MLB And Players Union Donate $1 Million To Negro Leagues Museum In Kansas City

Jun 22, 2017

There was a ceremonial presentation of a $1 million check to officials with The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City’s historic 18th & Vine neighborhood Wednesday. It happened again before the Kansas City Royals game at Kauffman Stadium later that afternoon.

Twitter erupted with excitement for the baseball legends the Negro Leagues represent.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and the executive director of the players’ association, Tony Clark, were on hand to do the honors. Museum President Bob Kendrick says the donation was the culmination of many years of work.

“It started with the vision of Tony Clark,” Kendrick says. “He is a former major league player who understands that as an African American ballplayer, he owed something to those athletes from the Negro Leagues that allowed him to cross over.”

Some said the donation should have come sooner.

Kendrick says the money will be used for programming, operations and for construction of new exhibits. The new exhibits will enhance the permanent collection as well as be part of new, traveling displays.

Kendrick says the gift also will be used to bring more African American youth into baseball.

“To take this history and introduce it to young people and help with issues of diversity this sport has committed itself to, particularly among African Americans,” he says.

Laura Ziegler is a community engagement reporter and producer. Reach her on twitter @laurazig or email lauraz@kcur.org.