KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum was the vision of the late Buck O’Neil and several other community members. Now he still watches over the baseball diamond inside the museum that’s come a long way.
Fifteen years ago it opened in its current space, but it’s been a struggle.
“We would have loved to have had a huge endowment in hand to do this, and we still want one for those out there listening, we still need it!” said Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
A couple years ago, the museum was not doing well financially.
“Every business goes through its ups and downs over some point in time, and the Negro Leagues Museum is certainly not immune from that,” Kendrick said.
But in the last fiscal year, Kendrick says the museum finished out of debt. With record-breaking attendance during All-Star week, next year is expected to be even better.
“I think the museum now has a heightened awareness at a level that it has never seen before and is directly correlated to the All Star Game being here,” Kendrick said.
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is planning its next big event from November 10th to 13th to celebrate what would have been Buck O’Neil’s 101st birthday.
The Buck O’Neil Education Center in the old Paseo YMCA building is expected to be open in 2014, one hundred years after the building opened as a YMCA.
If you want to help the museum, you can text “Buck” to 49798.