Stat changes for 8 legends who got their start in Negro Leagues

May 29th, 2024

With the addition of the statistics of more than 2,300 Negro Leagues ballplayers to the official record on Wednesday, numerous individuals who appeared in the Negro Leagues from 1920-48, along with the American and/or National Leagues, have new, updated career stat lines that include those accomplishments.

Those include Hall of Famers like Willie Mays, Roy Campanella, Larry Doby, Monte Irvin, Minnie Miñoso, Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson, as well as Don Newcombe, the first of the Black Aces.

Here’s a look at eight baseball legends whose official lines just changed and the associated context.

Mays’ 10 additional hits with the 1948 Birmingham Black Barons increase his career hits total from 3,283 to 3,293. This doesn’t change his ranking on the all-time hits list, where he is 12th, but here’s that updated top 13, according to the Elias Sports Bureau:

  1. Pete Rose: 4,256
  2. Ty Cobb: 4,192
  3. Henry Aaron: 3,771
  4. Stan Musial: 3,630
  5. Tris Speaker: 3,515
  6. Derek Jeter: 3,465
  7. Honus Wagner: 3,430
  8. Carl Yastrzemski: 3,419
  9. Albert Pujols: 3,384
  10. Paul Molitor: 3,319
  11. Eddie Collins: 3,314
  12. Willie Mays: 3,293
  13. Eddie Murray: 3,255

Those 10 hits include two doubles, bringing his career total to 525, and a triple, giving him 141. From these 13 additional games, Mays also gains six RBIs, four walks and a stolen base. His home run total remains at 660 -- even though we know he hit a homer with the Barons, there isn't a box score for it and it therefore cannot be entered into the official record.

Paige’s career wins total increases from 28 to 125, reflecting his long Negro Leagues career. His career high for a season goes from 12 in 1952 with the Browns to 13 in ‘34 with the Pittsburgh Crawfords -- when he went 13-3 with a 1.61 ERA and 15 complete games in 16 starts, 19 appearances total. Paige now has 94 career complete games, not seven, and 1,725 innings pitched, up from 476. His career high in strikeouts is 189 for the Birmingham Black Barons in 1929. He also now has an official home run, in ‘29.

His career now officially spans from the 1927 season -- when he turned 21 in July -- to his Sept. 25, 1965, start for the Kansas City A’s, when he was 59 years and 80 days old. That makes him the first pitcher in MLB history with a game started at both 21 or younger and 47-plus, per Elias. His final win came on Sept. 22, 1953, at 47 years and 77 days, making him the first with wins spanning those ages as well.

Miñoso’s 150 hits with the New York Cubans from 1946-48 lift his career total over the 2,000-hit milestone to 2,113. Nine additional homers give him 195 for his career, 12 more triples bring him to 95 and 29 more doubles to total 365.

Miñoso is one of just 294 players with at least 2,000 career hits in MLB history, per Elias. He debuted as a 22-year-old in 1946 and was 56 years and 311 days old for his final game with the White Sox on Oct. 5, 1980. That makes him one of two players to debut since 1900 with a plate appearance at both 22 or younger and 49-plus, per Elias. The other? Paige, in the pitching outings noted above, of course.

Campanella, who was 15 years old when he played six games for the Washington Elite Giants in 1937, becomes the only player with multiple games in his age-15 season or younger. He played 254 games from 1937-45 for the franchise, which became the Baltimore Elite Giants in ‘38, and the Philadelphia Stars. His 274 additional hits give him 1,435, and his 167 RBIs bring him over 1,000 -- to 1,023.

He also gains 19 homers, giving him 261 for his career. That elevates him from 14th all-time among primary catchers in home runs to 10th, one ahead of Javy López’s 260 and behind Jorge Posada’s 275 at No. 9.

Robinson’s 49 hits for the 1945 Kansas City Monarchs boost his career hits total from 1,518 to 1,567. In 35 games that season, he hit .392 (49-for-125), which raises his career average from .311 to .313. He had a .461 on-base percentage that year and slugged .608, with 13 doubles, one triple and four homers.

Irvin played 314 games for the Newark Eagles from 1938-48. His 363 hits for them bring his career total from 731 to 1,094. He hit 41 homers for them, giving him 140 total, and drove in 251 runs, upping his RBI total to 694. His slash line is now .305/.392/.493, thanks in part to three seasons where he hit at least .365 and slugged at least .540 in 40-plus games.

Doby played 141 games for the Newark Eagles from 1942-47, amassing 182 hits, 20 homers and 123 RBIs. This gives him 1,697 hits, 273 homers and 1,093 RBIs for his career. Doby, who hit .363 and slugged .590 in 59 games in ‘46, now has a .288 career average and a .499 slugging percentage.

Newcombe pitched for the Newark Eagles as a teenager in 1944-45, appearing in 15 games. He made 11 starts and completed nine of them, bringing his career complete game total to 145. He had four wins, putting him over the 150 mark for his career at 153.