KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Monarchs will return to the baseball field in 2021 after a 56-year hiatus.
Leaders from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Jackson County, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, gathered Thursday to make the announcement.
The Kansas City T-Bones will be rebranded as the Monarchs and will play at the Field of Legends, formerly known as T-Bones Stadium, in KCK.
The museum's board worked with new owner Mark Brandmeyer and regional leaders during the past several months to make the idea a reality.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick said the Monarchs’ rich history is treasured by the museum and Kansas Citians.
“Was it easy to turn over the Monarchs name? Of course not. … It’s our baby,” Kendrick said. “It was clear to us that our baby was going to be well taken care of.”
Kendrick said he also believes the Monarchs’ new “legion of fans” will bring more support to the museum.
KCK Mayor David Alvey said the city is excited to honor the team’s legacy.
“We are honored and humbled that a team will take the field wearing a Monarchs jersey, and we will cherish that name as a sacred trust,” Alvey said.
The new Monarchs uniforms, which players will wear beginning this spring, also were unveiled. The familiar pinstriped design is emblazoned with a red-scripted “Monarchs.”
The Monarchs were founded in 1920 as charter members of the Negro National League, winning the first Negro League World Series in 1924.
The team disbanded in 1965 after producing more Black ballplayers who went on the big leagues that any other Negro Leagues franchise.
Jackie Robinson, who broke Major League Baseball's color barrier in 1947, is a former Monarchs star along with Satchel Paige, Buck O'Neil, Ernie Banks, Cool Papa Bell, Elston Howard and Bullet Rogan among others.