The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City Oct 5, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, stands at the customer podium Tuesday morning where patrons enter the museum. Mandatory Credit: Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal via USA TODAY NETWORK

Many great African American players before the color barrier was broken in the MLB have unfortunately been forgotten in the eyes of the casual baseball fan, largely because their stats in the Negro Leagues had not yet been integrated into the MLB record books. But on Tuesday, an announcement came that this is set to change.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale first broke the news on Tuesday, coming from an MLB spokesperson that Negro League statistics will be implemented into the MLB record books on Wednesday.

This represents some very significant changes to some longstanding records in baseball history. Negro Leagues legend Josh Gibson is now set to hold a number of records, including the all-time records for batting average (.373), slugging percentage, (.718), and OPS (1.177).

It has been a long time coming that some of the legends of the Negro Leagues like Gibson and many others who never got the opportunity in the MLB are recognized for their accomplishments. And naturally, fans had plenty to say about these incoming changes.

Naturally, this development presents some very obvious debates that should have been happening all along.

Babe Ruth has been widely regarded as one of if not the greatest baseball players of all time for decades now. But does Josh Gibson have a case to be in that discussion alongside Ruth?

His stats, which are now just as valuable as Ruth’s in the eyes of MLB, certainly make it at least a conversation.

It’s obviously impossible to determine whether the Negro Leagues of the MLB was a higher level of competition during Gibson’s playing days. So there will surely still be debates about that among baseball fans.

But regardless, Negro League players are finally getting the representation that they deserve in the MLB record books, which on paper is an overwhelmingly positive thing.

[USA Today]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.