5 baseball stars whose statistics will enhance considerably with the popularity of the Negro leagues because the “main league”.
MLB announced on Wednesday morning that seven different Negro leagues will receive official major league status, a long overdue correction related to the leagues that have produced some of baseball’s greatest hall of famers.
As part of this announcement, MLB announced that “these players’ stats and records will become part of the history of Major League Baseball.” It remains to be seen how exactly that will be dealt with, but players who have played in both organizations will get a bump in their official stats.
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Here are five players who played in the Negro leagues for at least a couple of years before playing in either the American League or the National League in the years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.
This is what the combined Major League stats look like now. All of the Negro League stats come from the Seamheads Negro League database, the website that was specifically mentioned in the MLB release as the driving force behind this decision. The numbers we’ve used refer to Negro League games, not games against Latin American leagues or any other league.
Elected to the Hall of Fame: 1973
Have to know: Irvin made his Negro League debut in 1938 at the age of 19 and quickly became one of the Newark Eagles’ finest players. He hit with 371 in 1940, 395 in 1941, and 412 in 1942. He was 30 when he made his MLB debut for the Giants – integrating the club on the same day as Hank Thompson in 1949 – and quickly becoming a star in the National League . Irvin finished third in the NL MVP race in 1951 and All-Star in 1952.
Negro Leagues Statistics: 286 G, 1,189 PA, 0.335 average 214 runs, 51 2B, 13 3B, 41 HR, 259 RBI, 26 SB
National League Statistics: 764 G, 2,893 PA, 293 average, 366 runs, 97 2B, 31 3B, 99 HR, 443 RBI, 28 SB
Main league combined statistics: 1,050 G, 4,082 PA, .305 average, 580 runs, 148 2B, 44 3B, 140 HR, 702 RBI, 54 SB
Elected to the Hall of Fame: 1998
Have to know: As you can see from the numbers, Doby hit the jackpot in his three seasons in the Negro National League, and he was only 23 when he broke the color barrier in the American League on his debut with the Cleveland Indians in July 1947, and hit Doby in his first full season with Cleveland .301 and made the All-Star Team seven years in a row, from 1949 to 1951.
Negro Leagues Statistics: 144 G, 642 PA, 0.327 average, 125 runs, 35 2B, 18 3B, 21 HR, 130 RBI, 20 SB
American League Statistics: 1.533 G, 6.302 PA, 0.283 average, 960 runs, 243 2B, 52 3B, 253 HR, 970 RBI, 47 SB
Main league combined statistics: 1,677 G, 6,944 PA, .287 average, 1,085 runs, 278 2B, 70 3B, 274 HR, 1,100 RBI, 67 SB
Elected to the Hall of Fame: 1971
Have to know: The biggest pitcher who had his heyday in the pre-integration era was two days after his 42nd birthday when he made his debut as Dobby’s teammate at the Cleveland Club. That did not prevent him from being an effective helper until the 1953 season, when he was 47 years old. And Paige returned to play for the Kansas City Athletics in 1965 – he played for the Kansas City Monarchs in his prime when he was 59 years old. He pitched three goalless innings, allowing only one hit and even knocking out a stroke.
Negro Leagues Statistics: 265 G, 1.521 IP, 2.36 ERA, 112-60, 1.235 H, 22 HR, 344 BB, 1.469 K.
American League Statistics: 179 G, 476 IP, 3.29 ERA, 28-31, 429 H, 29 HR, 180 BB, 288 K.
Main league combined statistics: 444 G, 1.997 IP, 2.58 ERA, 1.664 H, 51 HR, 524 BB, 1.757 K.
Elected to the Hall of Fame: 1969
Have to know: The great Campy made his debut in the Negro National League in 1937 when he was only 15 years old. He won three National League MVP awards, made the NL All-Star Team eight seasons in a row, and led the Brooklyn Dodgers to the 1955 World Series title. However, in January 1958, Campanella was in a car accident and the injuries he sustained left him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He was 36 years old at the time of the incident.
Negro Leagues Statistics: 225 G, 868 PA, 0.323 average, 150 runs, 44 2B, 12 3B, 19 HR, 171 RBI
National League Statistics: 1.215 G, 4.816 PA, 0.276 avg, 627 runs, 178 2B, 18 3B, 242 HR, 856 RBI
Main league combined statistics: 1,440 G, 5,684 PA, 0.284 average, 777 runs, 222 2B, 30 3B, 261 HR, 1,027 RBI
Elected to the Hall of Fame: Not yet
Have to know: Perhaps it is this long overdue decision that gets Miñoso into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. His career spanned decades, plural, and the bold / italic numbers – which indicate the league’s leading stats – can be found on his baseball reference page. How many players ran a league in stolen bases (three times) AND total bases (once)?
Negro Leagues Statistics: 120 G, 550 PA, 0.314 average, 94 runs, 32 2B, 12 3B, 9 HR, 70 RBI, 11 SB
American League Statistics: 1,835 G, 7,713 PA, 298 average, 1,136 runs, 336 2B, 83 3B, 186 HR, 1,023 RBI, 205 SB
Main league combined statistics: 1,955 G, 8,263 PA, 300 average, 1,230 runs, 368 2B, 95 3B, 195 HR, 1,093 RBI, 216 SB