Yahoo Sports AM: Revising the MLB record books

In today’s edition: MLB adds Negro Leagues stats, Wolves stay alive, the power-play king strikes again, lacrosse’s hybrid athletes, and more.

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🏀 1 vs 2: No. 1 pick Caitlin Clark (career-high 30 points) outplayed No. 2 pick Cameron Brink (three points, two blocks) but Brink's Sparks got the win to drop the Fever to 1-7.

⚾️ Dodgers bounce back: The Mets were the cure for the ailing Dodgers, who swept their doubleheader against New York to snap their longest losing streak in five years.

⛳️ Retiring at 29: Lexi Thompson will retire at the end of the season. The 15-time LPGA winner has been in the spotlight since the age of 12, when she became the youngest golfer to ever qualify for the U.S. Women's Open.

🏈 Offseason overhaul? The NFLPA is reportedly finalizing a proposal that would eliminate offseason voluntary on-field work in the spring in favor of a longer training camp.

🏁 Shutting down: Stewart-Haas Racing, which currently fields four cars in the NASCAR Cup Series, will shutter its team at the end of the year.

The Homestead Grays pose for a team photo at their home park, Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, in 1942. (Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)
The Homestead Grays pose for a team photo at their home park, Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, in 1942. (Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)

Negro Leagues statistics will become part of MLB history today, with more than 2,300 players from the seven iterations of the Negro Leagues (1920-1948) being officially added to the record books.

What this means: Negro League legends, unfamiliar to many modern fans, will now be listed among all-time leaders, while Negro League players who played in MLB — including Willie Mays, Minnie Miñoso and Larry Doby — will have their stats integrated and updated.

What they're saying: "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," said MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. "Their accomplishments on the field will be a gateway to broader learning about this triumph in American history."

Josh Gibson, MLB's new career batting leader. (AP Photo)
Josh Gibson, MLB's new career batting leader. (AP Photo)

The man, the myth, the legend: Negro Leagues icon and Baseball Hall of Famer Josh Gibson is now the all-time leader in batting average (.372, eclipsing Ty Cobb), slugging percentage (.718, eclipsing Babe Ruth) and OPS (1.177, eclipsing Ruth). Gibson, who played 17 years with the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords, also holds the single-season record in all three categories: .466 BA, .974 SLG and 1.474 OPS.

  • "He was referred to as the black Babe Ruth, but some believe it might be just as accurate to call the Bambino the white Josh Gibson," wrote Bill Johnson of the Society for American Baseball Research.

  • Yes, but: While Ruth was a global celebrity and earned upwards of $80,000 a year (~$1.5 million today), Gibson drew little acclaim and made $1,500 a month at most. He was just 35 when he died in 1947 — the year Jackie Robinson joined the Dodgers.

That was then… Hall of Famer Walter Johnson summed up Gibson's talent — and baseball's color barrier — with this quote from 1939.

"There is a catcher that any big league club would like to buy for $200,000. His name is Gibson. He can do everything. He hits the ball a mile. He catches so easy he might as well be in a rocking chair. Throws like a rifle. Too bad this Gibson is a colored fellow."

This is now… John Thorn, chairman of the Negro Leagues Statistical Review Committee, led a team of historians, former players and researchers who spent years combing through data and box scores to make today possible.

"I believe that the past is a living, breathing thing that informs every present moment. No sport is more attuned to its history and its heroes of old than baseball, and now we have a chance to tell the story of the game, and the nation, inclusively."

Coming up: MLB will pay tribute to the Negro Leagues on June 20 when the Giants and Cardinals play at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, former home of the Birmingham Black Barons.

(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Sunrise, Florida — Sam Reinhart, the NHL's power-play goal leader this season, scored on the power play to lift the Panthers past the Rangers, 3-2 (OT), and even the series.

(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Dallas — Karl-Anthony Towns (25 pts, 9-13 FG) and Anthony Edwards (29-10-9) led the way as the Timberwolves beat the Mavericks, 105-100, to stave off elimination.

(Tim Goode/Getty Images)
(Tim Goode/Getty Images)

Paris No. 1 Novak Djokovic opened his French Open title defense with a straight-set victory (6-4, 7-6, 6-4) over Pierre Hugues Herbert. He's now won 69 consecutive first-round matches at majors, dating back to 2006.

(Romina Amato/Red Bull via Getty Images)
(Romina Amato/Red Bull via Getty Images)

Athens — The 2024 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series kicked off in Greece on Sunday. Next stop? Boston Harbor on June 8.

Jordan Faison (L) was a standout player on two Notre Dame sports teams as a true freshman. (Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jordan Faison (L) was a standout player on two Notre Dame sports teams as a true freshman. (Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Notre Dame football's 2022 bowl game MVP (Tyler Buchner) and 2023 bowl game MVP (Jordan Faison) won a national championship on Monday — in lacrosse.

Multi-sport stars: Buchner played QB for Notre Dame (2021-22) and Alabama (2023) before transferring back to South Bend in January and switching sports. Faison, a freshman, was a top lacrosse recruit who ended up walking onto the football team and earning a scholarship.

  • Buchner appeared in 13 football games for the Irish, making three starts and compiling 13 TDs before departing for Tuscaloosa, where he started one game for the Tide. The former high school lacrosse standout then notched a goal and an assist in 11 games as a defensive midfielder for the national champs.

  • Faison scored 22 goals (fourth-most) in 17 games as a starting midfielder this spring after catching four TDs (tied for second-most) in seven games as a slot receiver for the football team. He came up big for both teams when it mattered most, scoring in Monday's title game and earning Sun Bowl MVP honors (115 yds, TD).

Lacrosse-football hybrids: Jim Brown was an All-American lacrosse and football player at Syracuse in the 1950s before becoming an NFL legend. There have been many more lacrosse-football hybrids over the years, with some of the best examples emerging recently.

  • Chris Hogan played three seasons of college lacrosse before switching to football and ultimately winning two Super Bowls during a 10-year NFL career. In 2021, the wide receiver switched back to lacrosse, joining the Premier Lacrosse League for one season.

  • Jared Bernhardt won the 2021 Tewaaraton Award (lacrosse's Heisman) at Maryland before transferring to play QB at D-II Ferris State, where he was named conference player of the year and led the 14-0 Bulldogs to a national title. Months later, he was an Atlanta Falcon.

Lacrosse translates to basketball, too… Pat Spencer was one of the best college lacrosse players ever at Loyola (2019 Tewaaraton winner, fourth all-time in points). Now, after one season of basketball at Northwestern and a few years in the G League, he's a Golden State Warrior.

What they're saying: "The way that lacrosse translates over to football is almost seamless. … A one-on-one receiver route is just like going one-on-one in lacrosse," Hogan told ESPN. "There's a whole lot of overlap [between lacrosse and basketball]," added Spencer. "The spacing is very similar. The objectives are very similar … Both sports really helped me with the other one."

(Robert Mayer/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
(Robert Mayer/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

14 years ago today, Roy Halladay pitched MLB's 20th perfect game, striking out 11 Marlins in a 1-0 victory to join Jim Bunning (1964) as the only Phillies to throw a perfecto, Jeff writes.

An abundance of perfection: Halladay's feat came just 20 days after Dallas Braden threw one for the A's, marking the first year in the modern era (since 1901) with multiple perfectos in the same season. Two years later, that record was broken when Philip Humber, Matt Cain and Félix Hernández all did it.

More on this day:

*What a season for Doc: A few months later, Halladay followed up his perfect game with a no-hitter against the Reds in Game 1 of the NLDS, the second of three postseason no-no's in MLB history.

Jason Robertson celebrates his first career playoff hat trick during Monday's win. (Leila Devlin/Getty Images)
Jason Robertson celebrates his first career playoff hat trick during Monday's win. (Leila Devlin/Getty Images)

The Oilers host the Stars tonight (8:30pm ET, TNT) as Edmonton looks to even the West Finals at two games apiece, Jeff writes.

Road warriors: Dallas can take a commanding 3-1 lead if it just keeps doing what it's done all year long: win away from home. The league's best regular-season road team is now 6-1 on the road in the playoffs (compared to 4-5 at home).

More to watch:

  • 🏒 Walter Cup Finals: Minnesota (2-2) at Boston (7pm, YouTube) … Winner-take-all Game 5 for the inaugural PWHL title.

  • 🏀 WNBA: Mercury at Liberty (7pm, CBSSN); Aces at Lynx (8pm, NBA)

  • ⚽️ MLS: 12 games (Apple) … Austin-Portland (8:30pm) and LAFC-Minnesota (10:45pm) are free to watch.

  • ⚾️ MLB: Pirates at Tigers (1:10pm, MLB.TV Free Game) … Rookie Paul Skenes takes the mound for Pittsburgh.

  • 🎾 Tennis: French Open* (5am, Tennis)

  • ⛳️ NCAA Golf: Men's finals (5:30pm, Golf/Peacock)

*Match of the day: No. 1 Iga Świątek and former No. 1 Naomi Osaka will meet for the third time (9:15am), having split the first two matches.

(Henry Russell/Yahoo Sports)
(Henry Russell/Yahoo Sports)

Yesterday marked 100 days until the NFL opener. Here's some trivia to celebrate.

Question: The Chiefs and Patriots have won six of the last 10 Super Bowls. Can you name the other four champions?

Answer at the bottom.

Jeff and Rocky.
Jeff and Rocky.

From Jeff:

I'm back from paternity leave! Getting to spend two uninterrupted months with Rocky and his mom was an incredible gift, so I'd like to give a huge thank you to Kendall for manning the ship alone in my absence.

Fatherhood, so far, is everything I've been told it would be, which is to say life-changing, rewarding and exhausting. And the best part is… I don't really know anything yet. About him, about being a dad, about everything still to come. That's what I'm most excited for.

But for now, he's still just a really cute little baby who can't do a whole lot other than eat, sleep, cry and poop. So in the meantime, I'm excited to get back to sports. Let's have a great summer.

Trivia answer: Rams (2022), Buccaneers (2021), Eagles (2018), Broncos (2016)

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