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More trouble for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Jan 21, 2011, 8:24 AM EDT

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

We wrote back in October about the challenges facing the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Joe Posnanski said that the place was in “grave danger.”  Dr. Raymond Doswell, the museum’s interim director, wrote to me to tell me that Posnanski was overstating the problems.  Dr. Doswell will likely have to write to Sam Mellinger now too, because Sam is sounding the alarm over the Museum scratching its annual Legacy Awards show, which is the biggest event on its agenda each year:

Every January for the last decade, the museum has shined. The Legacy Awards Show became its best-known event. Now, for the first time since 2000, nothing, no event, and what’s worse is that some longtime museum members are just now finding out …

The show should’ve been this weekend. Men and women should be dressing to the nines, black ties and long dresses and open checkbooks. Baseball stars like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton would’ve been invited, and the ones who showed up would’ve smiled and told a room full of potential donors how much the museum’s legacy means to them.

All that, now gone.

Mellinger says that there’s talk about rescheduling the Legacy Awards Show for November to coincide with Buck O’Neil’s 100th birthday. I’ve had my fair share of dealings with non-profits, fundraising and the like, however, and these kinds of moves are almost always harbingers of doom.  Here’s hoping this case provides an exception.

  1. Jonny 5 - Jan 21, 2011 at 8:39 AM

    I think the only thing to do here is they need to do exactly what Robinson did. Integrate. I’d say a branch of the HOF should absolutely be dedicated to the negro leauges. Sure some people may be out of a job and all, but the way it looks now it may be inevitable anyway. And I’m sure many of the men who now handle NLBM affairs would be hired by the HOF if this were to take place. “Hey let’s hit the NLBM before we see the HOF” Hey, let’s hit it afterwards” “OKAY AWESOME” Yeah, I think it makes sense.

    • motherscratcher23 - Jan 21, 2011 at 9:49 AM

      Yeah, but the NLBM is in Kansas City and the HOF is not. That’s a hell of a commute for “Hey, let’s hit up the NLBM before we see the HOF.”

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 21, 2011 at 10:36 AM

        Sorry but I meant “become one” when I said “integrate”. As in move the whole works to Cooperstown.In the same bldg room permitting? Next door maybe? Even up the block. I have a feeling 90% of the people who visit the HOF would also visit the NLBM. I sure as heck would.

    • sabosgoggles - Jan 21, 2011 at 11:06 AM

      People were suggesting moving the NLBM in the Pos thread last fall. It almost never makes sense to up and move a whole museum thousands of miles – the expense of doing that would far exceed whatever it would take to keep it in KC. This is almost certainly a case of poor management, not any inherent problem with its location.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM

        My personal opinion is that it isn’t as much a problem with location as it is lack of interest. Baseball fans will more than likely pick to see the HOF, before picking to see the NLBM, Unless they were in close proximity. Then they can hit both in the same day if they were in the sam bldg, or on the same block even. It’s evident that people just don’t care about the NLBM as much. But baseball fans who trek to see the HOF “might as well hit the NLBM while they’re in town.” It would have to help keep them above water. Right now operating expenses are obviously exceeding income. Attendance numbers must increase and they won’t any other way IMO.

  2. kcfanatic - Jan 21, 2011 at 10:52 AM


    You are right. The HOF should move from Cooperstown to Kansas City so that the two could “integrate”

    • Jonny 5 - Jan 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      LOL!! then you’ll kill them both, in one foul swoop. Who the heck wants to go to Kansas?

      • martywinn - Jan 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM

        I don’t think Kansas City is in Kansas. At least not the museum.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 21, 2011 at 12:38 PM

        Really? huh? Did a twister or sumptin’ knock it past state lines?? I’m sorry, that was my “obviously bad” version of being goofy with KCfanatic. I guess you didn’t get it. understandable. As my wife calls me all the time, she does know me best “DORK!”.

  3. hermitfool - Jan 21, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    From what Joe Posnanski and others have written this is more of a management issue than an attendance issue. Does anyone out there in Shysterland know if there are adults in Kansas City, Missouri, who are willing and able to stop this train wreck?

  4. BC - Jan 21, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    For crying out loud, can one of these African-American players (or any other players for that matter) that have $100 million in the bank just kick something in? C’mon folks. This is part of baseball history. Open the wallet a little!

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