Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A four hour hearing Wednesday left a Kansas City Council committee undecided on the fate of a $27.6 million plan for improvements to the 18th and Vine Jazz District. 

The request for city participation had virtually quadrupled from the $7 million version first proposed.

The plan had grown in its 6-month life to include historic preservation, infrastructure improvements, a fountain, outdoor amphitheater, apartments, retail and a connecting corridor to the Crossroads Arts District.

File Photo / Paul Andrews


The challenges facing the American Jazz Museum will fall to new leadership.

Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner takes the reins of the 20-year-old organization after spending the past 25 years with the Kansas City Public Library.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The Missouri Development Finance Board has awarded $4 million in tax credits to the Kansas City MLB Urban Youth Academy.

The baseball park could open as early as next fall near 18th and Vine near the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

It’s expected the city will be able to leverage $8 million in donations with the credits, which will go to donors who contribute at least $5,000 to the Academy.


With Kansas City revved on Royals post-season play, a city council committee laid the groundwork for phase two of the development of the planned Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Parade Park near 18th and Vine.

Mayor Sly James announced the $14 million baseball project in late September, explaining that funding for phase one was in place. The Royals and, Major League Baseball had committed $2 million and the MLB Players Association another $1 million. The state of Missouri and the city were to combine resources to match those contributions.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Parade Park in Kansas City’s 18th and Vine District will soon be the home of Major League Baseball’s newest Urban Youth Academy.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced Friday fundraising for the first phase of the project – which will include two full-size baseball diamonds, two youth fields, a walking trail, a playground, park upgrades and, ultimately, an indoor training facility – is complete. The outdoor fields are slated to open next fall.

Revitalizing the historic jazz district and former site of Municipal Stadium has long been one of James' goals.

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Tom Paolini makes custom suits for a living, so it stands to reason that he goes out and about in Kansas City wearing spiffy, fashion-forward suits.

"I'm looking forward to the day where I'm wearing a suit and I don't get a compliment," Paolini said on Central Standard. "Right now, you're more the exception."

Bob Motley, a 91-year-old from Kansas City, Mo., has lived through remarkable times in our history.

His story is one of a black man in love with baseball. Racial integration didn't come to the major leagues until 1947, when Jackie Robinson broke the color line at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

But it was another 19 years before a black man, Emmett Ashford, appeared behind home plate. In the interim, black umpires called balls and strikes in the Negro League.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

For years, the old YMCA building was an eyesore at the entrance of the 18th and Vine District. But over the last few years, the façade has been restored and the windows replaced. And, on the south wall, a giant mural has gone up of the legendary baseball player, coach and keeper of the Negro Leagues flame Buck O’Neil. 

The Negro Leagues got their start in Kansas City, when eight independent black baseball teams met at the Paseo YMCA in 1920. Buck O'Neil played for the Kansas City Monarchs, and had a major role in opening the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

'Kansas City Swing'

Apr 23, 2013

Kansas City's role in the integration of baseball is a popular subject these days. The recent release of 42, the movie about Jackie Robinson's integration into Major League Baseball premiered in Kansas City, home of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, this month. UMKC Theatre is also tackling the subject with the debut of its play Kansas City Swing.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The play Kansas City Swing is set in Kansas City in 1947 when the nation was on the cusp of great change.

courtesy Kansas City Sports Commission

The movie “42” tells a story of baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who once played for the Kansas City Monarchs.  He broke the color barrier with his entry into Major League Baseball.  A recent sneak preview of the movie in Kansas City featured an appearance by iconic actor Harrison Ford and a handful of his co-stars.

Greg Echlin / KCUR

As a benefit for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the Kansas City Sports Commission, the movie "42" was shown on Thursday night at the AMC theaters on Barry Road.  The chilly temperatures didn't stop those who gathered near the red carpet to get a glimpse of an A-list actor.

D. Stephens / Courtesy Legendary Pictures Productions LLC

Actor Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey in "42," the movie on baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson to be released next month.  Rickey is the former general manager who signed Robinson to break the color line in Major League Baseball.  Ford will be in Kansas City next month for a special screening.

Project Fly-Threads Inspired By History

Dec 5, 2012
Project Fly - The Wilkinson Dress Shirt

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum has teamed up with the KC clothing boutique Method to provide young men with a smart "fly" dress shirt as they embark on interviews that can transform their lives.


The Missouri House rejected most of the budget bills passed last week by the Senate.  The move was part of the normal procedure for preparing for final budget negotiations. 

Kansas City, Mo. – For the past twelve years, Bob Kendrick has been a passionate voice on behalf of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at 18th and Vine. As marketing director, Kendrick worked closely with the late Buck O'Neil to promote the legacy of black baseball. But last year, in a controversial move by the museum's board, he was passed over when they selected a new president.