Kansas City Monarchs look to repeat championship season

KC Monarchs
Posted at 5:00 AM, May 13, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Monarchs open their season against the Sioux City Explorers at 7 p.m. Friday at Legends Field.

This will be the second season for the revamped franchise that had some added pressure in its inaugural season of honoring the Monarchs, who won 10 Negro Leagues championships.

And the team did not disappoint, celebrating with champagne showers after bringing home a championship in 2021.

"What a dream come true for the first year. I mean the first year of our partnership, we're champions," said Dan Vaughn, Monarchs director of broadcasting.

Formerly known as the Kansas City T-Bones, the Monarchs are living up to their name.

The Monarchs were the longest-running and most decorated franchise in Negro Leagues history. Now, with a reign reborn, it's championship or bust.

"There's no reason to come to a season and not expect to win. When it's all said and done, that's what we came here to do, we came here to win, we came here to win a championship, and that's our goal and that's our plan," said outfielder Darnell Sweeney.

With 11 players returning from last year's championship squad, a deep playoff run is not out of the question this season.

"If we can do that same thing and play the game how we're supposed to play, there's no reason why we shouldn't be popping champagne at the end of this year," Sweeney said.

The 2021 season came to a close with a 10-game winning streak, and with the season opener finally here, the Monarchs are ready to continue that streak for another historic season.

"It was magical last year with the whole re-branding with the Monarchs and how well we played and how many players we had going to affiliates, so it was just a magic carpet ride, really," said manager Joe Calfapietra.

The first 1,000 fans into Legends Field on Friday will take home a special championship pennant. A ring ceremony honoring the championship team will also take place on the field before first pitch.

Click here for ticket information.