KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum will be receiving a $1 million check from the MLB and its Players Association.
The announcement was made by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred during the Negro Leagues’ 100th Anniversary Celebration at the future Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center, flooring the crowd.
It’s not the first time the MLB and its Players Association have stepped up with a check of support for the museum. However, NLBM President Bob Kendrick noted Thursday was special.
“Well you know, I was kind of nudging a little bit but you don’t ever take these things for granted,” he said. “You don’t, because they have been very generous to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. They were here in 2017 and came with a wonderful gift.”
That gift in 2017 was a million dollars as well. The donations have gone a long way in bringing education and awareness to the impact the Negro Leagues and its players have had on the sport and the world. It’s something Major League Baseball wants to help put on notice.
“We saw this particular project as an opportunity to continue to build on the assets that are here,” Manfred said. “It’s important that we send a message that the history of the Negro Leagues is very relevant to the challenges that this country faces today.”
On top of that, there’s even more news. For people like Kendrick, this second announcement might be just as big as the $1 million donation because it involves the whole league.
In the past, the Kansas City Royals have saluted Negro Leagues baseball during the season with their Dressed to the Nines day. It’s something new Royals owner John Sherman has already hopped on board with.
“Again, it’s something we have to preserve 100 years from now,” Sherman said. “Bob’s not around to tell that story. We have to figure out how we can keep the richness of that story.”
That’s why on Saturday, June 27, all MLB clubs will recognize the 100-year celebration. Players, managers, coaches, and umpires will wear a symbolic Negro Leagues 100th Anniversary patch during all games in recognition of the likes of Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Toni Stone, and of course Buck O’Neil, who was the man behind the whole museum.
“To see the community outpouring of love that his museum is gaining, to see the commissioner of baseball here, to have the players association here, to see Frank White and all that came to be a part of this ceremony would absolutely warm his heart,” Kendrick said.
The news just keeps coming. In addition, the museum is also adding a new art exhibit called Black Baseball inn Living Color that will debut on Valentine’s Day and will stick around until the end of May.