KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Kansas City Monarchs baseball team will take the field for the first time in more than 60 years Tuesday night in Kansas City, Kansas.
The team plays in an independent league known as the American Association of Professional Baseball.
It takes its name, uniforms and logo from the Negro Leagues team born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1920.
“It is a tremendous brand that has now been brought back to life through this exciting partnership,” said Bob Kendrick, the president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. “I’m sure it will be pretty emotional for me come Tuesday when you hear the PA announcer say, ‘Now here's your Kansas City Monarchs.’”
The team will play 56 home games at Legends Field near the Kansas Speedway and Children’s Mercy Park.
Team CEO Mark McKee said the field has been renovated to offer an exciting fan experience with a beer garden, games and rotating barbecue restaurants.
Tickets range from $5 to $85. Parking is free. The stadium will be at full capacity from the start of the season.
“We're creating a whole new food and beverage area on the hillside,” McKee pointed out some of the changes. “In the back, centerfield area we're putting in bocce courts and other yard games and a beer tent so truly you can walk all around the stadium and there's something at every corner.”
New owners changed the team from the T-Bones to Monarchs by creating a partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
A portion of revenue from game ticket sales will go back to the museum. A miniature museum will be on display at Legends Field and the team will bring a pop-up museum with it to road games so opposing team fans can learn about the league’s history.
“I do think they're going to captivate the imaginations of a lot of young people who want to learn more about the history of the great Kansas City Monarchs and, in doing so, want to learn more about this museum and I think it's going to drive people to this museum,” Kendrick pointed out.
The team took players to the museum last week. Pitcher Akeem Bostick said there is greatness in the pinstripe home uniforms of his new team.
“It’s an honor to put on a uniform every day, number one, as a job, but to be able to represent this brand and this name and this great town, that’s huge for us,” Bostick said.
Opening day lined up with Greater Kansas City Day, which annually raises money for the Rotary Club’s camp for kids.
This year, several former Chiefs players helped sell Monarchs pennants across town to raise money for the Rotary Youth Camp and raise awareness about the Monarchs.
Tickets to Tuesday's game are available online. The first pitch is at 7:10 p.m.