Negro Leagues Baseball Museum showcasing history both past and present

Admission into the museum is free in February for Black History Month
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 5:02 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2023 at 5:21 AM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Black History Month representation and appreciation can be found in full display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and in this year’s Super Bowl.

The NLBM in the 18th and Vine District showcases several historic figures, their jerseys, their hats, and their legacies.

Fans and historians can visit the museum for free this month for the second year in a row with the help of the Kansas City Royals and Royals Charities.

“The Negro Leagues had incredible athletes, incredible teams, incredible fans in the community – particularly here with the monarchs – but it actually transcends baseball. It’s more than just baseball. It’s about American history,” said Royals Vice President of Community Impact Luis Maes.

He said more than 7,000 people took advantage of the free visit and they hope to get more this year.

Black history continues being made as all eyes will be on not one but two Black starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl this year. Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts make history as the first to ever do it.

Football fans have seen Black quarterbacks play in the game over the years, with only a select few being crowned a champ. Mahomes is on that list with Doug Williams and Russell Wilson. But we’ve never seen two Black quarterbacks start and we’ve never seen a Black starting quarterback win the big game twice.

Phillip Hannon, Senior Manager of the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy, said, “As a quarterback, as two black men, their leadership is really important because they are the pulse of the team. They are out in front when organizations talk about the team, so their leadership probably goes unnoticed.”

They can outrun defenders, throw accurate passes down the sideline, and make the big play when their team needs them to, but Hannon says it’s the person they are off the field kids can idolize.

“Yes, [Mahomes] splashed all over the TV because of his excellence in football, but Patrick does so much in this community and we’re so very proud, and so happy, that he’s here doing it for the chiefs.,” said Hannon.

Statues on the Field of Legends in the museum, trophies lifted at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, history being made again for Black athletes, but still work to be done for the next generation.

“If you look at the world series last year, that was also an interesting point where there were no black players on either of the lineups,” said Maes. “For me, it’s that same story of progress and struggles at the same time.”

The UYA has several opportunities for kids to attend including “Badges and Baseball” during this month.

The museum is open Mondays during the month of February, including President’s Day, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

For Tuesday through Saturday, they’re open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. They’re open on Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m.