MLB The Show video game helps raise money for Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 6:17 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum will receive a $1 donation from every U.S. purchase of the new MLB The Show’s digital deluxe and captain edition through Dec. 31, 2023.

“The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum has always taken on a very entrepreneurial approach, that’s the spirit of the Negro Leagues. So, our licensing program is one of those realms in which we find, as I like to call them, ‘non-traditional’ sources of revenue as we look at it in the world of non-profit,” said Bob Kendrick, President of the NLBM.

The players would have never imagined they’d be featured in a video game, himself included, said Kendrick.

Now, the next generation of baseball fans will be able to pitch with Satchel Paige or hit a home run with Buck O’Neil, and the museum will get funds to help their facilities in the 18th and Vine district.

The league was supposed to release this version with the players in 2024, but the game creators and PlayStation liked the ideas and stories so much they didn’t want to waste any more time.

“I couldn’t tell anyone, I had to sit on this, and I’m churning to want to tell somebody what we were doing and even conceptually we thought that this would be pretty special.”

Stories of the league and its icons that were once hidden from the national landscape are now shared across the world.

“We are moving into uncharted waters for a museum. You’d be hard-pressed to find another museum that has created this kind of platform to help promote whatever it is that it’s doing. And we take great pride in that fact.”

Kendrick said those funds will go towards their outreach efforts, building the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center, expanding the gift shop, building digital experiences, and plenty more.

“There are no shortages of ways for us to use the resources and we’re excited whatever the amount is. As my mother would say, ‘that’s more than what we had.’”

Fans of all ages will get the chance to see players they may have never heard of and learn what they brought to the game they love. Kendrick said it’s a fun way to get the youth involved but this also gives them an educational lesson.

He hopes it equals up to it or exceeds the more than half-a-million-dollar mark that was raised for the Jackie Robinson Foundation a few years ago.

“Certainly, that’s the benchmark that we’re trying to reach. We obviously have no idea how the reaction is going to be and what the financial windfall will likely be but, in our world, every dollar we receive is more than what we had.”

Kendrick said there is excitement for the game already, which was just released earlier this week, with millions of views on The Show’s Twitter release video. There are 4.2 million views on that tweet as of Thursday morning.

“Negro Leagues toured in anonymity for so long and I don’t think there was a time when people didn’t want to know about the Negro Leagues, they just had no way to know about the Negro Leagues and now we’re creating these opportunities.”