The MLB is trying to right the gross injustices of its past with its latest decision, one that will vastly alter the record books. The statistics of players in the Negro Leagues will be integrated into the big league's historical account, per Yahoo Sports' Russell Dorsey.

Stars who were banned from competing in the MLB because of the Color Barrier will now be formally acknowledged as the equals of their white contemporaries, or superiors in many cases. Negro Leagues legend and National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Josh Gibson is now the all-time leader in batting average (.372). slugging percentage (.718) and OPS (1.177). He also owns the single-season records of those categories, which are unlikely to ever be broken.

Other greats like Oscar Charleston, Buck Leonard, Satchel Paige, George “Mule” Suttles and James “Cool Papa” Bell will vault towards the top of several categories as well. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred believes this huge modification, which officially takes affect Wednesday, will make the game an overall more inclusive and historically representative product.

“We are proud that the official historical record now includes the players of the Negro Leagues,” he said, per Dorsey. “This initiative is focused on ensuring that future generations of fans have access to the statistics and milestones of all those who made the Negro Leagues possible. Their accomplishments on the field will be a gateway to broader learning about this triumph in American history and the path that led to Jackie Robinson’s 1947 Dodger debut.”

This is an important day for the families of the Negro Leagues players who were reprehensibly prohibited from staking their claim as an MLB superstar and reaping the benefits that came with such status. But make no mistake, changing records will not change history. Manfred cannot remove the stain that tarnished the sport by merely inserting Josh Gibson as the new slugging king.

Rob Manfred and MLB's decision is bound to draw some controversy

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred talks with media at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Many fans will skewer the MLB for this gesture, as it comes more than a century late. Others will perceive it as a downright slap in the face to the now-deceased Negro Leagues icons, who were denied the opportunity to see their names in the same list as Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson when they were alive.

Catcher Josh Gibson mesmerized fans with his sheer power and is unquestionably a generational talent who would have left an enduring and visible imprint in the major leagues. But the shot-callers of an ugly past ensured that “the Black Babe Ruth” did not get the chance to measure up to or surpass the man he was compared to for decades.

Boosting him above the Sultan of Swat now does not help Gibson, but what it will do is spur many debates that surely contradict the intentions of Rob Manfred and the MLB.

How will fans sort out the revised statistics?

While the unimaginable pain and suffering caused by racial segregation obviously cannot be whittled down to just sports, there is no denying that the Color Barrier prevented baseball fans from watching the best players compete under the same umbrella. As a result, it is impossible to draw comparisons between the stars of the MLB and Negro Leagues.

Ironically, integrating baseball stats will guarantee that the game is viewed through the lens of eras even more than before. Many people are not going to accept Barry Bonds falling to second in single-season slugging and OPS simply because of an official change, just as baseball purists refuse to acknowledge the steroid user as the all-time home run king over Hank Aaron.

In a sport inextricably linked to numbers, subjectivity often reigns supreme. And it will continue to do so, regardless of this move. The absence of equality in the past cannot be rewritten. The only thing to do now is to celebrate the Negro League athletes for their lasting contributions to baseball, in the way they should have been long ago.

But time machines do not exist, no matter how badly the MLB wishes they did.