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Major League Baseball and Negro Leagues Museum solidify new long-term partnership

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A big announcement Wednesday will raise the national profile of a local institution.

Major League Baseball will solidify a closer, long-term partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at 18th and Vine, which means more financial support for the museum and more national attention.

MLB has a wide reach, and this will help attract more people to visit Kansas City and the Negro Leagues Museum.

"I hope it does help elevate greater awareness of what the Negro leagues meant not only to baseball but to this country, and I think to have two great partners like that help carry this message forward it's going to help the museum continue to grow over the long haul," said Bob Kendrick, Negro Leagues Museum President.

While it won't be clear exactly how much money Major League Baseball will give the museum until the announcement, many feel it’s important for MLB to become more involved with this Kansas City gem.

So many great players like Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays all came out of the Negro Leagues and went on to star in the Major Leagues.

Over the years, MLB has worked with the Negro Leagues Museum in various ways. Many of the images in this museum came from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and MLB’s new Urban Youth Baseball Academy is being built right next door. But they’ve never really sat at the same table to discuss how they can better help each other.

"With the work that is being done right now to build an urban youth baseball academy right behind the Negro leagues baseball museum, how exciting is that, that urban kids will have an opportunity to play baseball and then be introduced to the heritage and history of our sport," Kendrick said.

This stronger relationship and financial investment will help the museum to grow and teach young fans the history of great African-American players who played baseball in an era of segregation.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and the MLB Player’s Association executive director Tony Clark will be at the museum at 10:30 a.m. for the announcement.