Roaming about town
I got out of the hotel early this morning and started my way to the ballpark at 10:30 a.m., but Kauffman Stadium would have to wait. The historic 18th and Vine neighborhood of Kansas City is being redeveloped as the homes of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum.
Today was a really great day to go because, for some reason, it felt like I had the run of both places and all of the exhibits. The admission price? A remarkable $8.00 for both museums.It was well worth every penny and I would highly recommend both. I learned a little about music history and, to see how the Negro Leagues formed and enjoyed their heyday prior to Jackie Robinson’s 1947 debut was stirring. It was equally enjoyable to see the league disband as they lost their quality starts to the Major Leagues in the late 1940s — historians feel that the last quality year of the Negro Leagues was ’48.
It’s interesting to note that, as we focus on Robinson’s April 15, 1947 debut, he was one of five African American players to play in the big leagues in ’47 alone. I would also note that you don’t hear enough about Larry Doby, who cracked the American League color line with the Indians just later that summer. The league served its intended purpose. As one sign said in the gift shop, the Negro Leagues were “a revolution disguised as guys playing baseball.”
I capped the afternoon off with another visit to the original Arthur Bryant’s barbecue. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but this is a real cafeteria style place and it’s a classic. You get your meals slapped on Wonder bread and wrapped in butcher paper. Throw in some fries and a smattering of pickles and it’s entirely too much food for any human being to consume. There’s a long-running debate on the best Kansas City BBQ, but for me, Arthur Bryant’s just took the crown.