KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF)— It’s been 101 years since Andre “Rube” Foster led the meeting at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri that created the Negro National League.
To celebrate, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum announced “Negro Leagues 101”, an initiative that gives people a way to learn about the Negro Leagues from anywhere.
Modeled after a 101-level collegiate course, it will include a series of programs, lectures and events and new virtual experiences. Among those, a virtual tour of the museum developed in partnership with Microsoft.
“Our story, folks, is not about the adversity, but rather what they did to overcome the adversity and that’s the real story,” Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, said. “It’s indeed a story that transcends race, it transcends age and it transcends gender. That is the story of the Negro Leagues and that is our mission, to make sure that the legacy of the negro leagues plays on long after there are no more negro leaguers to attest to the greatness of this story.”
The museum will also develop more digital content and digitize “Negro Leagues Beisbol” and “Barrier Breakers,” two of it’s acclaimed traveling exhibitions.
As part of the celebration, the museum announced new memorabilia they collected including some from actress and director Penny Marshall who willed her collection to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Her collection includes signed photographs, baseball programs and posters of Reece “Goose” Tatum as a Harlem Globetrotters.
The Jay Caldwell Collection that was acquired for the 100-year celebration last year was also made a permanent part of the museum’s collection.
It includes a journal documenting financial records of the Negro National League from 1920 through 1925 that belonged to Foster.
“We’re thrilled to bring these extremely important pieces into our permanent collection to help us continue to bring to life the incredible story of the Negro Leagues,” Kendrick said. “We believe the Foster financial journal, in particular, to be the Holy Grail of Negro Leagues memorabilia.”
In conjunction with the celebration, Kendrick announced the “Negro Leagues 101 Challenge“. A campaign to raise $101,000 for the museum in 101 hours.