Tom Baird

This article was written by Bob LeMoine

Courtesy Noir-Tech Research, Inc.Tom Baird was present at the beginning of the Negro National League in 1920 and stayed nearly to the conclusion of the Negro Leagues themselves in 1956. His long tenure was spent solely with the Kansas City Monarchs, the dominant and longest-running franchise in the history of the Negro Leagues. He was the longest-serving club owner in the history of those leagues and he and long-time co-owner J.L. Wilkinson served as the only two white executives in the league. His greatest accomplishment, beyond the storied success of the Monarchs, is likely found in the number of players he sold to major-league teams after the integration of Organized Baseball. While the Negro Leagues were in decline from the late 1940s on, Baird found ways to keep the Monarchs competitive by scouting, developing, and trading talented players, who then had new opportunities in the majors.

Thomas Younger Baird was born January 27, 1885, in Madison County, Arkansas. His father was Hampton “Noah” Baird, a plumber who ran his own business and, in 1902, moved the family to the Armourdale section of Kansas City, Kansas. Thomas’s mother was Harriette “Hattie” (Duncan) Baird, and her side of the family presents an interesting backstory to his life. She was the daughter of Sally (Younger) Duncan, and Harriet’s maiden name was given to Thomas for his middle name. Sally had 13 siblings in all, including brothers Bob, Jim, John, and Cole, who were members of the famous James-Younger outlaw gang, led by Frank and Jesse James. The Younger name became associated with robbing banks, trains, and stagecoaches throughout the Midwest. Their careers ended in 1876 when three of the remaining brothers were arrested. Only Jim and Cole lived to see the twentieth century when they were paroled in 1901. A year later Jim put a bullet in his head, but Cole lived a few more years doing Wild West shows. Due to the notoriety of the Younger name, Thomas never used it, and was known as “T.Y.” He likely did not take kindly to anyone asking him about his uncle Cole.

Tom also had younger brothers William and Floyd and a sister, Bertha. At the 1910 census a boarder named William Arnold also lived with the family at 1213 Kansas Ave. Tom worked as a cutter for the Peet Brothers Soap company. On January 22, 1912, Baird married Frances E. Stuart, also of Kansas City, Kansas. By the 1915 Kansas state census, Tom was working for the Rock Island Railroad Company in White City, Kansas.

Baird formed T.Y. Baird’s Baseball Club, which became one of the best semipro baseball teams in Kansas City, Kansas. The club leased Billion Bubble Park, an amusement park on Mill Street and Scott Avenue that was run by the Peet Brothers. The team was often nicknamed the Soapmakers. Baird also purchased a set of uniforms left from the Federal League’s Kansas City Packers, and his team – hand-me-down outfits and all – was the semipro champion of the city in 1916 and 1917.1 Around 1917 Baird also opened a pool hall at 1139 Kansas Ave. An advertisement boasted that a person could play pool and get candy, soda pop, cigars, and tobacco at the shop. Baird opened several pool halls and bowling alleys throughout the area.2

In May of 1918, Baird became wedged between two sets of train cars while setting a brake and suffered a broken leg. He was laid up in the hospital for months and sued the company for $30,000.3 The news about Baird, who was well-known by the community, was devastating. “Mr. Baird has done more than any other man the last few years to give the public a decent brand of the national pastime,” wrote The Press in Kansas City, Kansas.4 Although physically unable to play again, Baird managed his own team as well as a second team organized by the Peet Brothers.5

By the 1920 census, the Baird family lived at 413 N. 18th St. and included daughters Harriet and Ellen with a boarder couple named Bauer. The family moved to a new five-bedroom house at 1818 Grandview Boulevard, on the corner of North 19th St. Baird’s move was reported in the newspaper, showing how well-known he already was throughout the city.6 Baird was also a member of the Kansas Billiard Men’s organization.7

Just as Baird had a history in baseball prior to the Monarchs, so did his future longtime business partner, J.L. Wilkinson. “Wilkie,” also white, was one day recognized for his contributions to the Negro Leagues with a plaque at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1908 he formed a traveling all-female team. Women’s teams had been popular since the nineteenth century and Wilkinson established his own “Bloomer” team, as they were called after the clothing they wore. In 1912 he formed the All-Nations club, made up of players of every imaginable nationality. This team barnstormed the country over the next several years. Traveling by Pullman car, Wilkinson even dabbled in a primitive, yet effective, portable lighting system so games could be played at night. Some players Wilkinson either hired or observed would become key members of those early Monarchs teams, including African Americans John Donaldson and Bullet Joe Rogan and Cuban José Méndez .

Rube Foster’s Chicago American Giants team was the best independent Black club while Wilkinson’s melting-pot team toured the country. Foster sought to organize an all-Black league, something that had been unsuccessfully attempted by others in the past. In February 1920, Foster realized his dream and the Negro National League was founded at a YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri. Wilkinson was one of the original founders of the league.

What role Baird played in those earliest days and how he met Wilkinson is not entirely known. Baird is not mentioned by name in the early reports, although later accounts describe him as being there with Wilkinson from the very beginning. Both men were well-known and likely their paths had crossed. Wilkinson was always the public face of the Monarchs and Baird worked behind the scenes. Wilkinson was a player’s owner, known for his friendly demeanor, while Baird was tall and lean and more standoffish. Some players interviewed decades later did not even know Baird had been a part-owner of the club. Whatever the exact role Baird played, his partnership with Wilkinson lasted nearly 30 years.

The Monarchs rented Association Park from the white Kansas City Blues of the American Association. The two clubs often played a postseason series for bragging rights in the city. Babe Ruth also appeared with his traveling all-stars on a postseason barnstorming tour.8

Foster’s Giants dominated the Negro National League for the first three years, but the Monarchs had winning clubs. The Monarchs won the pennant in 1923, the first of many during Baird’s tenure, and now established themselves as a premier club. In 1923 the Monarchs also moved into the Blues’ new ballpark, Muehlebach Field.

The Monarchs won the 1924 NNL pennant behind the solid pitching of Bullet Joe Rogan and the powerful lineup of Hurley McNair, Dobie Moore, Newt Joseph, and Heavy Johnson. They played Hilldale of the new Eastern Colored League in the first Negro League World Series, which was then called the Colored World Series. It was a hard-fought best-of-nine series that went the distance in a deciding 10th game (one game finished tied) before a small and bundled crowd on a cold day in Chicago on October 20. In heroic fashion, José Méndez, recovering from surgery, took the mound against doctor’s orders and shut out Hilldale, 5-0.

The Monarchs dominated the start of the 1925 season and stormed into the new NNL playoff system, in which the winners of each half-season faced each other to determine who played the Eastern Colored League champion. The Monarchs defeated St. Louis but lost the World Series to Hilldale. A new acquisition by Wilkinson and Baird in 1926 was Cuban legend Cristóbal Torriente, once an All-Nations standout, who led the team in batting. The Monarchs dropped the NNL playoffs to Chicago.

With the demise of the Eastern Colored League, no World Series was played for a decade. The Monarchs won the 1929 pennant but became an independent barnstorming club in 1931 as the Great Depression made playing in large stadiums impractical. The NNL itself folded after the 1931 season, leaving no professional Black baseball league. The Monarchs still found a way to be profitable through barnstorming small towns and capitalizing on Wilkinson’s portable lights.

Baird is credited with providing the finances needed ($100,000 by some accounts) for this new lighting system.9 With the loss of a league schedule, the main booking responsibility fell to Baird. He also booked games for the House of David, the independent barnstorming club from the religious commune in Michigan noted for men following scriptural commands by not shaving. The new lighting system helped both clubs survive during the Depression. During the first half of the summer, the Monarchs leased its lights to the House of David team, allowing it to play more contests. Once Wilkinson and Baird saved enough money through the rentals, they began the Monarchs’ season. Sometimes that season did not begin until August, but they still earned enough funds to be profitable. With other teams winding down, star players left their clubs, such as legendary greats Cool Papa Bell and Willie Wells. The night games drew large crowds and huge paychecks, irritating other club owners.10

One example of Baird’s brilliant booking was the exhibition games against barnstorming white major leaguers. In the fall of 1933, Dizzy Dean and Pepper Martin of the St. Louis Cardinals Gas House Gang brought a team to Muehlebach Field. Negro League baseball had also returned; the Negro National League had been resurrected under the leadership of Cumberland Posey and Gus Greenlee. The league that year held its first East-West Game, the equivalent to the white major leagues’ inaugural All-Star Game. The Monarchs continued as an independent club and barnstormed their way to the Denver Post tournament in 1934; the Monarchs were the first Black team to be invited to the tournament. Chet Brewer dominated most opponents, but he ran into pitcher Satchel Paige, who won three games in leading the House of David to the championship. Later that fall, after leading St. Louis to a World Series championship, Dizzy Dean, his brother Paul, and others promoted a “Dizzy and Daffy Tour.” The Deans and Monarchs played to huge crowds and profits, although Monarchs players received considerably less money than their white counterparts.11

The Monarchs continued as a hot attraction in 1935 as they barnstormed with the House of David and also an integrated club from Bismarck, North Dakota, which included Paige. Bismarck won the National Baseball Congress semipro tournament in August. In September, Paige pitched for the Monarchs in the stretch run and against another Dizzy Dean postseason barnstorming team.12 A decade later, Baird showed appreciation to Paige and gifted him with a two-seater airplane.13 Baird also had a strong relationship with Syd Pollock, the owner of the Indianapolis Clowns, and the two franchises held barnstorming tours.

In June of 1935, Babe Ruth quit the Boston Braves, ending his legendary major-league career. Sensing opportunity, Baird wired Ruth an offer for $20,000 to play for the House of David club. Baird told Ruth he would not even have to have whiskers. Ruth refused.14 In 1940 Baird became the head booker for the Negro National League, replacing Abe Saperstein.15

The Monarchs returned to league play when the Negro American League was formed in 1937, and won the inaugural season’s pennant. Their pitching stars were Hilton Smith and Andy Cooper, while Willard Brown was the top hitter. The Monarchs won four straight NAL pennants (1939-1942). Buck O’Neil began his long tenure with the team at first base, and a rejuvenated Paige dominated on the mound. In 1942 the Negro League World Series returned and the Monarchs swept the Homestead Grays, 4-0. “I do believe we could have given the New York Yankees a run for their money that year,” O’Neil remembered.16

Baird operated a pool hall and recreation center at Tenth Street and Minnesota Avenue and later at 1401 Minnesota Ave. with a partner, Ollie S. Stratton. Stratton was a former semipro player and had been a boxing manager for several years. Stratton sold his shares to Baird in 1945.17 Baird had plenty of other businesses to attend to, including his bowling alleys and rental properties. He also collected rent from a flower shop, tavern, and hotel. In addition to all of those ventures, Baird owned property in Kansas that he researched for drilling oil, but that endeavor failed.18 As the war years of the 1940s rolled on, Baird began taking over responsibilities from Wilkinson, including promotion of the team.19

The 1945 season was notable for Baird and Wilkinson signing UCLA athletic star Jackie Robinson to a baseball contract. The Kansas City Call, the local Black newspaper, hailed Robinson as the “prize freshman” on the 1945 Monarchs.20 Robinson destroyed Negro League pitching and batted anywhere from .345 to .414.21 No matter the statistic, Robinson was a true baseball star, and the time for integration had arrived. While the integration of the national pastime had been a longtime dream, the sustainability of the Negro Leagues was an uncomfortable subject. Wilkinson and Baird provided an alternative perspective from those who were dependent on the Negro Leagues for survival.

Clyde Sukeforth was a career baseball man and now chief scout for President Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1945 Sukeforth’s main job was to scout the Negro Leagues for Rickey’s Brooklyn Brown Dodgers Black minor-league club in the new United States League.22 Sukeforth, however, met Robinson and informed him of Rickey’s interest in putting him on the major-league Dodgers. Rickey signed Robinson and sent him to the Dodgers’ minor-league affiliate in Montreal in 1946. Robinson returned briefly to the Monarchs to finish the 1945 season. “I went to the management of the Kansas City club to get permission to play up until September 21 in exhibition games and then go home, as I was tired,” Robinson remembered. “I was told I would have to play all the games or none. I was left with no other alternative than to leave the ball club.”23

Robinson didn’t have a contract with the Monarchs for 1946, but Baird considered it common courtesy to give the Monarchs the first chance to sign him. From Baird’s perspective, Rickey’s signing of Robinson with no compensation for the Monarchs was unjustifiable. Baird and Wilkinson wanted to appeal to Commissioner Happy Chandler and ask him to bar Robinson from leaving the Monarchs. There was support among other Negro League club owners who saw a grim future of major-league owners raiding their talent. But the Monarchs owners soon decided otherwise. “For many years we have urged organized baseball to accept Negro players,” Wilkinson said. “Whether we get any recompense in return for Robinson may be considered beside the point – we want Jackie to have a chance.”24

Hard feelings still festered with Baird. Rickey “stooped to unethical methods,” he said. “Rickey didn’t pay us one cent for Jackie Robinson. He sneaked around and signed Robinson. His actions hurt us at the box office. But Rickey never even so much as thanked us for Robinson. We wrote him several months ago. He never even had the common courtesy to answer our letter. We’re glad to see any of our boys get a chance. Robinson has helped the Negro race a great deal. But we hate to have our property just taken away from us. We’ve sold players to other teams – they dealt with us in an honorable way.”25 Baird even wrote that Rickey’s tactics were like “Hitler’s march through Hungary.”26

Robinson responded to Baird’s claims that he was “stolen” from the Monarchs. “I was left with no other alternative than to leave the club,” he said. “The owner’s (Wilkinson) son gave me a lecture and assured me that if I left the club I was through, that I could play no place outside the Negro National League. The ‘cooperation’ I received that afternoon made me glad I no longer had to play with the Monarchs.”27

The Monarchs achieved one last Negro World Series appearance in 1946, losing to the Newark Eagles in seven games. After Robinson and other players left the Negro Leagues, attendance declined. Complicating matters, Wilkinson was involved in a car accident and lost sight in one eye, and was unable to read or drive. The task of the ownership duo was now in discovering talent, developing it as a minor-league team would, then selling the player for a top price to a major-league club. Hank Thompson and Willard Brown were players involved in two such deals.

The 1948 season was the last for the Negro League World Series and Wilkinson sold his ownership shares in the team to Baird for $27,000, ending their nearly three-decade partnership. Buck O’Neil was named the new Monarchs manager.28 Baird was involved in a more “honorable” transaction than the way Robinson had been dealt with. He sold Satchel Paige to the Cleveland Indians, who won the American League pennant. Baird received $20,000 and Paige received a $16,000 salary from the Indians.29

Baird thought business maneuvers like this would help the Negro Leagues survive. “Negro baseball is like any other business,” he said. “[A]s times get tougher it will be the survival of the fittest.” A.S. “Doc” Young of the Chicago Defender described the different approaches club owners in the Negro Leagues were taking to stave off extinction. The Monarchs, he wrote, were a “prize franchise.” One club owner said, “The Monarchs are drawing top crowds. That’s because Tom Baird is in there working hard.” “Did Baird sit back and let his franchise, which he rates as Triple-A caliber, go to pot?” wrote Young. “Nope! He went out and corralled more good players with the result that fans are behind him.” In addition to Paige, Thompson, and Brown, Baird sold off Booker T. McDaniels and Ford Smith.30 In 1950, Baird made $25,000 by selling Elston Howard and Frank Barnes to the New York Yankees.31

The Negro American League created Eastern and Western divisions in 1949 in order to carry out a postseason series in the absence of the National League. Baird withdrew the Monarchs from a postseason series as players were injured or jumping to the majors. Baird dabbled in football in 1950 when he staged a preseason game in Kansas City between the New York Yanks and Washington Redskins of the NFL. The contest attracted a little over 13,000 patrons, but Baird lost money.32

In 1952 Baird was presented a plaque by Ray “Hap” Dumont of the National Baseball Congress, which hosted a semipro tournament every year in Wichita, Kansas. The plaque honored Baird for sparking interest in baseball among the small towns in America. Baird received praise for “his work in helping to improve relations between the races.”33 It was in 1923 that Baird had convinced Dumont, then a high-school student, to sponsor a Monarchs game.

Also in 1952, one of Baird’s pool halls was raided by the police because of a dominoes game being conducted there. The suspicion was that illegal gambling was happening at the business, which Baird denied. “If there was no gambling going on,” the head of the vice squad said, “why did those who escaped feel they had to run?”34

It was a better story for Baird on the field as the Monarchs won yet another pennant during his era, winning both halves of the 1953 Negro American League season. The Monarchs were powered by the young phenom Ernie Banks, who was sold to the Chicago Cubs at the end of the season. The Monarchs had winning streaks of 14 and 17 games during the season.35 The success could not be sustained into 1954, however, despite signing female player Toni Stone. The team bus also burned during a pit stop.

The biggest threat came after the season when the Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City and the Monarchs had to compete for attendance against a major-league club. Baird remained positive, at least publicly. “It will only serve to spur us on to greater achievements,” he said.36 But the Monarchs were able to play only two home games in Kansas City because of declining fan interest and the increased rent for their home ballpark, now remodeled to fit major-league standards and renamed Municipal Stadium.

In 1955 only the Monarchs, Birmingham, Detroit, and Memphis remained in the Negro American League. Baird reacquired Paige for $40,000.37 It was Paige’s last run with the Monarchs, for whom he pitched on and off from 1935 to 1955. It was also the last season for player-manager Buck O’Neil, who became a Chicago Cubs scout. The Monarchs won the pennant in the last hurrah for these legends, but by that time the league was so disorganized that no one was exactly sure who the champion was. The Monarchs won 14 pennants and two postseason titles during Baird’s tenure.

“I am not an alarmist,” Baird wrote to NAL President J.B. Martin, “but facts are facts and I know all owners are losing plenty. I have been in baseball long enough to see what might happen to us.”38 The writing was on the wall. In January 1956 Baird sold 12 players to major- or minor-league clubs. “It looks like I sold everybody but the bus driver,” he said, still finding a sense of humor. “But I’m happy to see these players get their chance in organized baseball.”39 This all but signified the end of the Kansas City Monarchs franchise he had been with since the beginning. “I haven’t made a definite decision yet,” Baird said in response to whether the Monarchs would even field a team in 1956. “I’ve been in baseball more than thirty-six years and will not decide until later on.” A report at the time stated that in the previous 10 years Baird had sold 29 players to major-league teams and another nine to the minor leagues.40 It was a final parting gift to his players and cemented his legacy of running what was unofficially an African American minor-league development system.

Less than a month later, Baird decided it was time to go and accepted a position as a scout with the Kansas City A’s. “I’m happy to be with the Athletics,” Baird said, “and I hope I can be of assistance to them in their building program.”41 Baird concentrated on finding and developing African American talent. It seemed to spell the complete dissolution of the Monarchs, but Baird was determined to put the club in good hands. He sold the Monarchs to Ted Rasberry, who also owned the Detroit Stars. One meager report said Rasberry bought the entire franchise for $3,500.42 Rasberry kept the club in operation through 1962, keeping the Kansas City Monarchs name but running the club out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Baird became the business manager of the Harlem All-Stars in 1957, a barnstorming Black basketball team. He also opened a $400,000 16-lane bowling alley in Kansas City, Kansas.43

In 2007 historian Tim Rives wrote that his research revealed Baird to have been a member of the Wyandotte County, Kansas, Ku Klux Klan. (Kansas City is the dominant community in the county.) The Klan did occupy a certain space in some areas which, though exclusionary in its membership, may not always have been violent toward others. Had Tom Baird been a member of the Klan in 1922? We don’t know. See the sidebar for further discussion on this subject.

We are left with many questions about Tom Baird that can only be answered through further research. What we do know is that Baird worked tirelessly for the Monarchs for over 35 years and much of his skill in the later years was found in developing and promoting players so they could move on to better opportunities in the major leagues. He was highly respected among players, other club owners in both the white and Black major leagues, and fans.

Tom Baird died in his sleep on July 2, 1962, in Kansas City, Kansas, at the age of 77.



In addition to the sources in the Notes, the author was assisted by the following:

Lent, Cassidy, A. Bartlett Giamatti Research Center, Cooperstown, New York, who provided a copy of Baird’s file.

Faber,Charles F., and William A. Young. “J.L. Wilkinson,” SABR BioProject.

“KC Monarchs to Travel in New Bus,” Atlanta Daily World, May 7, 1954: 7.

“Major Duncan Answers Last Call on Memorial Day,” Kansas City Globe, May 31, 1911: 1.

“Negro American League Standings (1937-1962),” Center for Negro League Baseball Research. Retrieved May 13, 2020.

“Negro National league Standings (1920-1948),” Center for Negro League Baseball Research. Retrieved May 13, 2020.

Dixon, Phil S. The Dizzy and Daffy Dean Barnstorming Tour: Race, Media, and America’s National Pastime (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019), 93-95.

“Semi-Pro Clubs to be United in West,” Jefferson City (Missouri) Post-Tribune, February 3, 1937: 6.

“Ted Raspberry Buys Monarchs,” Chicago Defender, February 25, 1956: 17.

“Topics in Chronicling America.” Library of Congress. Retrieved April 25, 2020.

“Younger Brothers,” Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved April 25, 2020.



1 “This Is a Sure Sign of Spring,” Kansas City Kansan, March 17, 1917: 1; “Sportlets,” The Press (Kansas City, Kansas), October 12, 1917: 8.

2 The Press, August 31, 1917: 7; C.E. McBride, “A Sports Cocktail,” Kansas City (Missouri) Times, October 28, 1952: 17.

3 “T.Y. Baird’s Leg Broken,” The Press, May 10, 1918: 10; “T.Y. Baird Asks $30,000,” The Press, August 23, 1918: 1.

4 “Sportlets,” The Press, June 14, 1918: 1.

5 “Gossip of the Semi-Pros,” Kansas City (Kansas) Kansan, April 30, 1919: 1.

6 Kansas City Kansan, April 14, 1921: 3.

7 “Billiard Men Organize,” Kansas City Kansan, December 2, 1921: 16.

8 William A. Young, J.L. Wilkinson and the Kansas City Monarchs: Trailblazers in Black Baseball (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2016), 39.

9 Young, 71; Janet Bruce, The Kansas City Monarchs: Champions of Black Baseball (Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press, 1985), 70.

10 Bruce, 72-73.

11 Young, 92.

12 Young, 95.

13 “The Famous Mr. Paige Becomes Air-Minded,” Chicago Defender, July 6, 1946: 11.

14 “House of David Wires Ruth $20,000 Offer,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 6, 1935: 12.

15 “Wilson Retains NNL Post,” Afro-American, March 2, 1940: 19.

16 Buck O’Neil with Steve Wulf and David Conrads, I Was Right on Time (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), 119.

17 “Ollie S. Stratton,” Kansas City Times, October 13, 1952: 14.

18 Young, 169.

19 Young, 157.

20 “Monarchs Ready for Training,” Kansas City Call, March 16, 1945.

21 Seamheads lists Robinson batting .384 with the Monarchs, while Baseball-Reference credits him at .414. The Center for Negro League Baseball Research records him batting .345 in 41 games.

22 Jules Tygiel, Baseball’s Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 57.

23 Robinson, “What’s Wrong with Negro Baseball?” Ebony magazine, June 1948: 22.

24 “Monarch Owners Won’t Block Move,” St. Louis Star & Times, October 25, 1945: 25.

25 United Press, “Kansas City Owner Raps Dodger Prexy,” Honolulu Advertiser, February 21, 1948: 11.

26 A.S. Young, “Tom Baird Resents Rickey’s Contract Methods,” Cleveland Call and Post, February 28, 1948: 6B.

27 “Jackie Robinson Rebukes Unruly Fans; Hits Baird,” Cleveland Call and Post, May 8, 1948: 6B.

28 Associated Press, “Gets Monarch Control,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 13, 1948: 16; Associated Negro Press, “John O’Neil, New Manager K.C. Monarchs,” Atlanta Daily World, January 8, 1948: 5; Young, 166-167.

29 “Indians Sign Satchel Paige,” New York Amsterdam News, July 10, 1948: 24; “National Baseball Congress to Honor Owner of K.C. Monarchs,” Philadelphia Tribune, June 28, 1952: 10.

30 A.S. “Doc” Young, “Sportivanting,” Chicago Defender, July 9, 1949: 16.

31 William A. Young, 171.

32 “Negro World Series Open Friday: Baltimore to Host 2 Games,” Philadelphia Tribune, September 13, 1949: 11; “Skins in Upset,” Kansas City Times, September 8, 1950: 22.

33 Leslie A. Heaphy, The Negro Leagues 1869-1960 (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2003), 216-217; “NBA [sic] Cites Tom Baird of K.C. Monarch Club,” Atlanta Daily World, May 2, 1952: 7.

34 “Last Domino by Police,” Kansas City Times, March 11, 1952: 3.

35 “K.C. Has Top Season’s Mark,” Pittsburgh Courier, September 12, 1953: 14; “Good Year Coming to End for KC,” Pittsburgh Courier, September 5, 1953: 27.

36 “Coming of Major League Baseball to Kansas City Will Help – Baird,” Chicago Defender, January 15, 1955: 10.

37 “Satchel Paige Rejoins the Monarchs,” Chicago Defender, June 11, 1955: 10.

38 William A. Young, 180.

39 “Tom Baird Quits Baseball,” Chicago Defender, February 4, 1956: 18.

40 Paul O’Boynick, “Monarchs Sell 12 Players,” Kansas City Times, January 27, 1956: 38.

41 Joe McGuff, “Baird Joins A’s,” Kansas City Times, February 10, 1956: 34.

42 William A. Young, 181.

43 William A. Young, 182.

This biography appears in When the Monarchs Reigned: Kansas City’s 1942 Negro League Champions (SABR, 2021), edited by Frederick C. Bush and Bill Nowlin. Get your free e– book edition or save 50% off the paperback at

Full Name

Thomas Younger Baird


January 27, 1885 at Madison County, AR (USA)


July 2, 1962 at Kansas City, KS (USA)

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