04/01/2003 12:36 PM - The Kansas City T-Bones wont take the field for their first game until May 23 and their home opener isnt until June 9, but the club has already hit a grand slam in the eyes of representatives of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM). In ceremonies held at the museum today, the T-Bones announced plans for a season-long effort to support the NLBM by helping raise money and awareness for the not-for-profit organization.
T-Bone officials presented NLBM Chairman John Buck ONeil with a check for $3,600 in support of the worlds only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball. The cash donation was proceeds from the clubs inaugural Hot Stove party, in which ONeil was the keynote speaker last month.
Were thrilled to begin this partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which is truly one of the gems of Kansas City, said T-Bones general manager Adam Ehlert. Our club is committed to community involvement and at the heart of that involvement is our proud association with this museum that means so much to baseball and American history."
The minor league T-Bones, an independent Northern League affiliate, will work with the museum on a series of in-stadium events and promotions including a Salute to the Negro Leagues scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 6 when the T-Bones play the Gary Southshore Railcats. Both teams will wear replica Negro League uniforms..
Other plans include:
Introduction of a T-Bone Ticket redemption program where T-Bone fans can redeem their ticket stubs for discount admission to the NLBM.
T-Bone players will read to area children as part of the museums Reading Around the Bases literacy program.
This is wonderful, ONeil said when speaking about the museums new partner. It was only natural that we would work together because we have a common purpose and thats to promote the great game of baseball. You play baseball because you love it. Thats the beauty of minor league baseball and thats the core of Negro Leagues history.
Along with the opportunity to generate revenue, museum officials believe the relationship with the T-Bones will also result in greater visibility and increased museum traffic.
We look forward to a strong working relationship with the T-Bones, said Bob Kendrick, director of marketing for the NLBM. The team has been very enthusiastic in wanting to work with the museum. The partnership provides a tremendous opportunity for us to broaden our reach while continuing to educate baseball fans about some of the greatest baseball players to ever play the game.
ABOUT THE NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM
The NLBM is the worlds only museum dedicated to preserving and illuminating the rich history of black baseball. It is a privately funded, 501(c) (3), not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1990. The NLBM operates one block from the Paseo YMCA where the Negro National League was founded by Andrew Rube Foster in 1920.