Most people have heard of Jackie Robinson and some have heard of Satchel Paige. Many may have heard of Kansas City’s 1924 World Champion Monarchs, but few know how connected they were to our local community. On Thursday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m., author Phil Dixon will be at the Miami Public Library to talk about the Monarchs’ visits to Picher, Oklahoma to play ball.
The Kansas City Monarchs, the longest-running franchise in the history of baseball’s Negro Leagues, won ten league championships before integration. As baseball gradually desegregated in the late 1940s and 1950s, the Monarchs developed a niche as the foremost developer of black talent for the major leagues. After sending more players, including Robinson and Paige, to the major leagues than any other Negro League franchise, the team was finally disbanded in 1965.
For more than three decades, Phil Dixon has spent his time devoted to the history of the Negro Leagues. Interest in the subject led to years of research and in 1990, he left a position with the Kansas City Royals’ front office to become one of the five men to open the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Dixon has authored nine books and has won a Casey Award for the Best Baseball Book of 1992, and a Society of American Baseball Research MacMillan Award for his excellence in research. Dixon’s presentation will go beyond the standard stats and player profiles. He will explain the lifestyle of the game, the trends of the era and key events that led to today’s game of baseball. He will have books available for purchase and autographs.
This event is scheduled in conjunction with Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, a part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils. For more information about this event, call the Miami Public Library at 918-541-2292.