Covitz: Former Negro Leagues museum director Don Motley dies at 89

From Randy Covitz at the Kansas City Star on November 20, 2016:

The man known simply as Mr. Motley has died.

Don Motley, a driving force behind the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and an amateur baseball coach in Kansas City for nearly 60 years, died Sunday morning. He was 89.

“He was either Mr. Motley or Coach Motley,” said Bob Kendrick, president of the museum. “He and I worked together for years, and I never called him by his first name. He was always Mr. Motley to me.

“It was a level of respect everybody had for him. I could never call him Don.”

Motley was a long-time employee of the U.S. Postal Service, where he was an equal employment opportunity investigator, but his passion was baseball.

He coached young men in the inner city and was the first African-American manager in both the American Legion in Missouri in the 1950s and 60s and in the Ban Johnson League, serving as manager for the Milgram Mustangs for 41 years.

In 1990, Motley became one of the founders of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in downtown Kansas City and executive director in 1991 until he retired in 2008.

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Originally published: November 21, 2016. Last Updated: November 21, 2016.