Kansas City T-Bones Take on Monarchs Nickname to Honor Negro Leagues Team

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2021

Bat weights, rosin bags, and other materials rest on the New York Yankees on-deck circle during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Sunday, July 23, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

The Kansas City T-Bones, an independent franchise in the American Association of Professional Baseball, are rebranding to become the Kansas City Monarchs as a nod to the Monarchs nickname's history in the Negro Leagues. 

The franchise announced the move in conjunction with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on Thursday:

"Negro Leagues baseball hasn't been played in 61 years. So how do you keep it relevant?" museum president Bob Kendrick said, per the Kansas City Star's Kevin Hardy. "And what I instantly saw was an opportunity for relevancy."

In addition to referencing the Monarchs' history and connection to the city, Hardy reported the licensing deal with the T-Bones could bring a steady revenue flow to the museum.

According to the Associated Press, the museum is also aiming to set up a Monarchs-branded youth academy for baseball and softball.

The Monarchs entered the Negro National League in 1920 and competed in the Negro American League from 1937-61. Satchel Paige, Buck O'Neil, Jackie Robinson, Cool Papa Bell and Ernie Banks were among the notable players to wear the uniform.

The revival of the Monarchs comes a little over a month after MLB announced it was affording Major League status to the Negro Leagues that were in operation from 1920-48. As a result, the statistics from players in the leagues will be officially recognized by MLB.

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