Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
39°05′29″N 94°33′46″W / 39.0914°N 94.5627°W / 39.0914; -94.5627TypeProfessional sportsWebsitewww.nlbm.com

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) is a privately funded museum dedicated to preserving the history of Negro league baseball in America. It was founded in 1990 in Kansas City, Missouri, in the historic 18th & Vine District, the hub of African-American cultural activity in Kansas City during the first half of the 20th century. The NLBM shares its building with the American Jazz Museum.

History

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum was founded in 1990 by a group of former Negro league baseball players, including Kansas City Monarchs outfielder Alfred Surratt,[1] Buck O'Neil, Larry Lester, Phil S. Dixon [2] and Horace Peterson.[3]

It moved from its original small, single-room office inside the Lincoln Building at historic 18th & Vine Streets in Kansas City to a 2,000-square-foot (190 m2) space in 1994.[3] Three years later, in 1997, the museum relocated again, to a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2), purpose-built structure five times the previous size.[4]

An advance screening of the movie 42, a biographical film about the life of Jackie Robinson, who played for the Kansas City Monarchs prior to breaking baseball's color barrier, was held in Kansas City on April 11, 2013, a day before its nationwide release, as a benefit for the NLBM. Actor Harrison Ford, one of the stars of the film, participated in the fundraiser.[5]

The museum was on the verge of financial collapse in 2008 before rebounding with stronger leadership and greater engagement with the community. Bob Kendrick took over as President in 2011.[6] By 2012, the museum experienced a profit of $300,000, its most successful year since 2007.[7]

In June 2019, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum was awarded the Gold American Award for Nonprofit Organization of the Year from the American Business Awards.[8]

Exhibits

The museum chronologically charts the progress of the Negro leagues with informative placards and interactive exhibits. Its walls are lined with pictures of players, owners, and officials of Negro league baseball from the Negro National League of 1920 through the Negro American League which lasted until 1962. As visitors progress through the exhibit, they move forward in time through the history of Black baseball. In one area of the museum, there are lockers set up for some of the legends of the Negro leagues. One can see game-worn uniforms, cleats, gloves, and other artifacts from stars such as Josh Gibson, the "Black Babe Ruth."

An impressive aspect of the museum is the Field of Legends. Separated from the visitor at the entrance by chicken wire, it is accessible only at the end of the tour. One can walk onto a field adorned by nearly life-sized bronze statues of twelve figures from Negro league history. Crouching behind the plate is Gibson, one of the most prolific hitters in baseball history, a man who allegedly hit over 80 home runs in one season. At first base is another Baseball Hall of Famer, Buck Leonard, a teammate of Gibson's with the Homestead Grays. At second base is John Henry Lloyd, Judy Johnson monitors shortstop, while Ray Dandridge holds down third base. In the outfield are Cool Papa Bell, Oscar Charleston, and Leon Day. On the mound is perhaps the most famous Negro leaguer of all time, Satchel Paige, who became a rookie in the major leagues at age 42 in 1948. At the plate is Martín Dihigo, the only man to be inducted into the Halls of Fame in three countries: Mexico, Cuba, and the United States. Other statues commemorate Rube Foster, the founder of the first Negro National League, and Buck O'Neil, a former Kansas City Monarch and a member of the board of the museum until his October 6, 2006, death.

On November 13, 2012, the family of Buck O'Neil donated two items to the museum in honor of what would have been his 101st birthday. O'Neil's Presidential Medal of Freedom—awarded posthumously by President George W. Bush—was donated. Also given to the museum was a miniature replica of the Buck O' Neil statue which is displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The items are showcased in a special area of the NLBM dedicated to O'Neil.[9]

The Geddy Lee Collection

On June 5, 2008, Geddy Lee (of the Canadian band Rush), himself an avid baseball fan, donated nearly 200 autographed baseballs to the NLBM. The signatures on these baseballs include names such as Hank Aaron, Cool Papa Bell, and Lionel Hampton. At the time, Geddy Lee's gift was one of the largest single donations the NLBM had ever received.[10]

Awards

Each year, the museum presents the following awards:

Citations

  1. ^ Penn, Steven (2010-02-28). "Alfred "Slick" Surratt, a founder of Negro Leagues Museum, dies at age 87". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
  2. ^ "About Author". www.LarryLester42.com. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  3. ^ a b Kaegel, Dick (January 11, 2010). "NLBM's Legacy Awards given Jan. 30: Royals' Kauffman, White co-chairing annual event". MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  4. ^ "CBAKC Board Members: Don B. Motley, Chairman". Community Baseball Academy of Kansas City (CBA-KC). Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved 2011-11-02. [U]nder Motley's direction [as executive director], the NLBM moved into a 10,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in November 1997.
  5. ^ "Kansas-based company helps bring 42 to Kansas City". Associated Press via KSHB-TV website. 20 March 2013. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  6. ^ Whirty, Ryan (2011-05-02). "BaseballAmerica.com: Majors: Kendrick Hopes To Rescue Negro League Museum". baseballamerica.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  7. ^ Taylor, Nate (2013-08-23). "A Comeback for Negro Leagues Museum". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  8. ^ "Negro Leagues Baseball Museum earns major national award for Nonprofit of the Year". FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports. 2019-06-11. Retrieved 2020-03-03.
  9. ^ Kaegel, Dick (November 13, 2012). "Negro Leagues Museum gets new O'Neil items". MLB.com via KC Royals website. Retrieved November 14, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Rush's Geddy Lee gives NLBM a donation (video); The Kansas City Star; June 6, 2008. Archived October 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine

See also

References

  • 'A museum of their own', CNN.com (February 2 2001). Retrieved August 15, 2005.
  • Falkoff, Robert. 'Negro League Legacy', MLB.com (2001). Retrieved August 15, 2005.
  • 'Rush vocalist makes donation to Negro Leagues Museum', kansascity.com (2008). Retrieved June 7, 2008.
  • 'Rush's Lee makes big donation', MLB.com (2008). Retrieved June 7, 2008.

Further reading

  • "Recession hits Negro Leagues Museum". Associated Press. January 31, 2010. Retrieved 2011-10-21. Plans to move the museum to the old YMCA building and build the Buck O'Neil Education and Research Center have been put on hold in spite of a $1 million donation for that specific purpose by Julia Irene Kauffman, daughter of the late founder of the Kansas City Royals.
  • Gonzalez, Alden (February 1, 2010). "Negro Leagues Museum in financial straits: Deficit reflects dwindling donations in struggling economy". Kansas City Royals website. MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved October 21, 2011. ... Sean Gibson, the great-grandson of Hall of Famer Josh Gibson and the head of the Josh Gibson Foundation in Pittsburgh.[permanent dead link]
  • Kendrick, Scott (February 1, 2010). "Negro Leagues museum facing tough times". About.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-15. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  • Whirty, Ryan (May 2, 2011). "Kendrick Hopes To Rescue Negro League Museum: New President Looks To Create Financial Stability". Baseball America Inc. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  • Forgrave, Reid (August 29, 2011). "Preserving key baseball legacy not easy". Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC. Archived from the original on November 21, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2011.

External links

  • Official website
  • Negro Leagues Baseball eMuseum
  • Negro Leagues Baseball Museum feature. The Local Show (season 4, episode 26), PBS. Aired 15 May 2014, retrieved 5 March 2018.
  • v
  • t
  • e
PlayersPost-seasonInternational competitionsTeamsLeagues
Major leagues
Proto-leagues
Minor leagues
Post-integration
  • Category
  • v
  • t
  • e
Kansas City Monarchs
  • Operated 1920–1965
  • Based in Kansas City, Missouri and Grand Rapids, Michigan
Franchise
Ballparks
League affiliations
Minor league affiliate
Hall of Famers
Culture
World Series
championships
(2)
  • Colored World Series: 1924
    Negro World Series: 1942
League
pennants (13)
  • Negro National League: 1923
  • 1924
  • 1925
  • 1929
    Negro American League: 1937
  • 1939
  • 1940
  • 1941
  • 1942
  • 1946
  • 1953
  • 1955
  • 1957
Other play-off
appearances
  • 1926
  • 1948
  • 1951
Seasons (46)
1920s
1930s
  • 1930
  • 1931
  • 1932
  • 1933
  • 1934
  • 1935
  • 1936
  • 1937
  • 1938
  • 1939
1940s
1950s
  • 1950
  • 1951
  • 1952
  • 1953
  • 1954
  • 1955
  • 1956
  • 1957
  • 1958
  • 1959
1960s
  • 1960
  • 1961
  • 1962
  • 1963
  • 1964
  • 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969
  • Category
Authority control databases Edit this at Wikidata
International
  • ISNI
  • VIAF
National
  • United States