Monarchs and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum talk success of partnership

Sports

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — In 2020, Mark Brandmeyer bought the Kansas City T-Bones and since then, a rebrand and a partnership was born with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

The team name was changed to the Kansas City Monarchs paying homage to the longest-running franchise in Negro Leagues history that played here until the 1960’s.

“At first, Bob will tell you, he thought, ‘What? We’re gonna name a team after the Kansas City Monarchs?'” Kiona Sinks, Digital Marketing Strategist and Community Engagement Director for the NLBM, said. “When you say the words, ‘Kansas City Monarchs’ and if you’re a baseball fan… we know the Kansas City Monarchs was one of the greatest baseball franchises in American history, in baseball history.”

The partnership with the “Reign Reborn” baseball club and the museum provides an opportunity to educate the world about the history and legacy of the Monarchs and the Negro Leagues.

“One out of three Kansas Citians have never stepped foot into 18th and Vine or visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum,” Sinks said. “Now with the extension also on the KCK side, gives us the opportunity to make that connection as well back on the Missouri side so people can come and experience this great history that so many love across the country.”

The museum is also partnering with Apple for a series about the life of Leroy “Satchel” Paige which will be produced by Hall of Fame NBA star Magic Johnson.

“He walked in the room, people stood up if you were sitting down,” Sinks said. “That is the spirit he demanded not only for his legacy in Kansas City but how he carried himself around the country and striked you out at every game.”

Brandmeyer said NLBM president Bob Kendrick spoke with the team ahead of opening day to help remind players what it means to wear a Monarchs jersey.

“You could tell they had goosebumps just hearing stories of Buck O’Neil and Satchel Paige and the great players that have come before and worn that uniform,” Brandmeyer said.

The Monarchs currently sit half a game behind first place Sioux City Explorers who come to Legends Field this weekend.

“The team is excited and really pumped to get out there and compete,” Brandmeyer said.

Playing Double-A ball gives baseball players a chance to work their way up to the major leagues. According to Brandmeyer, the organization has sent 18 players back to Major League Baseball so far this season.

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