KANSAS CITY, Mo. — What’s the best way to preserve a baseball legend’s legacy?
That mission is turning into a tug-of-war between city leaders and Satchel Paige’s children, who said they feel the city doesn’t want them involved.
There’s no doubt Kansas City history lives inside those walls on E. 28th Street, where Leroy “Satchel” Paige raised eight kids and became a baseball legend. On Friday, a call went out to the public concerning the house. The city is asking for bids from investors with ideas to revive it.
“We are looking for partners from everywhere and anywhere,” said Jeffrey Williams, Kansas City director of planning and development.
Members of Paige’s family chose not to attend Friday’s ceremony in east Kansas City. Linda Paige Shelby, Satchel’s daughter, said she maintains that city leaders don’t care about protecting Paige’s legacy.
The house now belong to the city’s Homestead Authority. Shelby owned the home but sold it in 1991, after which the old home fell into disrepair.
“No one in this city wants the property restored more than his family,” Shelby said from her home. “We could not accept it knowing the background. We have begged and pleaded to be a part of this, and it’s just been ignored.”
The city’s request for proposals concerning the house is now open, and it will likely determine the future of the home, which was built in 1910.
Brad Wolfe, the city’s historic preservation officer, told FOX4 the Paige family couldn’t be included in the process to build the RFP since they’re going to bid on the project, too. That city policy is meant to avoid conflicts of interest.
“We have forwarded the RFP to them. We put their contact name on it, so whoever bids on it can contact them. Hopefully, they’ll contact the family and arrange some participation,” Wolf said.
“It shouldn’t be this way. It really shouldn’t. You would think we cold work together,” Shelby said.
Shelby said the family plans to submit an RFP. Santa Fe Neighborhood Association President Marquita Taylor said that’s an encouraging sign. Shelby recently said the family wants to see the old house become a business and conference center with a small Satchel Paige Museum inside.
“We have neighbors who go above and beyond to help us protect the structure,” Taylor said, addressing the media. “We have done all we can as a neighborhood to wrap our arms around this treasure because we know the value. We know the importance.”