Negro League Museum Needs Former Stars’ Help?

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City has struggled since its strongest proponent, Buck O’Neil, passed away in 2006.  Surely part of the museum’s woes are related to the omnipresent financial times, but the museum also misses the tireless O’Neil, whose mission to create a shrine to the young men that couldn’t play Major League Baseball inspired many.

Buck O'Neil

While the museum’s leaders try to find a place for themselves in the current world, the KANSAS CITY STAR’s Royals writer Sam Mellinger reached out to current and former great African-American ballplayers with a simple idea: what if 3-4 men took the place of the irreplaceable O’Neil and spoke on behalf of the museum?

What if those men played in the Negro Leagues and were in the Hall of Fame? Or perhaps simply destined to arrive there? So Mellinger called upon Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Ken Griffey, Jr., and others and asked, “Would you be interested?”

Let there be no surprise how they answered: a thousand times, yes.

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Geddy Gifts Negro Leagues Museum w/Rare Balls

Geddy Lee (lead Canadian Rush-er: 1968-1997; 2006-present) loves baseball more than you. He’s been in fantasy baseball teams since the 80s (and now demands only 40-man keeper leagues), has been caught in more jerseys than Kendra Wilkinson, and sang the best rendition of the best anthem before the World Series:

And when he passed through Kansas City in support of Rush’s latest album, he brought an extra trunk with him filled with 200 incredibly rare signed baseballs from Negro League players or proponents. He then gave the entire collection to the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City. There’s so many that the museum hasn’t yet deduced how to show them all.

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