Part of the Museums on 18th & Vine complex, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) recreates the look, sounds and feel of the game’s storied past. Video presentations and memorabilia in the 10,000 square-foot multimedia exhibit chronicle the history and heroes of the leagues from their origin after the Civil War to their demise in the 1960s. The federal government recently designated the museum America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
The museum is laid out as a timeline of the Negro Leagues and American history. Exhibits include hundreds of photographs, historical artifacts and several interactive computer stations.
As the centerpiece of the NLBM, the Coors Field of Legends features 10 life-sized bronze sculptures of Negro Leagues greats positioned on a mock baseball diamond as if they were playing a game.
A documentary film narrated by actor James Earl Jones tells the story of the leagues with vintage film footage.
The Hall of Fame Lockers pay tribute to the Nego Leaguers who have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The museum store features officially-licensed Negro Leagues merchandise.
HISTORY: The Negro Leagues were established in 1920 by Andrew "Rube" Foster in a meeting held at the Paseo YMCA. A site on the National Register of Historic Places, the building is located two blocks from the Museums at 18th & Vine. First functioning out of a one-room office, the NLBM eventually joined the American Jazz Museum in 1997 in a $20 million facility housing both entities.
WHAT'S NEW: The NLBM broke ground in early 2006 on a $15 million historical preservation and expansion project to restore the Paseo YMCA and convert the national landmark into the John "Buck" O'Neil Education and Research Center.
DID YOU KNOW: Launched in 2005, the Baseball Museum partnered with Roadway Express to create a "mobile museum" to tour 25 Major League Baseball Parks in U.S. cities through 2007. The exhibit offers a dynamic multimedia experience with historical film footage, photographs, artifacts and interactive displays inside a climate-controlled, expandable, 53-foot tractor trailer. Visit the Web site for tour information.