Negro Leagues Baseball Museum earns major national award for Nonprofit of the Year

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, is packing his bags and heading to New York City on Tuesday morning.

He'll be accepting the prestigious Gold American Business Award for Nonprofit Organization of the Year from the American Business Awards.

"I was floored," he said. "I had to kind of collect myself and then you start to reflect."

Since he learned the news, Kendrick is still digesting an unbelievable feat.

"It is a testament to all of those who believed this project was important, that it was needed, that this story deserved to be told, that the legacy of the Negro Leagues should play on," Kendrick said.

He credits numerous people for the achievement of such a big honor, including his team, the community who supports the museum and a dear friend.

"Naturally, my thoughts go to my friend, the late, great Buck O'Neil, who gave 16 years of his life to help build this museum," Kendrick said.

Kendrick told FOX4 out of all the entries, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is the only Gold Award Recipient in its category.

"We don't do this for awards. We really don't," he said. "We do this so that people come here, and they have the most meaningful experience that they can possibly have and that they too will walk away understanding the significance of the Negro Leagues and hopefully the importance of this museum as the caretaker of this wonderful piece of baseball Americana."

It's a big month for the NLBM. The Negro Leagues and the Royals will partner for their "Salute to the Negro Leagues" event where Royals players will wear replica Kansas City Monarchs uniforms. Then, later in the month, it's the 6th annual Hall of Game ceremonies.

"This is really like the cherry on top of the sundae to get this award," Kendrick said.

He said when he returns from New York City, the museum will start planning to host an event to celebrate this big accomplishment.

You can watch the ceremony live here, beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday night.

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