Major League Baseball has officially recognised the separate leagues of black players between 1920 and 1948, saying the move was “long overdue”.
African-Americans were not allowed to play in the MLB until 1947 because of segregation laws in the United States.
The records of the seven leagues, in which 3,400 black players competed, will be incorporated into MLB history.
“For fans and for historical sake, this is significant,” said Bob Kendrick, president of the leagues’ museum.
Black players were excluded from playing baseball in 1897 and the segregation led to the creation of a number of separate leagues.
Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in the MLB when he started on first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers in April 1947.
In 1948, segregation in the MLB was abolished – although some teams still refused to field black players – and led to the decline of the leagues as increasing numbers of African-Americans played in the major leagues instead.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the leagues produced “many of our game’s best players, innovations and triumphs against a backdrop of injustice”.
He added: “We are now grateful to count the players of these leagues where they belong: as Major Leaguers within the official historical record.”
Kendrick added: “Having been around so many of the players, they never looked to Major League Baseball to validate them.
“For us, it does give additional credence to how significant the leagues were, both on and off the field.”
The move comes amid a national reckoning over race in the United States and within professional sports.
On Tuesday, the Cleveland Indians baseball team said it would change its name after 105 years following decades of criticism that it was offensive to Native Americans.
“MLB is recognising, not only that the black leagues struggled economically because of exclusionary practices by MLB, but their erratic schedules and procedures were in a large part caused by MLB’s actions,” John Thorn, MLB’s official historian, told BBC World Service.
“This recognition is a positive thing for a major American institution acknowledge the mistake and attempt to repair it as best it can.
“It is also important we are honouring a league’s experience and the black experience in both America and baseball.”
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