Monday, January 10, 2005


After meaning to for a long time, my son and I finally went to the Negro League Baseball Museum over the weekend.

If you're in the Kansas City area, I would highly recommend visiting the museum, located in the historic 18th & Vine area of Kansas City.

The museum contains many exhibits that describe the great teams and players of the Negro Leagues, as well as their struggles during a time of prejudice and segregation.

The one aspect that I will always remember is the fact that during WWII, our country was sending young men (black and white) off to fight a war against a bigot (Hitler), and yet, in our own country, racism was an accepted part of life.

There were some great players who played in the Negro Leagues, include the venerable Buck O'Neil who recently celebrated his 93rd birthday. Buck still lives in Kansas City and is the chairman of museum.

The highlight of the museum is the Field of Legends which features life-sized statues of great Negro Leagues players positioned on a baseball field. The manager of this legendary "team" is Buck O'Neil, looking on through the fence. Pitching is the tall Satchel Paige, who is throwing to the great hitter and catcher Josh Gibson. The field also features statues of "Rube" Foster, Buck Leonard, "Pop" Lloyd, "Judy" Johnson, Ray Dandridge, Oscar Charleston, Leon Day, "Cool Papa" Bell, and Martin Dihigo.

The museum gives baseball fans a chance to learn about the great players of the past. Players who were every bit as good as the white players in the major leagues.

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