Negro League, Baseball, J. L. Wilkinson discussed on 830 WCCO 24 Hour News


Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro League Baseball Museum, joins me and Bob Why did you pick the site where the museum is today? And would you like more space? I mean, is the room where we thought that when we first opened this museum in 97 the Negro Leagues Museum itself is 30 years old this year, So we're celebrating a milestone anniversary, too. But we moved into our current home and in November Of 1997. And so when you go from a one room office, now 10,000 square feet of space, it seems like it was a lot of room at that time is not anymore And there's a a growing me for the museum to expand and we're in the process of doing just that. As a matter of fact, the building that the Negro leagues were formed in the castle Y M C. A Is just right around the corner from where we operate that is going to become the future home of the Buck O'Neil Education and Research Center. So we're going full circle right back to the very building at Gae Birth to the story that we're now charged with preserving and we're going to create his education and research center. In memory of the late Great John Buckle Meal, the founder of this Great museum, a legendary Negro leader himself and perhaps the game's greatest ambassador. Let's do that. Go back and do a little time line here. Ah, I did a little homework here. But Ah, 1920 was the Organization of the Negro League, and it was a Andrew Rube foster that created it. And everybody. Everybody has a nickname right? And you didn't have a good man. If he didn't have a good nickname. They're probably meant you could play. That's right. But he was a player manager and then created and you talked about. Ah You know, around the corner where this took place there was they got together. There was eight owners correct eight teams, But, hey, a fish that he initially were they all black owners. With the exception of one J. L. Wilkinson, where the only way owner of the original eight Negro League franchise Wilkie, as we believe, you know, is effectively know. Wilkie owned the Kansas City Monarchs. Ah, one of the greatest baseball franchises. They're not in. Like baseball history, but in baseball history and jail, Wilkinson Was a 2000 man in the 1900. He did not see color. Yeah. Wilkerson made his entire living in black baseball and see initially route Foster was against anyway. Ownership. But he can't hear these great things about jail. Wilkinson and buckle. Neil would describe Joo Wilkinson in this manner. He says he was the first white man he ever met, who had no president said When there weren't enough hotel rooms to go around. They slept in the same big get. Wilkerson treated his players with great respect and admiration, and they all loved her. And so Wilkinson had a team called the All Nations even before the monarchs, and they were homogenous group of athletes made up a black, white, native American, Asian Hispanic. So he really didn't see color on DSO Wilkerson route relented. But then Wilkinson also had what room needed there, and that was access to stadiums as the rule religion. And Wilkinson would become secretary of the Negro Leagues bring in his Kansas City Monarchs. As a charter member. The Monarchs would go on to become one of these great They wanted a great baseball franchises of all time. There are those who will say that the Kansas City Monarchs for the New York Yankees Literally. Today, and others will say that the New York Yankees where the kid is a city man, monarch had one losing season in there almost 40 year existence in the Negro League. Does that mean they got to get all the good and the best of the best players in just saying Wilkinson seem to have a neck? For finding the kind of talent that fit into the way he wanted his team to play. And it just seemed always have great guy playing on a team, you know, and like I said he sent more players to the major leagues and any other Negro League franchise. They were a model organization. And I say this and I said they have no disrespect. Should my beloved Kansas City Royals Kansas City Mama, They're still the greatest baseball franchise this city has ever seen. You talked about was the will person that had access to stadiums and doing my homework here. It seemed like there was a tough Time trying to get stadiums to have these guys played in, and then sometimes they would actually play after let's say the Chicago White Sox left town or something or did their game you guys would play and there'd be more fans there watching that, Then they did the major league team. Well, you don't Dan is interesting, because that's one of the reasons that it took so long integrated game because there were a number of major league teams that were making money off the legally. So when the devil leaves Rene Yankee Stadium they filling up. My understanding is they're getting a percentage of the gate. And likely all of the concession. The same thing is your Congress Comiskey Park. And so yeah, making league Baseball was making money off the table. It's because very few of the Negro League owners have their own state. And for me, that's the fundamental difference between The major leave and the Negro League. Was money. Jim, all the major league owners had their own ballpark, for the most part. Very few legally, teams at their own stadium. You know you had In Memphis. The modern brothers had their own stadium in Pittsburgh guts. Greely had his own stadium in ST Louis or ST Louis, far as faras part, But you know, outside of that there were very few. Negro League teams that had their own stadium, so they were beholding to the major leagues because they were reading to ball front and then they had to set their schedule based on that major league schedule. And so, yeah, That was part of the reason. But you're right. They were outdrawing. Many major league teams did the money that did the money Then that was coming in? Because you guys have an all Star game to over 50,000 fans did that money then I know you. You know, you still being held up by the I guess the white owners of Major League baseball because they own the stadiums and if you want to come play here You're gonna pay my price my front so and Is it similar today to still today that they're still paying the price? Ah! But did that money residual do? They didn't drip down to the owners into the players Get to the players. So did the players signed contracts. Contra. Okay, did it state what they would make Then they would negotiate deals even for those East West on Star Gazer Man. They were only getting a, you know, And you know, In retrospect, they were only getting a small pitons of those resources that were coming from those All Star games. But you know a gay the owners have full control Bandit in amazingly And they had it in an equally and so the players were making a decent living playing the game. They look but you know, nobody was really getting rich. Now. The superstar Negro leaders, the Satchel Paige is otherworld. Josh Gibsons of the world..

Coming up next