Philadelphia Stars among Negro League teams to have stats recognized by MLB

TaRhonda Thomas Image
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Philadelphia Stars among Negro League teams to have stats recognized by MLB
Philadelphia Stars among Negro League teams to have stats recognized by MLB

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- After a years-long process, Major League Baseball has decided to incorporate stats from the Negro Leagues into MLB record books.

Many say it's a long-overdue recognition for Negro League players.

This means players and teams like the Philadelphia Stars will be recognized alongside Major League players and teams.

"The men who played in the Negro Leagues were extremely talented and the only reason they didn't play in Major League Baseball was the color of their skin," said Mahlene Duckett Lee, whose father Mahlon Duckett played for the Philadelphia Stars.

Harold Gould Jr.'s father, Harold Gould Sr., also played for the team.

"He would be jumping for joy that it happened. When they say better late than never, absolutely," he said.

The Negro Leagues had more than 23,000 players from 1920 to 1948.

Darryl Jones, co-owner of For the Culture Clothing, knows the significance of the Philadelphia Stars.

His company's latest clothing line, in collaboration with Lids and Ebbets Field Flannels, features the Stars name and original logos.

The line premiered in April and is already nearly 70% sold out, showing Jones that a lot of people are interested in learning about and representing the team.

"A lot of those guys broke a lot of records, and those records didn't really have any recognition," said Jones.

The Phillies have also recognized the significance of the Stars.

"It was legitimate Major League Baseball," said Dan Stephenson, director of the 2020 documentary which featured the last surviving players on the Stars.

"They came to the ballpark a lot and engaged with our players and they were really just great people. And were inspirational, actually," he said.

The MLB's decision means some records will change, with Hall of Famer Josh Gibson becoming the MLB's career batting average leader.

"Finally giving these men the recognition they were due," said Duckett Lee.

Jones is among the people happy to see the MLB recognize the Negro Leagues, hoping it'll help more people learn about teams like the Philadelphia Stars.

"It's amazing because more people start to learn," he said. "It's been a long time coming."