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UW Reader Attends First Negro League World Series Logo Unveiling

[Deputy Editor’s Note: Today we have a very special post by reader Luke Vaughan, who attended the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) announcement of events marking the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, as well as a new logo commemorating that historic championship. I don’t have too many “bucket list” items, but visiting the NLBM is definitely one of them. I’ve met NLBM Prexy Bob Kendrick, and he’s a super awesome guy. Please enjoy Luke’s account of Wednesday’s event! — PH]

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Negro League World Series 100th Anniversary Logo Unveiling
by Luke Vaughan

In January, my wife and I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Kansas City, Missouri. As a lifelong baseball fan, visiting the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) was so high on my list of things to do in Kansas City that we visited it on our second day living in the city!

On Wednesday, February 21, I had the privilege of attending a press conference where the museum’s President, Bob Kendrick, Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas, and others unveiled a logo to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first ever Negro League World Series. In addition to attending the press conference, I also had the pleasure of shaking Mayor Quinton Lucas’ hand and meeting Bob Kendrick.

The first Negro League World Series was played in 1924 between the Kansas City Monarchs and the Hilldale Daisies.

The logo was designed by Josh Chavis and is accompanied by the logos of the Kansas City Monarchs on its left side and the Hilldale Daisies on its right side.

Kendrick explained that the logo is indeed notable as the NLBM hopes for more people to know that, amidst a celebration of multiple recent Super Bowl championships by the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals winning the World Series in 2015, “it would be our Kansas City Monarchs who would bring home Kansas City’s first major professional sports team championship in 1924…”. Bob Kendrick is a notably wonderful storyteller accompanied by an unrivaled understanding of the history of the Negro Leagues and a warm and friendly sense of humor

That sense of humor was shown by his follow-up to introducing the cause of the press conference, as he said, “If you know anything about a non-profit organization, we will indeed make up an anniversary if we think we can raise some money around that anniversary!” He later went on to say that the anniversary was “a legitimate cause for celebration” as playing the first Negro League World Series brought validity to the Negro Leagues in the opinions of many fans of Major League Baseball. In fact, Kendrick shared that the original plan was for the champion of the Negro League World Series to play the champion of Major League Baseball. However, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, MLB’s commissioner at the time, “wanted nothing to do with that.” (Landis had a history of “documented racism.”)

One thing that was noted during the press conference that had not dawned on me before was the through-line of royalty-linked nicknames for professional Kansas City sports teams. This tradition started with the Kansas City Monarchs and continued with the Kansas City Kings (I was pleased they weren’t forgotten!), the Kansas City Royals, and the Kansas City Football Team. This through-line reminded me of the black and yellow colors shared by professional sports teams in Pittsburgh — a shared sense of identity within a city that we unfortunately don’t see too much of today!

To the left of the dais, there were two jerseys and caps on display–one set for the Kansas City Monarchs and another for the Hilldale Daisies. I believe both replica jerseys were created by Ebbets Field Flannels, as most uniforms at the NLBM that are not originals were made by EFF. However, I did not check the tags on these specific sets.

Later in the press conference, Luis Maes, the Vice President of Community Impact for the Kansas City Royals, shared that the Royals would once again be donning their Kansas City Monarchs throwbacks in their annual “Salute to the Negro Leagues” game on July 28th against the Chicago Cubs. I appreciated that, at least on the surface, it seems like this particular matchup was intentionally chosen, at least in part due to Buck O’Neil’s connection to both the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago Cubs, as noted by Maes.

O’Neil played for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues, was the first black coach in the major leagues when he was employed by the Chicago Cubs, later became a scout for the Kansas City Royals, and was one of the founders of the NLBM.

Additionally, Maes shared that, in collaboration with J.E. Dunn Construction Group, the Royals are donating $100 to the NLBM for every run that they score at home. For the third straight year, The Kansas City Royals and their foundation are also sponsoring free admission to the NLBM through the month of February for the NLBM’s “Free February” promotion throughout Black History Month.

Below are photos from both of my visits to the NLBM. These photos include uniforms, Gold Glove awards posthumously given to members of the Negro Leagues, a baseball signed by both Jackie Robinson and Ty Cobb, and more. They sure don’t make uniforms like they used to! If you are ever in the Kansas City area, I highly recommend stopping by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Additional photos below:

Comments (17)

    Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who aggressively upheld baseball’s disgraceful color line for his entire f’n tenure as Commissioner, is enshrined in Cooperstown.

    But they won’t let Barry Bonds in, because he violated the Hall’s “character clause.”


    Can you imagine Babe Ruth with Instagram?
    Or Ty Cobb’s Xitter account?
    Or Connie Mack trying to explain why his team refuses to integrate?

    The character clause is an “off ramp” for sportswriters to get the last laugh on players that did not properly genuflect during their career. Of all of the persona non grata to the Hall-Jackson, Rose, Bonds, and Clemens-only Rose should be kept out because he actually did bet on his team. Everyone else was a legendary player before their “character” was called into question.

    I would love to see Cooperstown integrate some fan voice into the voting. Let season ticket holders get a vote?

    Rob Manfred wakes up every morning and thanks god that Kennesaw Mountain Landis existed so Rob will only ever be the *second worst* commissioner in MLB history

    Bite your tongue. We still have 5 more years, a relocation that is going to be such a predictable and avoidable clusterfuck, and a realignment destined to destroy the dual league system permanently.

    Not to mention Cap Anson, who basically invented the ban on Black players, and Tom Yawkey, who refused to employ a Black player for more than a decade after Jackie Robinson (and whose teams didn’t win a championship).

    “But what if two wrongs really do make a right?”

    In point of fact there is no “character clause” keeping Bonds formally out of the Hall of Fame. There is no institution or rule keeping Bonds out; so far there is only the cumulative voting decisions of individual baseball writers. And none of the baseball writers who have voted for or against Bonds ever voted for Landis. The total amount of hypocrisy on display here is zero.

    Wow! Great, great job with this, Luke! I thoroughly enjoyed your write-up and all your photos. I can’t wait to make a trip from Denver to KC to see that amazing museum sometime in the (hopefully) near future.

    Thank you!! I’ve loved both of my visits to the NLBM, can’t wait for what brings me there next!

    I was fortunate to have been on a small private tour of the NLBM hosted by Bob Kendrick a few summers back. It was a remarkable experience to hear the stories he told along the way. His knowledge is matched only by his enthusiasm and it made for a very memorable afternoon.

    Thanks for providing the coverage of this event, Luke. Great job.

    Meeting him was on my personal bucket list of things to do in Kansas City, so I’m glad I did. Thanks Bob!

    Did Nike make that blue and gold Monarchs jersey? Respect The Placket!!

    Other than that, it looks like a great place to visit with lots of great exhibits.

    Love the Negro Leagues. I’ve been hoping ever since the separate black national anthem became a thing that they’d bring back separate Negro Leagues again. Hopefully within a few years it’ll be here!

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