While many of us are vaguely familiar with the storied history of the Negro Leagues, there are plenty of folks who have no idea what they actually entailed. Case in point, what position did Jackie Robinson play for the Kansas City Monarchs? Who founded the Negro National League and is known as “the father of Black baseball”? What team won the first Negro Leagues World Series?
If you can’t answer any of these fun facts, it’s all good because you aren’t alone. But in their quest to help spread the gospel of the Negro Leagues, in addition to commemorating the 101st anniversary of their establishment, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association are launching a new campaign led by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Beginning Friday, MLB and the MLBA will be dropping 101 facts about the Negro Leagues every single day until the last day of the MLB regular season: Sunday, October 3. Each of these fun facts will be unveiled by a Major League player or legend, a youth baseball or softball player, or a general representative of baseball. A myriad of social media platforms from MLB, its clubs, and the MLBPA will also support this campaign with the hope of informing the public about the vast history of the Negro Leagues, as well as Black excellence in the sport.
“A full understanding of Baseball includes knowing the history and legacy of the men and women in the Negro Leagues who paved the way for so many of us,” MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said in a statement provided to The Root. “I commend the Museum for its commitment to preserve, celebrate, and educate the public through this campaign and am glad that we can help raise awareness along with Major League Baseball.”
“The Negro Leagues is a story of excellence and resiliency by individuals who accomplished extraordinary feats in the face of bigotry and discrimination,” said MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said in a statement to The Root. “Educating our fans and the public about this history will continue to be a priority for Major League Baseball in our continued support of Bob Kendrick and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.”
You are welcome in advance.