NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum-8

DESCRIPTION: The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America. The privately funded, 501 c3, not-for-profit organization was established in 1990 and is in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri’s Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District. The NLBM operates two blocks from the Paseo YMCA where Andrew “Rube” Foster established the Negro National League in 1920.

The NLBM opened its doors to the public in a tiny, one-room office space in 1991 with a dream of building a permanent facility that would pay rightful tribute to America’s unsung baseball heroes. In November of 1997, under the leadership of its late chairman John “Buck” O’Neil, that dream became a reality when the NLBM moved into its new 10,000 square-foot home inside a cultural complex known as the Museums at 18th & Vine.

Since that time, the NLBM has welcomed more than 2-million visitors and has become one of the most important cultural institutions in the world for its work to give voice to a once forgotten chapter of baseball and American history. In July of 2006, the NLBM gained National Designation from the United States Congress earning the distinction of being “America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.”

ADDRESS: 1616 East 18th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64108

LOCATION: In the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District.

PHONE: 816-221-1920

WEBSITE: www.nlbm.com

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The NLBM is laid out as a timeline of the Negro Leagues and American history. Exhibits include hundreds of photographs, historical artifacts and several interactive computer stations.
  • As the centerpiece of the NLBM, the Coors Field of Legends features 10 life-sized bronze sculptures of Negro Leagues greats positioned on a mock baseball diamond as if they were playing a game.
  • A documentary film narrated by actor James Earl Jones tells the story of the leagues with vintage film footage.
  • The Hall of Fame Lockers pay tribute to the Negro Leaguers who have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • The NLBM Extra Innings Gift Shop store features officially licensed Negro Leagues merchandise provided by the Museum.

HOURS: Exhibition and Extra Innings Gift Shop: Open Tuesday- Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Sunday Noon to 5 p.m. Every year to accommodate the baseball season, starting after the Memorial Day Holiday, the NLBM is open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for additional hours. 

ADMISSION: Adults $10 and children (under 12) $6. Seniors $9. Admission to the Horace M. Peterson III Visitor Center and the Changing Gallery is free of charge. Groups 25 or more only will qualify for a group rate to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

ANNUAL ATTENDANCE: Collectively, the Museums at 18th & Vine average approximately 300,000 people annually.

HISTORY: The Negro Leagues were established in 1920 by Andrew “Rube” Foster in a meeting held at the Paseo YMCA. A site on the National Register of Historic Places, the building is located two blocks from the Museums at 18th & Vine. First functioning out of a one-room office, the NLBM eventually joined the American Jazz Museum in 1997 in a $20-million facility housing both entities.

WHERE TO EAT: The original Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue (1727 Brooklyn Ave.) is a few blocks to the east, along with Gates Bar-B-Q (1325 Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd).

ANNUAL SPECIAL EVENTS:

  • Hall of Game - Held each June, the Hall of Game recognizes professional baseball players with awards named after Negro Leagues legends such as Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell and Josh Gibson.
  • Jazz & Jackie - In 2016, the NLBM launched "Jazz & Jackie" to annually celebrate Jackie Robinson's Kansas City roots and his love of the musical art form, jazz, that got its soul in Kansas City.
  • Heart of America Hot Dog Festival - To celebrate the historical connection between our national pastime and the hot dog, the NLBM in partnership with Hy-Vee, Pepsi and Farmland established the festival in 2013 to rave reviews. The family-friendly activities include live entertainment, mascots, games, autograph sessions and trivia along with admission to the NLBM. The festival annually attracts more than 10,000 hot dog lovers.
  • Salute to the Negro Leagues: -The Kansas City Royals and baseball fans annually put on their “Sunday Best” to watch a Royals game. The stylish event is now paired with the Royals annual “Salute to the Negro Leagues,” and has easily become the most fashionable day in baseball.

DID YOU KNOW: The NLBM has hosted various dignitaries including Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Maya Angelou, Colin Powell, Walter Cronkite and many more.

GROUP TOURS: Reservations are encouraged for groups of 25 or more. Reservations include a special introduction by museum staff and, if time permits, guided tour services. Contact the museum for more information.

PARKING: Free parking is available near the museum. Visitors can park on either side of 18th Street, on the south side of "Buck" O'Neil Way (17th Street Terrace) or in public parking lots near Gregg Community Center (just north of the museums) at 18th and Woodland (one block east) or 18th & Vine (one half block west). Large buses for group tours should park and have passengers enter through the north entrance on "Buck" O'Neil Way or in the Parking lots at Gregg Community Center.

PUBLIC RELATIONS CONTACT: Cathie Moss, special events/tour coordinator, 816-221-1920 or cmoss@nlbm.com.

Media Contacts

Makenzie Wolters
Makenzie Wolters (KC/Regional Media)
Visit KC
816-691-3811
mwolters@visitkc.com
Derek Klaus
Derek Klaus (National Media)
MMGY NJF
816-608-2816
visitkc@njfpr.com

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