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Obama praises MLB for elevating Negro Leagues to major league status

Former President Obama on Thursday praised the MLB’s recognition of Negro Leagues players and teams by elevating them to major league status earlier this week.

“From Willie Mays to Mamie Johnson, the players and teams in the Negro Leagues changed the game of baseball and paved the way for so many today,” Obama tweeted.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Wednesday that the Negro Leagues, which recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of their founding, would be elevated to major league status.

“With this action, MLB seeks to ensure that future generations will remember the approximately 3,400 players of the Negro Leagues during this time period as Major League-caliber ballplayers,” the MLB said in a statement. “Accordingly, the statistics and records of these players will become a part of Major League Baseball’s history.”

Seven leagues, operated and founded between 1920 and 1948, comprised the Negro Leagues. Jackie Robinson broke MLB color barrier by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, a year before the leagues last played.

“For more than 3,400 players, very few of whom are alive, their families will now be able to say their records were included among white Major Leaguers of the period,” John Thorn, official historian for the MLB, said in a statement. “There’s no distinction to be made. They were all big leaguers.”

Tags Barack Obama Major League Baseball MLB

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