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Major League Baseball (MLB), via a December 16, 2020 statement by Commissioner Robert Manfred, officially “corrected a longtime oversight in the game’s history.” MLB now recognizes 3,400 plus players from seven leagues operating from 1920 to 1948. These Negro League players are now “Major Leaguers within the official historical record.”

So, where does the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League come in? Some 220 Negro Leaguers played professionally in Puerto Rico between 1938 and 1968, excluding Negro Leaguers who barnstormed in Puerto Rico in the 1920s and 1930s.

Fifteen Negro Leaguers who plied their trade professionally in Puerto Rico includes Hall of Famers Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Roy Campanella, Leon Day, Larry Doby, Ray Dandridge, Buck Leonard, Raymond Brown, Willard Brown, Willie Wells, Hilton Smith, Jud Wilson, Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron plus Oscar Charleston as league umpire.

Negro Leaguers delighted Puerto Rico’s rabid baseball fans with their fine play. They especially enjoyed the Island’s hospitality: they overnighted at the best hotels and could dine at the finest restaurants. Players had time for fishing, socializing in town plazas, and having dinner at the homes of teammates, fans, and team officials.

Jorge Colón Delgado—Official Historian of the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League, and long-time Negro Leagues researcher—created this website to inform global researchers of the rich history of what Negro Leaguers did on Puerto Rico’s pro baseball diamonds. This is a history that needs to be known.

Thomas E. Van Hyning, Author/Caribbean Baseball Historian


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