The Negro Leagues Were Major Leagues: Historians Reappraise Black Baseball
Edited by Todd Peterson
How good was Negro League Baseball (1920–1948)? Some experts maintain that the quality of play was equal to that of the American and National Leagues. Some believe the Negro Leagues should be part of Major League Baseball’s official record and that more Negro League players should be in the Hall of Fame. Skeptics contend that while many players could be rated highly, NL organizations were minor league at best.
Drawing on the most comprehensive data available, including stats from more than 2,000 interracial games, this study finds that black baseball was very good indeed. Negro leaguers beat the big leaguers more than half the time in head-to-head contests, demonstrated stronger metrics within their own leagues and excelled when finally allowed into the majors. The authors document the often duplicitous manner in which MLB has dealt with the legacy of the Negro Leagues, and an appendix includes the scores and statistics from every known contest between Negro League and Major League teams.