Updated: Apr 1
In 2017 I experienced one of my most memorable years as it relates to baseball and baseball activities. Out of all the places that I have visited I would have to say that the Negro League Baseball Museum has remained with me. In my previous post, "My MLB Ballpark Passport story" I was explaining how I bought the "Big Book" and all the accessories that comes with it. One of the accessories is 2 separate "stamping" pages for the Cooperstown Hall of Fame and the Negro League Baseball Museum. I made sure to add in the NLBM and it's "stamping page" on my trip list for the 2017 season. I was to go from Arlington (opening day) to Kansas City then to St. Louis before heading back to Baltimore.
It was such an exciting feeling the morning I parked my car on 18th & Vine, the old school vibe was the best part. The NLBM shares its building with the Jazz Hall of Fame. In my opinion this was a "double play". It was the end of March so it was still cold outside, but little did I know that I was in for a treat. Mr. Bob Kendrick was in the house! When I tell you there is no one better to be an ambassador for the NLBM well I do mean NO ONE. Mr. Kendrick gave my father and I a personal tour of the museum and entertained endless questions from us. But the best of all the stories that Mr. Kendrick shared with us were the stories about the Negro Leagues and some its groundbreaking ballplayers.
My father's favorite baller was and still is Josh Gibson. To backtrack just a little, my father was born and raised right outside of Pittsburgh and was the person who introduced me to baseball with stories of Roberto Clemente and Manny Sanguillén. The fact that Mr. Kendrick took the time out of his day to spend it with my father and I meant the world to me. We were treated like family, just like anyone and everyone who walks through the NLBM doors.
The NLBM is filled with historical items, stories, memories, memorabilia and the feeling that it was one of the finest eras of baseball history. From the moment you step foot inside this museum you are standing behind the best backstop of baseball, a ballfield drawn together with statues of some of the best ballplayers to ever kick up dust in the Negro League era.
After a great informational movie you are ready to step back into history starting with the story of the opening days of the Negro Leagues and the stories of ballgames overseas and in the Caribbean. The exhibits that follow are very tastefully put together and very educational. After all most of our favorite and most beloved ballplayers have roots to the Negro Leagues.
Since we now have a little more time, before the baseball season officially starts, be sure to support the Negro League Baseball Museum as the year 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues. Please visit www.NLBM.com !!!!!