sc49erfan15

MLB Designates Negro Leagues as "Major Leagues"

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This will help a bunch of Negro League players who were superstars in that league but only had cups of coffee in MLB help get into Cooperstown, I would think.

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"The perceived deficiencies of the Negro Leagues' structure and scheduling were born of MLB's exclusionary practices, and denying them Major League status has been a double penalty."

 

I was under the impression that these "perceived deficiencies" were a large part of keeping Negro League statistics from being counted, as the Negro League statistics weren't as "complete." I'm mostly unfamiliar with the progress that researchers have made regarding these statistics, but it sounds like some significant advancements have been made.

 

Regardless of the accuracy of any statistics, it's great to see this change finally being made.

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So Negro leagues are now "Major Leagues", but that doesn't mean that they are retroactively being considered part of MLB, right?  Otherwise wouldn't the major-league record books need to be adjusted to count single-season (and career) stats for Negro league players? 

 

A quick Google search shows that Josh Gibson hit 74 HR in 1936, so is he now the single-season major-league home-run king?  Or does MLB only recognize MLB records, meaning it would still be Bonds?

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39 minutes ago, BBTV said:

So Negro leagues are now "Major Leagues", but that doesn't mean that they are retroactively being considered part of MLB, right?  Otherwise wouldn't the major-league record books need to be adjusted to count single-season (and career) stats for Negro league players? 

 

A quick Google search shows that Josh Gibson hit 74 HR in 1936, so is he now the single-season major-league home-run king?  Or does MLB only recognize MLB records, meaning it would still be Bonds?

 

It's my understanding (though I could be wrong) that the statistics will only count for Negro League teams that played other Negro League teams. Negro League teams played tons of games - some that counted in the league standings, some against whoever would play them in front of a paying crowd (see also: the early NFL). The games against semi-pro or amateur teams won't count, just like stats wouldn't count if for some reason the Phillies played the Jersey Shoe Blue Claws in the middle of the season.

 

I'd assume Josh Gibson's 74 HR in 1936 were, at least in part, against less-than-Major League competition as part of a barnstorming tour. As such, they won't all count - only the HR as part of a more standardized Negro League schedule would.

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3 hours ago, BBTV said:

So Negro leagues are now "Major Leagues", but that doesn't mean that they are retroactively being considered part of MLB, right?  Otherwise wouldn't the major-league record books need to be adjusted to count single-season (and career) stats for Negro league players? 

I suppose they will need to be. It's really a pretty hilarious way of doing an end-run around Bonds's fake records.

 

3 hours ago, sc49erfan15 said:

I'd assume Josh Gibson's 74 HR in 1936 were, at least in part, against less-than-Major League competition as part of a barnstorming tour. 

Isn't there a similar illegitimacy to segregated NL/AL records? How unworthy of the majors were lower-echelon players in those leagues relative to lower-echelon players in the Negro Leagues? 

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12 minutes ago, the admiral said:
3 hours ago, sc49erfan15 said:

I'd assume Josh Gibson's 74 HR in 1936 were, at least in part, against less-than-Major League competition as part of a barnstorming tour. 

Isn't there a similar illegitimacy to segregated NL/AL records? How unworthy of the majors were lower-echelon players in those leagues relative to lower-echelon players in the Negro Leagues? 

I think the less-than-Major League competition 49erfan is referring is similar to townball teams. I wouldn't say the lower-echelon players in the Majors were unworthy, as there were only 16 teams back then. Compared to the lower echelon players of today, there would've been a lower talent gap between them and the elite players of the day, even if some of them only got their spots due to segregation.

 

4 hours ago, BBTV said:

So Negro leagues are now "Major Leagues", but that doesn't mean that they are retroactively being considered part of MLB, right?  Otherwise wouldn't the major-league record books need to be adjusted to count single-season (and career) stats for Negro league players? 

 

A quick Google search shows that Josh Gibson hit 74 HR in 1936, so is he now the single-season major-league home-run king?  Or does MLB only recognize MLB records, meaning it would still be Bonds?

Other than the AL and NL, the American Association (1882-1891), Union Association, Players League, and Federal League are also considered major leagues, but their records aren't part of MLB. The National Association and United States Baseball League are not officially regarded as major, but some historians view them as so.

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12 minutes ago, the admiral said:

I suppose they will need to be. It's really a pretty hilarious way of doing an end-run around Bonds's fake records.

 

Isn't there a similar illegitimacy to segregated NL/AL records? How unworthy of the majors were lower-echelon players in those leagues relative to lower-echelon players in the Negro Leagues? 

 

Your point is fair enough, but I don't think the competition in barnstorming tours was approaching Major League level. As bad as the Depression-era St. Louis Browns were, it's not like their roster was made up of semi-pros. Then again, I'm not a Negro League baseball researcher - if it's found that the competition was of high enough level, then absolutely count the stats.

 

There were 16 MLB teams until 1960 vs. 30 now. Do we similarly discredit any records set from 1998 onward due to the unworthiness of lower-echelon players that wouldn't have made MLB rosters in the 1950s? No, that'd be silly.

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4 hours ago, BBTV said:

So Negro leagues are now "Major Leagues", but that doesn't mean that they are retroactively being considered part of MLB, right?  Otherwise wouldn't the major-league record books need to be adjusted to count single-season (and career) stats for Negro league players? 

 

A quick Google search shows that Josh Gibson hit 74 HR in 1936, so is he now the single-season major-league home-run king?  Or does MLB only recognize MLB records, meaning it would still be Bonds?

 

As @sportsfan7 mentioned above, there are a few other recognized major leagues who are not apart of MLB and whose stats are not used to determine MLB records so this won't change anything in that regard.

I imagine this was mainly done so that, as @GDAWG said, they can finally induct some Negro League players into the baseball hall of fame that were previously excluded because they did not have 10 years of "major league" service time.

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34 minutes ago, sc49erfan15 said:

There were 16 MLB teams until 1960 vs. 30 now. Do we similarly discredit any records set from 1998 onward due to the unworthiness of lower-echelon players that wouldn't have made MLB rosters in the 1950s? No, that'd be silly.

 

I think about this sort of thing with the NHL and finding the sweet spot between overexpansion and underexpansion. The Original Six era is somewhat illegitimate because it was too limited and excluded worthy talent, but the NHL/WHA concurrency feels illegitimate because the rosters were all diluted. The upshot: all hockey is illegitimate

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4 minutes ago, TalktoChuck said:

 

As @sportsfan7 mentioned above, there are a few other recognized major leagues who are not apart of MLB and whose stats are not used to determine MLB records so this won't change anything in that regard.

I imagine this was mainly done so that, as @GDAWG said, they can finally induct some Negro League players into the baseball hall of fame that were previously excluded because they did not have 10 years of "major league" service time.

If I understand correctly, the 10 years of service time only applies to people voted in by the BBWAA, which only considers players who retired between 5 and 15 years ago. Everyone else is elected by the Veterans Committee. The Veterans Committee follows a somewhat confusing cycle now, where players are eligible through 1 of 4 categories based on when they played, and the committee rotates which time period they will vote on each year. Long story short, the Early Baseball period (pre-1949) that basically every Negro Leaguer is in only comes up every 10 years, next in 2021.

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Did you know the Mexican League is officially designated as Class AAA? I didn't until I looked at the wikipedia page for MiLB a week or two ago. But its teams don't carry developmental affiliations with the NL and AL, so they're not an AAA league in the sense that we understand the PCL to be, but they technically are. So it goes with the Negro Leagues, where you can right a wrong and observe them as major leagues based on the talent level, while we really understand "The Majors" to be the two leagues that send their champions to the World Series. So they are and aren't, but for Hall of Fame purposes, it's a net benefit.

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1 minute ago, the admiral said:

 

I think about this sort of thing with the NHL and finding the sweet spot between overexpansion and underexpansion. The Original Six era is somewhat illegitimate because it was too limited, but the NHL/WHA concurrency feels illegitimate because the rosters were all diluted. The upshot: all hockey is illegitimate

 

I think it's probably what you grew up with. For millennials, ~30 teams in any major league is the "correct" number because it's the talent level and number of teams we're used to. Even 24 teams feels like entirely too few, and if any of the Big Four ever expand beyond 35, it'll feel like too many.

 

There's also something to be said for talent pools themselves getting larger. Are talent pools really "diluted" if the pool is now truly worldwide (well, except the NFL) instead of just domestic? If you could somehow control for modern strength and conditioning, how many guys on a 1950s NHL team would make an NHL roster today? Hell, how many would even crack the AHL?

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1 minute ago, sc49erfan15 said:

If you could somehow control for modern strength and conditioning, how many guys on a 1950s NHL team would make an NHL roster today?

 

Control for modern strength/conditioning and probably all of them. Human beings haven't evolved that much in 70 years. The Gordie Howe of the '50s could make last year's Wings roster with absolute ease. Of course, the Gordie Howe of last year could have made last year's Wings roster, too.

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5 hours ago, BBTV said:

So Negro leagues are now "Major Leagues", but that doesn't mean that they are retroactively being considered part of MLB, right?  Otherwise wouldn't the major-league record books need to be adjusted to count single-season (and career) stats for Negro league players? 

 

A quick Google search shows that Josh Gibson hit 74 HR in 1936, so is he now the single-season major-league home-run king?  Or does MLB only recognize MLB records, meaning it would still be Bonds?

i would think, Josh Gibson's 74 HR would be only part of the Negro League Records but not MLB Records. 

also didn't he hit over 800 HRs (no one knows how many).

 

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17 minutes ago, the admiral said:

Control for modern strength/conditioning and probably all of them. Human beings haven't evolved that much in 70 years. The Gordie Howe of the '50s could make last year's Wings roster with absolute ease. Of course, the Gordie Howe of last year could have made last year's Wings roster, too.

 

My point wasn't that the 1950s NHLers (or NBAers, etc.) weren't talented players, but that the population of the US and Canada has more than doubled since the 1950s and there aren't things like segregation (less an issue in the NHL, obvs) artificially diluting the talent pool. Of course Gordie Howe would make the NHL today, but would Jim Hay? I have no idea who that is, I just picked a random jobber off the '53-54 Red Wings. Wouldn't it stand to reason that increased population - segregation + increased international scouting = richer talent pool, rather than diluted? Clearly the counterpoint here is that the number of teams has also increased, but I don't think it's a simple "more teams equals less talent" scenario.

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19 minutes ago, the admiral said:

Did you know the Mexican League is officially designated as Class AAA? I didn't until I looked at the wikipedia page for MiLB a week or two ago. But its teams don't carry developmental affiliations with the NL and AL, so they're not an AAA league in the sense that we understand the PCL to be, but they technically are. So it goes with the Negro Leagues, where you can right a wrong and observe them as major leagues based on the talent level, while we really understand "The Majors" to be the two leagues that send their champions to the World Series. So they are and aren't, but for Hall of Fame purposes, it's a net benefit.

what does the MLB designated the NPB in Japan (since Sadaharu Oh has 868 HR*)

*since there stadiums are smaller (400 Feet to Center)

 

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37 minutes ago, the admiral said:

Did you know the Mexican League is officially designated as Class AAA? I didn't until I looked at the wikipedia page for MiLB a week or two ago. But its teams don't carry developmental affiliations with the NL and AL, so they're not an AAA league in the sense that we understand the PCL to be, but they technically are. So it goes with the Negro Leagues, where you can right a wrong and observe them as major leagues based on the talent level, while we really understand "The Majors" to be the two leagues that send their champions to the World Series. So they are and aren't, but for Hall of Fame purposes, it's a net benefit.

 

Yeah, the Mexican League is essentially an entity unto itself, but is loosely affiliated with MLB. The quality of play is a mix, but it's closer to indy leagues like the Atlantic League or American Association... or sort of like AA without the prospects, as the players tend to be older. Guys (particularly Spanish speakers) can make careers out of playing in the Mexican League. Just like indy ball, you get a lot of guys in the Mexican League that got released from their affiliated teams but wanted to catch on somewhere. "AAA" looks great on paper, but the quality of play is overall lower than the PCL or IL. When I worked in indy ball, we had a few guys go back and forth between the Mexican League and the Atlantic League. The Mexican League paid more, but the Atlantic League was closer to home and (for the English speaking players) didn't have a language barrier.

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How many former Negro League players are left?  Is it just Hank Aaron and Willie Mays?  I know that former Negro League Pitcher and country music legend Charley Pride died last week (Pride was a lifelong fan of the Texas Rangers) but are Mays and Aaron the last ones left?

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On 12/16/2020 at 5:38 PM, goalieboy82 said:

what does the MLB designated the NPB in Japan (since Sadaharu Oh has 868 HR*)

*since there stadiums are smaller (400 Feet to Center)

 

I don't believe they are designated anything, but they are unofficially viewed as AAAA (better than AAA, worse than the majors).

 

On 12/16/2020 at 6:28 PM, GDAWG said:

How many former Negro League players are left?  Is it just Hank Aaron and Willie Mays?  I know that former Negro League Pitcher and country music legend Charley Pride died last week (Pride was a lifelong fan of the Texas Rangers) but are Mays and Aaron the last ones left?

As of June 28, 2019 it was 56. I can't find anything more current, but it has almost certainly dropped from there.

https://www.pjstar.com/sports/20190628/the-man-who-beat-man-who-beat-man-brings-negro-league-history-to-peoria

 

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