If you haven’t been to the historic Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM), or if you’ve been itching to visit again, February is the time to go.
In honor of Black History Month, Royals Charities will provide free admission to the NLBM throughout February. The museum, at 1616 East 18th St. in the heart of the city’s historic 18th and Vine Jazz District, is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
“We are thrilled to help our fans hear this important story,” Royals Chairman and CEO John Sherman said in a statement. “The Royals are proud of our connection with the Museum and the rich history of the Monarchs. The Negro Leagues story is about baseball, but it transcends baseball. It’s about American history and our struggles and progress in civil rights, and the Museum presents that story like nowhere else.”
“We can’t thank the Kansas City Royals enough for giving fans this tremendous opportunity to experience the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum,” said Bob Kendrick, president of the museum. “The powerful story of the Negro Leagues is one of strong-willed athletes who refused to accept the notion that they were unfit to share in the joys of our national pastime. Their passion would not only change the game, but it also helped change our nation for the better. That story of triumph over adversity comes to life at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. We hope this incredible gesture by the Royals will motivate fans to pay us a visit.”
Royals Charities is a longtime financial supporter of the NLBM, but this is the first year the organization has footed the bill for admission, hoping to entice fans to visit and learn about Negro Leagues greats. The offer comes during a banner year for the museum, which is celebrating both its 32nd anniversary and founder Buck O’Neil’s long-awaited induction into the Hall of Fame.
“What a great opportunity for Kansas Citians to have and take advantage of,” said Kiona Sinks, the NLBM’s community engagement and digital strategy manager. “I think it speaks to Mr. Sherman’s commitment to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the important role the Royals have as advocates of the museum and the understanding that the museum is an important part of not just baseball history, but also American history.
“Not only do people not have to worry about the money aspect of visiting us, but they also get an educational experience that they typically wouldn’t get throughout the year.”
The museum is also continuing its “Barrier Breakers” exhibit, which debuted in 2020 and chronicles the pathway of all of the players who broke their respective Major League teams’ color barriers from 1947 to 1959.
“Our staff has the opportunity to do exactly what Buck wanted — moving his museum into financial perpetuity and making sure that the next generation has the opportunity to visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum,” said Sinks. “With all the excitement around the museum right now, this is an added layer of support, and we couldn’t be happier.”
To learn more about the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, visit www.nlbm.com.