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At 93 years old, Willie Mays has added 10 more hits to his MLB record. Here's why.

MLB incorporates Negro Leagues statistics into record books
MLB incorporates Negro Leagues statistics into record books 04:37

Willie Mays hasn't played in a Major League Baseball game in more than 50 years — but the legendary athlete just earned new stats. That's because the MLB has incorporated Negro League stats into its record, so at 93 years old, Mays has gained 10 more hits from his time playing with the Birmingham Black Barons.

Mays' record now states he has 3,293 hits, including 10 for the Birmingham Black Barons in 1948, the MLB announced last week. 

Willie Mays Posing with National League president Warren Giles and Holding Awarded Bat
Giants centerfielder Willie Mays is presented with a silver bat by the president of the National League, Warren Giles, in honor of his league-leading batting average of .345 during the 1954 season. Bettmann via Getty Images

Baseball was segregated until 1947, when Jackie Robinson joined the Dodgers as the MLB's first Black player. 

Mays entered the MLB in 1951 and played a whopping 23 seasons. With the Giants and Mets, Mays collected 3,283 hits — and now that his Negro League hits have been added to the record, his career total is the 13th highest in the history of pro baseball, according to CBS Sports.

The incorporation of Negro League stats was announced by the MLB in 2020. The league said it would elevate seven Negro Leagues that played between 1920 and 1948 — meaning about 3,400 players would be recognized by the major league. 

With the change, baseball great Josh Gibson overtook multiple records from several other players, CBS Sports reports. Gibson's record now shows a .372 average — surpassing Ty Cobb's record of .366. He also holds the highest slugging percentage of .718, beating Babe Ruth's .690.

Other players positively impacted by the change: Satchel Paige, who has added 97 game wins to his record from his time on six Negro League teams, and Robinson, who added 49 hits to his record from his one season on the Negro League team the Kansas City Monarchs. And Minnie Miñoso, who played on the New York Cubans, cleared 2,000 hits with the integration of stats. 

Mays, Robinson, Gibson and Paige had all previously been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 

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