From Joe Posnanski at SI.com on March 23:
When you first walk into the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, you will find yourself looking at a baseball field with players on it. Only you will find yourself looking at that field and those players from the other side of chicken wire. The image, of course, was about separation. Through the years, I looked through that chicken wire with Willie Mays and Hank Aaron and Albert Pujols. Through the years, I stood by that chicken wire and listened to stories from Buck O’Neil and Double Duty Radcliffe and Connie Johnson and the great Monte Irvin, who on his best days, before the war and before integration, might have been the best who ever lived.
We’ll never know that about Irvin, of course, and this is the main thing I used to think about when I and looked through the wire at the statues on the field. We’ll never know. We’ll never know how good Oscar Charleston was … and we’ll never know how hard Smokey Joe Williams really threw … and we’ll never know how many home runs Turkey Stearnes hit … and we’ll never know what the Devil, Willie Wells, looked like fielding a ground ball … and we’ll never know just how fast Cool Papa Bell ran …
… and we’ll never know anything more than we can imagine.
Thursday, they will announce that Bob Kendrick has been named President of the Negro Leagues Museum. Bob had left the museum to run the Kansas City office of the National Sports Center for the Disabled. He loved working there — such wonderful people. But not too long ago, the board of directors seemed to realize what they had done, and they came to Bob and asked him to come back, to help the museum find its core again, to return the place to what Buck O’Neil stands for, to make it again a place of imagination.
Read the full article here: http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/03/23/the-negro-leagues-baseball-museum/
Read an article from The Kansas City Star on Kendrick’s selection as president: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/03/23/2748661/former-marketing-director-will.html
Originally published: March 25, 2011. Last Updated: March 25, 2011.