9 Baseball Stars From the Negro Leagues Who Dominated the Game

Until Jackie Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color line in 1947, professional baseball opportunities for black Americans were mostly limited to the black leagues. These leagues showcased impressive talent, from powerful hitters Buck Leonard and Josh Gibson to pitchers Satchel Paige and Joe “Smokey” Williams. Thirty-five Black League players have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In 2020, Major League Baseball recognized the records and statistics of 3,400 players who played in the Black Leagues from 1920 to 1948. The inclusion of these players in official MLB records is the result of the Negro’s efforts. League Researchers and Authors Group. The MLB-backed group has amassed the most comprehensive statistics database of the Black Leagues by knocking out boxscores from 345 different newspapers.

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