Christmas came early for former Negro Leagues player Ron Teasley.
Major League Baseball on Wednesday sought to correct a longstanding wrong by recognizing the Negro Leagues as a major league and counting the statistics and records of thousands of Black players as part of the game’s storied history.
“My daughter and my sons heard and they were all excited and they came over to talk and rejoice in the good news,” Teasley, 93, who played for the New York Cubans in 1948, said on the phone from his home in Detroit.
“It’s early Christmas and it will make the new year a lot happier, especially since my wife passed away in January. I just think about all the players… It’s a wonderful thing.”
MLB’s announcement comes during the centennial celebration of the founding of the Negro Leagues, which showcased stars such as Josh Gibson — considered one of the best hitters in the history of the game — and Leroy “Satchel” Paige, a pitching legend who made his big league debut in 1948 at the age of 42.
Teasley noted the official recognition merely confirmed what Negro League players had long known.