MLB The Show 23 Adds Negro League Greats, But Also Takes You Back & Tells The Story Of These Heroes

MLB The Show 23 Adds Negro League Greats, But Also Takes You Back & Tells The Story Of These Heroes

MLB the Show franchise announced the inclusion of eight Negro League Legends into this year’s MLB the Show 23 edition of the video game. The players in the package include Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Buck O’Neil, Rube Foster, Hilton Smith, Hank Thompson, John Donaldson and Martín Dihigo. The legendary Negro Leaguers will be apart of a game mode called “Storylines”. 


MLB The Show 23 Adds Negro League Greats


This has been the latest efforts of Major League Baseball to acknowledge their complicated history with the Negro Leagues in the past few years. Back in December 2020, Major League Baseball announced the addition of Negro League statistics into their official records. 


(Some) Negro League Stats Officially Recognized By


MLB the Show video game developer Sony partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and its President Bob Kendrick, to add the legendary Negro Leaguers into the video game.  Sony brand strategist Ramone Russell released a statement to the media regarding the addition of the historical players. 

 “The Negro Leagues are an important part of baseball and American history, whose iconic figures are not nearly as well known as other baseball players of the era,” Russell said. “We’ve thought about introducing the Negro Leagues into MLB The Show for years, but we needed to figure out how to do it the right way for an interactive medium.” 

 Russell also expounded on what to expect in the new Storyline feature. 

 “The best way I can explain it is, it’s an amalgamation of a short documentary series combined with curated moments of gameplay. Each of the eight players has a storyline, and the coolest part is learning about these players then immediately being able to play as them in the game. That transition from the images and video to the on-field gameplay experience is powerful and immersive. The ambiance is carried through, from the uniforms to the crowd and everything in between.” 

New Roster Of Negro League Stars Each Season 


The new immersive game mode will not be a one-off addition. Next year’s MLB the Show will include a new roster of Negro League players who will be implemented in Season Two of Storylines.  Along with the inclusion of the Negro League players, Sony’s San Diego Studios announced a donation of one dollar to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for every MLB The Show 23 Collector’s Edition sold in the U.S. from now through the end of 2023. 

The inclusion of Negro Leaguers in the MLB the Show franchise displays a new creative attempt to bring awareness to these revered players of the past who were shunned from the Major Leagues and unable to show their talents on the pro level in the height of the Jim Crow Era. Talented players such as Satchel Paige, who did not get to make his Major League debut until the age of 42, will have their stories told to a new generation of baseball fans. Paige himself was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971 via the Negro League Committee. 



The Negro Leagues were created due to the harsh racist climate that persisted in America which denied Blacks the opportunities to compete with their white counterparts. The first Negro League was formed in 1887, just twenty-four years after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 while the last great  league folded in 1951. That is nearly sixty-four years of Black players being forced to compete under the “separate but equal” doctrine.  

Major League Baseball has made considerable efforts throughout the years to acknowledge Negro League players by inducting players in the Hall of Fame and integrating Negro League statistics into their record books.  

Now in 2023, fans will be familiar with the Negro Leaguers through video game play, giving fans an interactive lesson on baseball history. Black players who were once denied the opportunity to play on Major League fields will now be represented on every baseball fans’ video game console.  

Celebrating 50th Anniversary Of Baseball Icon Satchel Paige’s Cooperstown Induction

Celebrating 50th Anniversary Of Baseball Icon Satchel Paige’s Cooperstown Induction

By Rhett Butler | Contributor               

Monday (Aug.9) marked the 50th anniversary of Paige’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

He became the first MLBbro to play the bulk of his career in the Negro Leagues and receive “baseball’s highest honor.”

This entire week is Satchel Paige week in Kansas City and the anniversary of his historic milestone is being acknowledged in a big way.


(Some) Negro League Stats Officially Recognized By

(Some) Negro League Stats Officially Recognized By

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 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.