Officially Licensed by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, Mo.
Through the inspiration of Horace M. Peterson III (1945-1992), founder of the Black Archives of Mid-America, a group of local historians, business leaders, and former baseball players came together to create the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the early 1990s. It functioned out of a small, one room office in the Lincoln Building, which is located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District of Kansas City, MO. It quickly incorporated, built a board of directors and staffing, and created a licensing program to support operations.
In 1994, it expanded to a 2,000 square-foot space in the Lincoln Building, which include a number photographs and interactive displays. Designed by ESA Design of Abilene, KS, this exhibit became the flagship for redevelopment in the historic district. Several hundred visitors, including school groups and dignitaries, marveled at this once "untold American history."Highlights of our stay in the Lincoln Building included the 75th Anniversary Reunion of the Negro Leagues and a visit from Vice-President Al Gore.
The 18th & Vine historic district was the center for black culture and life in Kansas City from the late 1800s-1960s. It was the hub of activity for homeowners, business, jazz music, and baseball enthusiast. Just outside of the district stands the Paseo YMCA building, which was built as a black YMCA in 1914. It served as temporary home for baseball players, railroad workers, and others making the transition to big city life in the Midwest. It was here that the Negro National League was founded in 1920. Although the district and the YMCA building were becoming blighted by the 1980s, they were recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.
Bob Kendrick was named President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) in March 2011. Founded in 1990, the NLBM is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its profound impact on the social advancement of America.