KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The chance of another long Royals postseason run has the metro buzzing. One place that is particularly excited is a place that celebrates baseball of a different generation. The Royals recent success has also benefited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Kansas City is the birth place of the Negro Leagues. As the Royals have created new generations of baseball fans, and brought baseball back to the lives older generations remember from their youth, many people are discovering the museum for the first time.
Before there were the Royals, and a city on the edge of their seats on the eve of the playoffs, there were the Kansas City Monarchs, and dozens of other Negro Leagues teams which would eventually send players to Major League Baseball after the color barrier was broken.
It`s a history Kansas City`s Negro Leagues Baseball Museum has been trying to preserve for 25 years now, but a story that`s only recently being heard by new generations, because of the success of the Boys in Blue.
“A lot of people learned about the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum as a result of the playoffs and World Series, so we saw our numbers this summer go through the rafters,” Bob Kendrick, museum president, said. “I tell people all the time no one is pulling harder for our Royals than we are here at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.”
With each new team that comes to play the Royals for an extended series, comes a new set of fans, like Texan Lloyd Vaughn.
“I never knew that it was here actually, so I walked around just looking to see how they did it and looking at the names and the bases. It`s really awesome,” Vaughn, a Houston Astros fan, said.
The Royals’ success isn`t just bringing people from around the nation back to baseball`s beginnings, but securing its future in urban areas of the metro, where baseball had given way in popularity to other sports.
A chance for young fans to see baseball`s forefathers who looked just like them.
“I think baseball brings a community together unlike any other sport, no disrespect to football and basketball, I love them both, but the way baseball seems to galvanize a community to a whole another level,” Kendrick said.
MLB, the Royals and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum just announced last week that the 7th Urban Youth Baseball Academy will be built directly behind the museum, meaning the Royals may have some more home-grown talent when people are talking about this playoff run, 30 years from now.