Heart of a Champion: Remembering the 1942 Kansas City Monarchs

Posted at 5:29 PM, Oct 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-02 19:11:17-04

Kansas City, Mo. -- There is no postseason for the Royals, but Kansas City will still celebrate a baseball champion.  

Seventy-five years ago, the Kansas City Monarchs won the Negro League World Series.  But there weren’t the celebrations and praise we saw in 2015 for the Royals.  

Bob Kendrick is president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. He said that Monarch team was filled with great athletes.  

“Satchel Paige, Hilton Smith, Willard Brown. Our own, the late great John Buck O’Neal at first base,” he said.  

Most of us now know many of these names, but there wasn’t much fanfare back then in such a racially polarized time.  

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum hopes to change that by launching campaign titled "The Heart of a Champion."  

“It meant something to be a Kansas City Monarch,” Kendrick told 41 Action News. “This ’42 team man, they would’ve beat so many of these teams.”

The recent success of the Kansas City Royals and the sacrifices made by the Monarchs really laid the groundwork for generations to come.  

That’s evident at Satchel Paige Memorial Stadium in Kansas City where the game is being taught to hundreds of inner city youths.  

Ron Stevenson is director of the Reviving Baseball in the Inner City, or RBI League.  

He’s tasked with molding the minds of future stars, on a field, named after a Monarch.  

“Baseball is the only sport in the world where you can average .300 and they will pay you millions.  If you have a job and you’re doing your job at thirty percent, what’s going to happen?” he said.  

It’s an opportunity afforded to these young people thanks to the contributions of the 1942 Kansas City Monarchs.  

“The City has a great legacy of great baseball, and it starts with the Kansas City Monarchs.”