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MLB incorporates historical records of black players

The Baltimore Black Sox from 1925
A 1925 team photo of the Baltimore Black Sox during the segregated leagues [Getty Images]

Major League Baseball says it is "righting a historic wrong" after recognising the achievements of black players from when it was racially segregated in the 20th Century.

Black players created their own leagues after being kept out of MLB from 1920 to 1948 by segregation laws.

MLB announced in 2020 it would officially recognise seven of those leagues. More than 2,300 black players played in segregated leagues during that period.

Now MLB has finished the task of updating its records to feature those players' statistics.

It means several records have changed - all-time greats such as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb have been replaced at the top of some categories.

"To deny the best black players of the era their rightful place among all-time leaders would be a double penalty," MLB official historian John Thorn said.

"We are proud that the official historical record now includes the players of the Negro Leagues," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said.

In 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first black player to play in MLB when making his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers, with barriers to black players being fully broken from the 1949 season onwards.

"This initiative is focused on ensuring that future generations of fans have access to the statistics and milestones of all those who made the Negro Leagues possible," added Manfred.

"Their accomplishments on the field will be a gateway to broader learning about this triumph in American history and the path that led to Jackie Robinson’s 1947 Dodger debut."