So did three other former U.S. presidents and a host of prominent civil rights leaders, entertainers and sports greats in a virtual salute to the 100-year anniversary of the founding of baseball’s Negro Leagues.
On the receiving end of those tributes are many of the Negro Leagues’ greatest alumni: Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, “Cool Papa” Bell and Jackie Robinson, who began with the Kansas City Monarchs and went on to break the color barrier in the major leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
At first, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick worried that his longstanding plan to honor the men and women who battled long odds for a game of their own would have to be postponed, at best.
In this undated photo provided by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the Field of Legends at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is viewed in Kansas City, Mo. (Negro Leagues Baseball Museum via AP)
“In our game, there’s nothing more honorable than tipping your cap,” Kendrick said.
Kendrick got the lift he was looking for from communications specialist Dan McGinn and longtime NLBM supporter Joe Posnanski, a sports writer for The Athletic and author of “The Soul of Baseball,” chronicling his yearlong road trip promoting the Kansas City-based museum and the stories behind it with legendary Negro League star, the late Buck O’Neil.