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.