Negro League Baseball

Retrosheet is thrilled to announce its intention to expand its work to include Negro League baseball.

As stated on our home page, "Retrosheet was founded ... for the purpose of computerizing play-by-play accounts of as many ... major league games as possible." Historically, Retrosheet's standard for what constitutes "major league games" has largely mirrored that of Major League Baseball to include the American and National League as well as a handful of early, now defunct, leagues including the Federal League (1914-15) and the American Association (1882-91). Major League Baseball recently announced their intention to recognize several Negro Leagues as "Major Leagues".

Several months before MLB's announcement, in the summer of 2020, Retrosheet began work to add to its database "major league games" played by Negro League baseball players prior to the integration of the American and National Leagues. Our goal is to eventually include as many such games, in as much detail, as possible, fully integrated with our existing games. Such an effort will likely take several years to fully accomplish and, unfortunately, it is likely that the level of detail available regarding Negro League games may never approach the detail of American and National League games of the same time period. But this is an important part of baseball history and it is important that one not confuse the quality of the available data on these players and teams and games with the quality of the players and teams themselves.

The definitive source for season and career statistics of Negro League players is the Negro League Database at Retrosheet's goal here is to build on the wonderful work done by the researchers at Seamheads (and elsewhere) by focusing on Retrosheet's unique area of expertise: game-level data.


For this project, Retrosheet is standing on the shoulders of giants. The hard work of finding, compiling, and publishing the statistics of Negro League players was done by a number of dedicated researchers to whom Retrosheet - and all baseball fans - owe a tremendous debt of gratitude. The list of researchers who were helpful to Retrosheet in its work so far, either directly or indirectly, includes, but is by no means limited to the following: Gary Ashwill, Ray Doswell, Leslie Heaphy, Kevin Johnson, Larry Lester, Todd Peterson, and Scott Simkus. Thank you all so much for all of your work on Negro League baseball and for your assistance to Retrosheet with this project.

Retrosheet is also grateful to its volunteers. Volunteers who have helped with this project include, but, again, are not necessarily limited to, Dave Lamoureaux, Mark Pankin, David Roher, Dave Smith, and Tom Thress. Thank you all.

If you are interested in helping on this project, please contact Tom Thress (

Thank you very much! We hope you enjoy the data here and we look forward to adding more data over time.

Tom Thress
Retrosheet Treasurer

Page Updated: 2/15/2021

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