"42" stars visit Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Harrison Ford among those taking tour

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The back door of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum wasn't exactly the red carpet Friday morning, but fans still gathered to rub elbows with "42" star Harrison Ford. After taking a tour of the museum, Ford signed fans' posters, baseballs and other items as he worked his way to a waiting SUV. 

Jeffrey Remington was one fan who waited for more than two hours.

"Oh yeah, definitely worth it. He's an idol to me," Remington said. "He's such a great actor. He's one of my favorites." 

Ford is one of the stars of the new movie "42", which tells the story of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in major league baseball. He and some of the movie's other stars toured the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Friday morning. 

Chadwick Boseman, who played Robinson in the film, was struck by how museum visitors go through exhibits that make them experience the racism players endured before being allowed to tour a baseball diamond. 

"They make you earn the right to go out on the field. I love that part of it," Boseman said. "I love the lockers of the Hall of Famers that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame based upon their Negro League seasons." 

A large crowd gathered in the museum's lobby to wait for more star sightings. The crowd included approximately 50 students from Black Bob Elementary School in Olathe, who just happened to be visiting the American Jazz Museum next door. They were excited about being so close to Tinseltown, even if by accident. 

Kenn Woodward, their music teacher, hopes the movie will teach them a new perspective on history. 

"How hard it was back then. I mean, everyone that stands on Jackie Robinson's shoulders and the shoulders of those who came first is going to really play an important role in their life," he said.

The museum is still riding a wave of attention that started during last summer's All-Star Game. Museum president Bob Kendrick said the last couple of days have been great for their mission. 

"The national exposure that has been created by this will certainly create opportunities for us to get in front of a brand new audience of people who may be coming to Kansas City," Kendrick said. 

Now that the excitement is dying down, Kendrick said he hopes to see the exposure lead to higher memberships and ticket sales.

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