NLBM President Bob Kendrick: Partnership with MLB The Show 'one of biggest things museum's ever done'

Bob Kendrick MLB The Show Storylines Negro Leagues 24
Posted at 12:29 PM, Feb 13, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After the smashing success of “Storylines: Negro Leagues” in MLB The Show 23, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum partnered again with the video game on a second season that will feature Hank Aaron and Toni Stone among others.

“It’s exciting and it’s daunting,” NLBM President Bob Kendrick said Tuesday in an exclusive interview with KSHB 41. “It’s exciting because of the tremendous success that year one of this partnership between the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and Sony PlayStation had and how well the game was received, the Negro Leagues mode of this game. Now, you’ve got to do it all over again.”

Kendrick narrated a trailer announcing the players for season two as part of the MLB The Show 24 pre-order push. The title releases March 19.

The new season of Storyline also features Josh Gibson, who Kendrick describes as “arguably the great home-run hitter of all time,” along with his former Homestead Grays teammate, Buck Leonard.

"There were a lot of folks asking for Josh," Kendrick said. "You asked for him; you got him. But I think a lot of people were excited to see Toni Stone in the game and to see Henry Aaron, but as a member of the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro Leagues.”

Aaron set the major-league career home-run record after he started his professional baseball career in the Negro Leagues, while Stone is the first female pro baseball player to suit up for a predominantly male team.

“This has been one of the biggest things that Negro Leagues Baseball Museum has ever done,” Kendrick said. “I know it sounds kind of odd, because it’s a video game. It took me a minute to understand, and I think a lot of people already knew this, how big the gaming platform really is. It’s being felt through the adulation, the excitement and the interest that has been generated by the inclusion of the Negro Leagues.”

In the trailer, Kendrick, in a style that will be familiar to those who have caught him giving a tour at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, lauded the tale of Gibson, “who is said to have hit a ball completely out of Yankee Stadium,” and noted that his “Hall of Fame thunder twin” Leonard “could tear the cover off a fastball and pick it at first like no one else could.”

“If you were going to put Josh in, you had to have his teammate, the great Buck Leonard, who I think formed one of the most fearsome tandems in baseball history," Kendrick said. "Buck Leonard and Josh Gibson, they were hard to get out."

Stone, a barrier-breaker for women in baseball, played for the Indianapolis Clowns in 1953 and the Kansas City Monarchs in 1954.

More players will be included in season, but those announcements will come at a later date.

“Based on the reaction of the reveal video that we released today ... (it) has been extremely positive, so I am really excited about this,” Kendrick said.