The Kansas City T-Bones baseball team will take on a new name, the Kansas City Monarchs, according to an announcement today.
The announcement from the Negro Leagues Museum was Thursday morning.
The Monarchs name, a historic Negro Leagues team, had not been in use except for its historical presence in the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
It wasn’t easy to turn over the Monarchs name, Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball, said.
“It is all about how do we make history right, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” he said.
When young players put on the Monarchs uniforms, the legends of Satchel Paige and Buck O’Neil will live on, he said.
The name change and terms of the agreement were announced at a press conference at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, Missouri, with Kendrick, T-Bones owner Mark Brandmeyer, NLBM board members and officials. The team will play beginning with the 2021 season at the former T-Bones stadium in Kansas City, Kansas, according to the announcement.
Kansas City Monarchs were the longest-running franchise in Negro Leagues history. Founded in 1920 and based in Kansas City, Missouri, the Monarchs won 10 league pennants and the inaugural Negro League World Series Championship in 1924. When the team was disbanded in 1965, it had produced more major league players than any other Negro League franchise, museum officials said..
“This exciting partnership celebrates Kansas City’s rich baseball heritage and becomes an important extension of the work we’re doing to educate the public about the history of the Negro Leagues,” said Bob Kendrick, NLBM president, in the announcement. “We are thrilled that the proud legacy of the great Kansas City Monarchs will take the field again and look forward to sharing our story through a myriad of opportunities made possible through this historic alliance.”
Working with long-time fans, brand agencies and the league office, the T-Bones spent several months engaged in extensive research and considered over a dozen potential new team names. Monarchs quickly emerged as the favorite and most inspiring name.
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and Brandmeyer’s MaxFun Entertainment, LLC have signed a long-term licensing agreement which will allow for use of the Monarchs Baseball Team name, according to the announcement.
The collaboration will create a sustainable, long-term revenue stream for the NLBM not-for-profit and include cross-promotion via a satellite Negro Leagues Baseball exhibit at the stadium, according to the announcement. The exhibit will eventually be a part of a travelling exhibit that will accompany the team to baseball stadiums around the country. The team also has plans to establish The Monarchs Youth Academy with a mission to enrich the lives of Kansas City urban youth through baseball and softball.
“Being entrusted to carry on the Monarchs legacy is truly a dream come true,” said Monarchs owner Mark Brandmeyer. “We are committed to creating a world class experience on and off the field, and the historical and cultural significance of this team’s name will be reflected in everything we do. We will essentially be a travelling billboard for the museum and their mission. And if we can help educate and at the same time field a team our city and the museum can be proud of, that’s our goal.”
Unified Government Mayor David Alvey, speaking at the announcement, said that it will mean people from both Kansas Citys, and across the American Association, will learn about the historic Negro Leagues and the players who gave so much.
He said when Brandmeyer purchased the team, Alvey was encouraged by the vision he had for the team.
“I am so looking forward to the displays that will be at the stadium,” Alvey said, and the traveling exhibits that will go to other ballparks across the American Association.
“Those stories have to be told,” Mayor Alvey said. “Those lives must continue to be celebrated. We need dthat to sustain us on our journey.
“We are honored to be a part of your efforts to celebrate the glory of these athletes, we are honored and humbled that a team will take the field wearing a Monarchs jersey, and we will cherish that name as a sacred trust,” Mayor Alvey said.
“The American Association could not be more proud of the Kansas City membership to adopt the famous Monarchs brand. Between the American Association, the Negro Leagues and Major League Baseball, Kansas City has a deep baseball history and this rebrand helps bring that back to today’s baseball fans in an American Association team. We look forward to helping the Kansas City Monarchs and the Negro Leagues Museum educate a new generation of fans through the team’s participation in the American Association,” said American Association League Commissioner, Joshua Schaub.
Fans can engage with the Kansas City Monarchs team via the new team website at www.monarchsbaseball.com and on Facebook (Kansas City Monarchs Baseball), Instagram (@kc_monarchs), LinkedIn (Kansas City Monarchs Baseball), Twitter (@kscitymonarchs) YouTube (Kansas City Monarchs Baseball) and can join in the conversation using the #ReignReborn and #SeeYouAtTheBallpark hashtags.
Gov. Laura Kelly will announce on Thursday that the state will move to Phase 2 of the Kansas COVID-19 vaccination plan.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, all those ages 65 and older, those in eligible congregate settings and all high-contact critical workers now will be prioritized for vaccination. These groups are in addition to anyone from Phase 1 who has not been vaccinated yet.
“After moving quickly to vaccinate close to 130,000 frontline health care workers and Kansas seniors, my administration has worked with local health departments and providers to prepare to move Kansas into Phase 2,” Gov. Laura Kelly said in the news release. “While it’s important to remember that the rate of vaccinations will be dependent on the amount we receive from the federal government, we use every tool available to make vaccine delivery transparent, efficient, and fast in order to reach as many Kansans as possible.”
Approximately 1 million Kansans are in Phase 2 but the next weekly supply of vaccine from the federal government contains approximately 45,000 new first doses so not everyone in Phase 2 will be able to receive their vaccine immediately. Each county, through local health departments, will decide how their limited supply of the doses will be allocated by population groups.
A vaccine dashboard is available at www.kansasvaccine.gov/158/Data that includes key metrics that will be updated three times a week. In addition to the dashboard, in the coming weeks, the state of Kansas will launch a “Find my Vaccine” mapping tool, so Kansans can locate sites that are offering vaccine administration in their communities.
Gov. Kelly said she and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment are asking for residents’ patience as federal vaccine supply remains low. Those in prioritized populations should contact their local health departments to learn more about when they will begin to inoculate Phase 2 populations and how they will prioritize within that group or anyone remaining in Phase 1 who has not received the vaccine.
Wyandotte County residents who are interested in getting vaccinated and want to receive updates on when vaccines are available, may visit wycokck.org/COVID-19 and click on the “Vaccine Interest Form” button to fill out the Health Department’s survey. Anyone who needs assistance filling out the form may call 3-1-1 and a Unified Government operator will assist them.
To assist vaccine distribution efforts, Gov. Kelly also announced the appointment of Marci Nielsen to chief adviser for COVID-19 coordination and Seth Konkel to the role of special advisor for COVID-19 vaccination.
“With significant experience in public health and operations between them, Marci and Seth will be valuable sources of support to my team and the team at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment as vaccine supply increases,” Gov. Kelly said. “I am pleased to have them on board.”
Phase 2 guidelines:
• Persons aged 65 and older • High-contact critical workers necessary to maintain systems, assets, and activities that are vital to the state security, the economy or public health, or who interact with large numbers of contacts and job-related COVID-19 exposure. COVID-19 risk is associated with the likelihood of infecting oneself or spreading the virus. Factors that increase risk include proximity, type of contact, duration of contacts and challenges to implement protective measures. This includes: o Firefighters, police officers, first responders, and correction officers o Grocery store workers and food services o K-12 and childcare workers, including teachers, custodians, drivers, & other staff o Food processing, including meat processing plants o Large-scale aviation manufacturing plants o Transportation workers o Workers in retail, agriculture, supply of critical services or materials for COVID-19 response, the U.S. Postal Service, and Department of motor vehicles • Those living or working in licensed congregate settings and other special care or congregate environments where social distancing is not possible, including: o Homeless shelters o Congregate childcare institutions o Emergency shelters or safe houses o Corrections facilities o Behavioral health institutions
At the University of Kansas Health System news conference on Wednesday morning, Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer, said they expect to know more about COVID-19 guidance from the new federal administration in the next 48 hours.
He said there would probably be more emphasis on wearing masks, and a larger distribution network for vaccines, with a ramp-up in production.
Also during the program, three chief medical officers from area hospitals said they had seen a decrease in the rate of patients in the past few weeks, and they were glad there were no large increases from the holidays.
With more than 400,000 deaths nationwide from COVID-19, the doctors said they had never experienced anything like this in their lives.
Dr. Stites recommended opening up to the reality of this virus, and said people should wear their masks, keep their distance, and when they have a chance to get the vaccine, don’thesitate.
COVID-19 case numbers
Dr. Nathan Bahr, an infectious disease specialist at KU Health System, reported 65 active COVID-19 patients were hospitalized on Wednesday morning, a decrease of two from Tuesday. There were 24 patients in the intensive care unit, an increase of three since Tuesday. Ten of the ICU patients were on ventilators, the same as Tuesday. Another 49 COVID-19 patients were out of the acute infection phase, up two from Tuesday. There were a total of 114 COVID-19 patients, the same as Tuesday.
Wyandotte County reported an increase of 46 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, Jan. 20, according to the Unified Government’s COVID-19 webpage. There were a cumulative 16,249 cases. There was a cumulative total of 219 deaths.
The Mid-America Regional Council’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 141,465 cumulative COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. There were 1,729 cumulative deaths, and 144 was the daily average of new hospitalizations.
The state of Kansas reported 263,412 COVID-19 cases statewide on Wednesday, an increase of 3,590 cases since Monday, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. There were an additional 50 deaths reported, with a cumulative total of 3,575.
The Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard on Wednesday night reported 24,434,284 total cumulative cases in the United States, with 406,001 total deaths nationwide.
Free COVID-19 testing available Thursday
Free COVID-19 testing will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Quindaro Community Center, 2726 Brown Ave., Kansas City, Kansas. The testing is provided by Swope Health.
The Unified Government Health Department’s COVID-19 test site at the former Kmart building at 78th and State will be open on Thursday, Jan. 21, at the former Kmart building, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The UG Health Department recently added flu testing to the COVID-19 test at the Kmart building. Only one swab is used for the two tests. The Health Department estimates a two- to three-day wait for COVID-19 results. For the flu, the department only contacts people if it is positive.
Tests from the Health Department are free for those who live or work in Wyandotte County. The tests are nasopharyngeal swab tests. The Health Department no longer uses saliva tests.
The tests are open to asymptomatic people as well as those who have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. Check with the UG Health Department’s Facebook page to see if there have been any changes in the schedule. Bring something that shows that you live or work in Wyandotte County, such as a utility bill.
Cards and letters of encouragement for caregivers at KU Health System may be sent to Share Joy, care of Patient Relations, 4000 Cambridge St., Mailstop 1021, Kansas City, Kansas, 66160. Emails can be sent to ShareJoy@kumc.edu.
Wyandotte County is under a mandatory mask and social distancing order.