accomplished in 1944 with the Kansas City Monarchs.


With the trio playing in both the MLB and Negro Leagues, their marks in MLB Leaderboards are set for a slight boost. 


Merging Statistical Leaderboards


The merging of leaderboards was brought about by the Negro League Statisical Review Commitee, a committee made up of former players, historians and writers tasked with uncovering and validating Negro League statistics. 


Of the group is former MLB pitcher CC Sabathia, Hall of Fame baseball writer Claire Smith and MLBbro founder and editor Rob Parker. 


(Some) Negro League Stats Officially Recognized By


The biggest part of the mission started in Dec. 2020, when the MLB officially recognized Negro Leagues as a major league, allowing their statistics to be used in the books. 


With the Negro Leagues generally running from 1920-1951, the committee went through box scores and other data in order to discover and validate various statistics, making way for the official move into MLB record books.


“We are proud that the official historical record now includes the players of the Negro Leagues,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said according to Yahoo Sports. “Their accomplishments on the field will be a gateway to broader learning about this triumph in American history and the path that led to Jackie Robinson’s 1947 Dodger debut.” 


The move is a monumental change to baseball statistics, giving the first MLBbros a chance to live on forever in major league history.  The change comes right around the corner of the Negro League Tribute at Rickwood Field, a contest between the Cardinals and Giants in Birmingham on June 20. 

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