Not everyone lives in or near Kansas City where the Negro leagues Baseball Museum calls home.
Many find their way through the doors at 18th and Vine during the summer time whether vacationing in KC or coming to town to catch a game at Kauffman Stadium.
But just in case you can’t or you haven’t had the chance to hear museum president Bob Kendrick give the “VIP” (which means everybody!) tour – we thought we would put some pictures together for you so that you could see some of the exhibits and history that make the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum an American treasure.
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum has something for everyone including a fantastic gift shop as you enter. I saw the doors locked during the All Star game a couple of years ago and Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp put down the plastic to buy a ton of clothing, lids and coats for his family and fans!
One of the first great exhibits that you can visit is the Grand Stand Theater where James Earl Jones describes as only he can the history of Negro Leagues baseball.
There is so much history to take in at the Negro Leagues baseball Museum including jerseys, hats and more and it’s not all about baseball. Negro Leagues baseball was a precursor to the Civil Rights movement as you see in the exhibit below. The great Rube Foster was WAY before his time as an administrator and owner.
There are many things that you can’t miss when you visit the Museum but one that you ABSOLUTELY have to see is the Field of Legends with statues of baseball greats.
Martin Dihigo was the first great player from Latin America and played all seven positions and played them all very well. His statue is one of many in the museum immortalizing Negro Leagues legends.
You would not think that a musician from Canada would have a deep passion for Negro leagues baseball but Rush lead singer and bassist Geddy Lee donated this autographed baseball collection of Negro Leagues players to the Museum and stops by when he’s in Kansas City.
Talk about ironic baseball history! How about this ball signed by Jackie Robinson and Ty Cobb among others. Buck O’Neil used to say that there is no doubt that Cobb signed the ball first!
Bob Kendrick and his great staff do a fantastic job of keeping the Museum going every day while bringing in more and more for people to see and learn about Negro Leagues history. But there is no doubt that it is the house that Buck built.
For more information about the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum you can check out the website.
Dave Barr (@daveabarr)