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MLB recognizes Negro Leagues statistics

WASHINGTON, DC (DC News Now)–Josh Gibson is no longer considered one of professional baseball’s greatest hitters.

He’s arguably the greatest ever, as his resume now includes the highest single season batting average, even though he never played in the Major Leagues.

Gibson batted .466 in 1943 for the Homestead Grays –  a Negro League team – that split its home schedule that year between Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh, Pa.

Gibson eclipsed the mark set in 1901 by Philadelphia Athletics rookie “Nap” Lajoie by 40 points.

Major League Baseball, MLB, recognized the mark, and other Negro League records, as it revised its record books on May 29.

“Well it’s something that’s really exciting,” said Coppin State University’s Dr. Teisha Dupree-Wilson, one of the leaders of a project to preserve the history of the Baltimore Black sox.

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Gibson finished his career with a .372 batting average—another record formerly held by Ty Cobb at .367, while he played with the Detroit Tigers.

“Now he’s (Gibson) leading in a lot of categories. which is an amazing thing to see,” Dupree-Wilson said.
 
The Howard University alumnus calls the recognition for Gibson and all the other Negro League players long overdue, and bittersweet.

“Just imagine being an elite player and being told that all of the hard work and accolades that you put out, don’t mean anything because you’re not playing in the quote unquote correct league,” said Dupree-Wilson.

In Gibson’s case – his legacy no longer comes with a qualifier.
     
“He doesn’t have to be the Black Babe Ruth. He can just be Josh Gibson,” Dupreee-Wilson said.

Gibson became the second Negro League player elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

What won’t change, despite the revised records is, the plaques that currently hang there with the players’ statistics.

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