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MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The Negro Leagues not only innovated America’s pastime, it captivated audiences, and now the star power of its players is finally getting its rightful place in the record books.

The centennial anniversary of the Negro Leagues was celebrated in 2020.

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“It was faster.

It was more daring … a different kind of athleticism that was going on on the field that you didn’t see as often in Major League Baseball,” said Eve Schaene, executive director of the Yogi Berra Museum.

The story of ingenuity, resilience and sheer talent is now on display at the Yogi Berra Museum in Montclair.

  • Click here for more about the Yogi Berra Museum.

The exhibit is on loan from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

“If this is our country’s pastime, it seems like it has to be inclusive of everyone,” Schaene said.

While Jackie Robinson broke Major League’s color barrier in 1947, decades later, not every aspect of the game was integrated — until now.

  • Click here for more about the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

John Thorn is the official historian for Major League Baseball.

“We made a mistake. We acknowledge it. This is not merely an act of contrition but a matter of reconciliation,” Thorn told CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas.

As a result, Major League Baseball is now working to incorporate Negro League stats from 1920 to 1948 into the official record.

“I heard it on the news like most of us did, and I was bowled over,” said Larry Doby Jr.

Doby’s father, who he is named after, was a hard-hitting second baseman for the Newark Eagles in the 1940s.

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Larry Doby Sr. became the second Black player to enter the big leagues, only three months after Jackie Robinson, and spent most of his time in Cleveland. He’s one of four people to play in both the Negro Leagues and the Major League World Series.

Now, his entire career milestones will be side by side with his white counterparts’.

“It justifies all those people who played in those leagues. The shame obviously is that there’s nobody left. Or extremely very few. That is the shame,” Doby said.

Now the work is being done to compare statistics and determine which ones count, especially considering the record-keeping for the Negro Leagues was not entirely complete.

“The record keeping in the 1920s was terrific … The record keeping in the 1940s was horrible,” Thorn said.

Website Seamheads.com compiled a database of Negro League stats that Major League officials are now using to apply to the record.

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“They faced the discrimination where they couldn’t eat in the restaurants … and they’d have to send somebody in the back of the kitchen to get the food to bring to the bus because they couldn’t eat and the hotels, they faced all that, but they did it together,” Doby said.

How could a number even begin to account for the hardships Negro League players boldly and bravely endured?

“What do you think that he would say?” Cline-Thomas asked.

“He would have said about time. Or I think he would have said, you know you’re not telling me anything I didn’t know,” Doby said.

It’s an overdue reckoning for baseball, not thousands of players who knew their worth and had already solidified their place in history.

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The inclusion of the Negro Leagues’ stats could change the leaderboards, especially for earned run and batting averages.

News Source: cbslocal.com

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Klopp hopes for Champions League respite for struggling Liverpool

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hopes a change of competition will give his side a break from their wretched Premier League form that has put their chances of a top-four finish in jeopardy.

© Clive Brunskill Jurgen Klopp (right) is struggling to turn around Liverpool's Premier League form

A sixth successive home league defeat, the latest to struggling Fulham on Sunday, left the Reds well adrift of Champions League qualification, having played more matches than the teams immediately above them.

On Wednesday they will play in Budapest again -- the "home" second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against RB Leipzig, holding a 2-0 lead.

Not playing at Anfield, due to coronavirus travel restrictions, could be a relief to Klopp following his team's dismal run.

"If we can go through, which is not guaranteed, then that could give confidence," said the German manager.  

"Then we have Wolves, which is a tough one, and then we have a couple of weeks off because of the international break and all these kind of things.

"We have to use that time, we have to hope all the boys who go to their national teams come back healthy, like always.

"Then I think there are another nine or 10 games to go, sounds like 27 or 30 points, so a lot to go for and we will try."

Diogo Jota and Fabinho are both likely to start against Leipzig after returning from lengthy injury spells but Klopp does not believe his side will be able to recover the swagger they had over the past two seasons until everyone is fit again.

Captain Jordan Henderson should play again this season after groin surgery but centre-backs Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have been ruled out of the remainder of the current campaign.

"For being the successful team again, for being the team we can be in the best possible way, of course we have to be complete," said Klopp, who led Liverpool to their first English top-flight title for 30 years last season.

James Milner, captaining the side in the absence of Henderson, said Liverpool, who were top of the table at Christmas, were letting their fans down.

"It definitely hurts," he told Sky Sports. "When you're playing for a club with the history of Liverpool, the history we've created as a group of players, the standards we've set, we're not hitting them at this moment in time and it's not good enough.

"It's disappointing and hard when you're letting the club down and letting the fans down.

"It's for us to keep pushing and dig ourselves out of the mess."

jw/td

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