Charity game between Kansas City, Jackson County officials raises $17,000 for NLBM
JACKSON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -- When you think of Kansas City’s history, you think of barbecue and jazz, but the baseball culture is just as strong. Today a local tradition was brought back to the diamond.
It’s America’s past time and here in Kansas City, the history of the game of baseball goes beyond the Royals, Monarchs, and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Dating back to the 19th century a pair of unlikely teams hit the diamond for a classic showdown in the city of fountains.
“I got to give it to Pat O’Neil who did the research and realized there was a game between the county and the city a longtime ago. He just resurrected the game,” says Frank White the Jackson County Executive and former Royal.
A baseball rivalry more intense than the I-70 showdown between the Royals and the Cardinals.
The city run baseball team led this year by Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and the county squad managed by White.
“Everybody is clowning on me saying, ‘how we are you gonna play softball against Frank White’?
Fortunately, Frank told me he’s not playing today, so that works out,” says Mayor Lucas.
While Lucas and White sat in the dugout, several big local names took to the field, from Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker to former Mayor Sly James who played the role of umpire.
“This is about having some fun, bringing back some old tradition. Getting the original trophy out of the storage and brought out to the public, it’s the way it’s supposed to work at this level,” says James.
While at times the game looked nothing like the action at the “K”, it brought many together including the community to support one of Kansas City’s treasures, The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
“What a great opportunity for our city leaders to not focus on anything other than having fun, playing ball and supporting one of our cultural national gems here in Kansas City, Missouri,” says Kiona Sinks, of the NLBM.
The game raised more than $17,000 for the museum.
Officials are hoping this was the start of bringing back the tradition of having the game played annually.
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