Negro League Stats added to MLB records

Josh Gibson is now the MLB record holder for single season batting average (.466 in 1943) ahead of Charlie Smith, career average (.372), ahead of Ty Cobb, slugging percentage (.718), and OPS (1.164) ahead of Babe Ruth.

Doesn’t this establish Gibson as the undisputed greatest hitter in MLB history?


Long overdue

About time.

About time is right ( since my Grandpa played in the league) when the white league MLB All Stars played the Negro League All Stars they use to beat them quite consistently. Better pitching, hitting and running. Josh Gibson HR record is 800 some records say around a 1000. Good of MLB to do this.

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Here are the new career batting average leaders:

1. Josh Gibson .372
2. Ty Cobb .367
3. Oscar Charleston .363
4. Rogers Hornsby .358
5. Jud Wilson .350
6. Turkey Stearnes .348
7. Ed Delahanty .346
8. Buck Leonard .345
9. Tris Speaker .345
10. Ted Williams .344

New additions are in BOLD.

If there was inter league play from the beginning of time, I would have a problem with this. Because how do you know about the competition.

BUT since most players played a very insulated schedule prior to inter league play, you have to make assumptions based on post season play.

During the barn storming post season the Negro League players held up just fine.

Given that Gibson also led his league in fielding percentage by a Catcher about a dozen times, he should probably be regarded as the greatest of all time at his position.

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Negro League stats were not reliable.


They took three years to study them.

These are the official records now.

Social/Political move. The Negro League stats were not reliable but neither were the pre 1900 stats. I have no problem including them. Each era has a “yeah but” narrative that paints the stats.

Pre Robinson the stats are tainted by the fact that the best players weren’t playing each other.

Expansion baseball has the stats were watered down by expansion.

Steroids have there unique tainting.

Live ball v dead ball.

All baseball stats are tainted.

Josh Gipson was reputedly great. Cool Papa Bell was reputedly great. Satchel Page was possibly the greatest pitcher ever.

We will never know.


Why does it make sense to do this? They aren’t comparable because they are from different leagues. That’d be like the NFL rolling in usfl stats. The stats earned in one league are not relative to the competition in the other league, so it doesn’t make sense to me.

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I would agree with this if not for the fact that there wasn’t inter league play. Who knows if Ty Cobb and Ted Williams would have hit .400 against the National League pitching. They never played them accept in the World Series.

All you can do is make inferences based on post season play. That should include the barnstorming when the Negro League players did very well.

No, that is not correct.

I will say that sense the Negro leagues pulled from a smaller population the depth was not as good because teams were stretched thinner……

But the average and of course the above average and great players were EVERY BIT as good as MLB players.

These numbers should 100% be included.

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Satchel Page got out MLB batters in his 50’s!

Yes he did. I grew up in North East Ohio and my Dad was a die hard Indians fan. He said Satchel was the best he ever saw and that includes Bob Feller and all the other great Indians pitchers.

So there is that.

And think about the conditions they had to travel in, live in ( especially on the road), and then go out and perform on an elite level.

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Absolutely. Traveling by train v airplane. Night baseball v day baseball. Relief pitchers v starters going 9.

Every era’s stats have a narrative.

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As for Satchel Paige…he was amazing, no doubt.

But as pitchers from those leagues go…was he better than this guy?

Great player, and great question.

It is what makes baseball great, the endless argument of who was better.

No other sport really has that because the other sports have changed so much. Lombardi’s Packers would go 0-16 in today’s NFL because the players are so much bigger.

Hank Aaron on the other hand would hit 755 home runs today.

Another thing that a lot of people don’t know; I didn’t know it until I visited the Negro League Museum in Kansas City…Jackie Robinson was actually NOT the first Black major leaguer.

It was either this guy:

Or this guy:

The original ban on black players arose in the late 1800s because Cap Anson, the game’s first 3000 hit guy and biggest star at the time, refused to take the field when other teams had Black players (sorry RACIST!!!), and the owners, worried about losing ticket receipts and money if the game’s biggest star didn’t play, agreed to a “gentleman’s agreement” not to sign any Black players…an arrangement that didn’t end until Robinson’s era.

As I said, everyone should visit the Negro League Museum during their lifetimes. It was quite educational.