Black Stats Matter

Integrating Negro League Numbers into Major League Records

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About the Book

For more than half a century, Black baseball players, barred from the Major Leagues by systemic racism, competed in leagues of their own. This book re-interprets the history of race in baseball from the ground up. It tells the story of how the Major Leagues became the “Caucasian Leagues,” and names the person most responsible for their segregation; showing how Major League owners and executives tried to delay and even prevent integration; and proving, using a broad range of methods, that Negro League players were every inch the equals of their Major League counterparts. Cherished records held by white players since the days of segregation are shown to belong rightfully to Negro League superstars. This book takes a fresh look at a subject that’s both straight from today’s headlines and as old as baseball itself.

About the Author(s)

Philip Lee worked with children with special needs in the US and UK for 23 years. A lifelong baseball fan, he holds degrees in history and education. He lives in the United Kingdom.

Bibliographic Details

Philip Lee
Foreword by Larry Lester
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: ca. 10 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8834-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4701-2
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “One of the best baseball books ever. Well researched and also well written, Black Stats Matter is right up there with The Bill James Historical Abstract and Outsider Baseball on my personal list. Lee covers almost all of what I would consider the important topics that have been neglected in most Negro League writing.”—Kevin Johnson, co-founder of the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database

• “Master Lee brilliantly gives credentials to the Black inhabitants of the baseball planet, taking us on a connect-the-dots journey never published before…Lee’s body of work will forever be a topic of conversation and debate as sports fans evolve their thought processes in the acceptance of Negro League players as Major League talents.”—Larry Lester, author Baseball’s First Colored World Series: The 1924 Meeting of the Hilldale Giants and Kansas City Monarchs

• “Philip Lee’s Black Stats Matter lays to rest once and for all the false narrative that white ‘Major League’ baseball between 1876 and 1946 was superior to the Negro Leagues. Through careful analysis of American, National, and seven Negro Leagues statistics, Lee forcefully demonstrates over and over the equality of the Blackball circuits while debunking a myriad of tired old myths, such as that of MLB owners never formally banning Black players (spoiler alert: they did). The author also profiles several All-Time Negro Leagues stars and makes a convincing Hall of Fame case for forgotten home run king Luscious Luke Easter. Thoroughly researched and brilliantly written, Black Stats Matter is a witty, moving account of the tragedy and triumph that was segregated Black baseball.”—Todd Peterson, editor, The Negro Leagues Were Major Leagues