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Negro Leagues Baseball Will Celebrate KC’s First Championship Team

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum announced that they would honor the first championship in the city’s history 100 years ago. The Kansas City Monarchs won the 1924 Negro Leagues World Series by defeating the Hilldale Daisies in a best-of-ten series. In addition to the honor, there is a new logo for the 100th anniversary.

“If you know anything about a nonprofit organization, we will indeed make up an anniversary if we think we can raise some money around that anniversary,” said NLBM president Bob Kendrick. “But the 100th anniversary of this milestone event is a legitimate cause for celebration.”

Kansas City Monarchs Championship Centennial

Luis Maes, the Royals’ vice president of community impact, said the team’s annual Negro Leagues game will be July 28 when the Chicago Cubs come to Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas explained why the centennial celebration is necessary.

“It is important that we celebrate and we celebrate our champions,” Lucas said. “We’ve had a lot of opportunities recently to talk about and think about champions in Kansas City.”

“Think about the joy you had when the Royals won the World Series in ’15 and ’85. Think back to that being a thing in the community and about the euphoria that people in Kansas City in 1924 had the opportunity to experience.”

JE Dunn and the Kansas City Royals Foundation will be donating $100 for every run scored by the Royals at Kauffman Stadium this season to the museum.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

Years in the Negro Leagues: 37, 1920-1930, 1937-1962

Negro World Series Championships: 2, 1924, 1942

Negro National and American League Titles: 13, 1923-1925, 1929, 1937, 1939-1942, 1946, 1953, 1955, 1957

The Monarchs were the longest-running franchise in the history of the Negro Leagues. Owned and operated by businessman J.L. Wilkinson, the club won 10 league championships before integration and had one season where they did not have a winning record. They were the Negro Leagues first world champions in the organization’s inaugural World Series in 1923. The Monarchs captured their second world championship when they defeated the Homestead Grays in the newly reinstated World Series in 1942.

Kansas City Produced Future Major League Stars

Kansas City produced more future Major League stars than anyone else. Jackie Robinson and Ernie Banks were among the few to transition to MLB. They also showcased other stars including Satchel Paige, Hilton Smith, “Cool Papa” Bell, Bonnie Serrell and Buck O’Neil. O’Neil became the first Black coach in the big leagues and served as a scout and Negro League ambassador for years.

On top of producing homegrown talent, Wilkison managed to put everything he owed into buying a portable lighting system. That introduced night games to professional baseball for the first time in 1930. Those night games helped the Monarchs and other clubs continue to operate through the Great Depression.

Main Photo: © Evert Nelson / USA TODAY NETWORK


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