From Mark Schremmer at the Joplin Globe on January 21, 2015, with SABR member Phil S. Dixon:
Baseball historian and author Phil S. Dixon knows that most fans are aware of the impact made by Jackie Robinson and Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey.
However, Dixon wants baseball fans to know that the road to integrating baseball was being paved well before Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color barrier with the Dodgers in 1947.
As part of Missouri Southern State University’s week of activities to honor Martin Luther King, Dixon presented, “A Baseball Revolution: The Kansas City Monarchs in Baseball History” on Wednesday at MSSU’s Corley Auditorium.
The Monarchs were a dominant force in Negro League Baseball, winning the Negro National League championship in 1923 and 1925 and the Negro League World Series in 1924 and 1929.
Dixon, who is a co-founder of the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, said the Monarchs also played a pivotal role in helping improve race relations.
“There was one team who took integration and the American dream to heart regardless of the color of the people, and it was the Kansas City Monarchs,” Dixon said. “If not for the Monarchs, baseball history would be completely changed.”
Originally published: January 22, 2015. Last Updated: January 22, 2015.