KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A damaged house that sits near East 28th Street and Prospect Avenue may not look like much anymore. But it’s connected to baseball royality.
It’s the former home of baseball legend Leroy “Satchel” Paige. Satchel Paige lived in the home beginning in 1950 and lived there until he died in 1982.
Now it will be transformed into a museum and hub for the Sante Fe neighborhood.
A local group is partnering with the Kansas City Royals to make sure everyone can learn the story of Satchel Paige and the legacy of hope and opportunity he left for black Americans.
The home will become a place where stories of Satchel Paige are told and neighbors can gather to plan for the future.
One of Paige’s daughters explained how important the project is. Listen to what she said in the video player below.
Fire heavily damaged the home three years ago, and that’s when Kansas City’s homesteading authority bought it. A grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation paid the cost to stabilize and repair the structure.
“We hope that will not only bring this back to life to make it a viable museum and bring people to Kansas City that understand not only the importance of Leroy Satchel Paige but the importance of the Negro Leagues and how we here in Kansas City are the founders of that,” said Sen. Barbara Washington, a Democrat from Kansas City. “Without us there would be no negro baseball. There would be no Satchel Paige. There would be no Jackie Robinson and frankly, baseball would not be as great.”
The state of Missouri is providing $500,000 to help pay for reconstruction of Paige’s home.
Paige made his debut with the Kansas City Monarchs in 1935 playing one season, and then returned for seven years from 1940-47, winning the Negro Leagues World Series in 1942. During his 1948 season with the Cleveland Indians, Paige became the first African American to pitch in the MLB World Series.
Fifty years ago, on Aug. 9, 1971, Paige became the first selectee of the Committee on Negro Baseball Leagues to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
FOX4 KC originally reported Paige lived in the home until a short time before his death. According to news reports on the day of his death, Paige actually suffered a heart attack while at the home and died.