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Jan 10, 2022

We geek out this week with Sports Reference, LLC founder and president Sean Forman ("The Negro Leagues are Major Leagues: Essays and Research for Overdue Recognition") for an inside look into the complex and detailed process of integrating the statistics of the recently elevated Negro Leagues into the official records of Major League Baseball.
Advocated for decades by countless baseball researchers and historians - and buoyed by MLB's long-overdue proclamation in December 2020 that seven of Black baseball's segregated professional leagues between 1920-1948 finally deserved "major league" status - the incorporation of Negro League player data into the sport's overall statistical record has been both swift and meticulous.
Forman talks us through how the company's vaunted Baseball Reference team partnered with Negro League stats specialist to onboard and combine data from the Negro National League (I) (1920–1931); the Eastern Colored League (1923–1928); the American Negro League (1929); the East-West League (1932); the Negro Southern League (1932); the Negro National League (II) (1933–1948); and the Negro American League (1937–1948).
And how the process will remain iterative for some time to come.