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Negro Leagues Baseball Museum On The Comeback After Being Vandalized

The resilience of Black America is once again on display.

You can call the cops on some innocent Black folks BBQing and enjoying life. You can even call the cops on an 8-year-old girl selling water. You can bash the African-American NFL players for kneeling to bring attention to police brutality and racial and social injustice, but dont vandalize the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Thats just taking it a bit too far with the bigotry and hate in this country.

Natalie Weiner on Twitter

Two Negro leagues landmarks in Kansas City have been vandalized in the past month, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage. My story: https://t.co/GxJk8QrG3u

Vandals on Friday cut a water pipe on the second floor of the Buck ONeil Research and Education Center in the former Paseo YMCA building that let loose flooding through two floors.

Reports say, the $100,000 parquet floor of what is now a ballroom will have to be replaced, and who knows how much more it will cost to fix the drywall and other damage, and to what degree insurance will cover this.

This latest act of bigotry, hate, and destruction is not the first attack on the history of the Negro League.

Richard M. Nixon on Twitter

There is a campaign to destroy Negro League landmarks in Kansas City. Satchel Paige’s home was set on fire; the Buck O’Neil Center was flooded from cut water lines. If you’re able, please donate to @nlbmprez. https://t.co/o6GouKElS8

NLBM President Bob Kendricks is a man of integrity, enthusiasm, and commitment to preserving the history of the people of color who have contributed to the sport of baseball since its inception.

Its disheartening; it leaves you questioning humanity, and you dont want to be that way, Kendrick said Tuesday, managing a laugh and adding, You want to carry that Buck ONeil spirit, which is that spirit of forgiveness: As he would always say, I never learned to hate.

negroleaguesmuseum on Twitter

@ssnapier @JeffEuston @TheFakeNed Spirit of Buck O’Neil helps NLBM president cope with vandalism https://t.co/EiWBtz8pYr

I am trying to be more Buck-like. Im not there yet. I am still a work in progress.

From Kansas City, But the delightful man who has extended ONeils legacy, who has helped so many appreciate the treasure that is the NLBM, also is getting some profound reassurance as he considers the impact of this being done to the building where the Negro National League was founded in 1920.”

Biking For Baseball on Twitter

Look who we bumped into at the NLBM! Bob Kendricks @nlbmprez

The vandalism comes a month after the NLBM inducted it’s fifth “Hall of Game” class. The 2018 class includes 1972 AL MVP Dick Allen, multi-year All-Star, and Gold Glove honorees Kenny Lofton and Eddie Murray, and electrifying pitchers James Timothy “Mudcat” Grant and James Rodney “J.R.” Richard. The five Major League Baseball greats were inducted into the NLBM Hall of Game during ceremonies at the Gem Theater on Saturday, June 9. Established by the NLBM in 2014, the Hall of Game annually honors former MLB greats who competed with the same passion, determination, skill, and flair exhibited by the heroes of the Negro Leagues.

negroleaguesmuseum on Twitter

2018 Hall of Game honorees, @Kenny_Lofton7, Eddie Murray, @DickAllen_15 & J.R. Richard, posed w/their keepsake awards after our NLBM tour yesterday! @Royals @MLBPAA @MLBNetwork @vgregorian @JPosnanski @Athletics @Sut_ESPN @FSKansasCity @MLB @MLB_PLAYERS @610SportsKC @espn RT

Numerous consoling messages on social media have touched Kendrick, no doubt including the one suggesting love can outweigh the hate and calling for the NLBMs 7,000-plus Twitter followers to donate $20 a piece.

Sport Heritage on Twitter

Please RT: Here’s where you can donate to @nlbmprez to help with the repairs to the Buck O’Neil Research and Education Center and to help preserve the story of the Negro Leagues. Mindless vandalism won’t keep Buck’s legacy down! https://t.co/IuZsdeuItb #baseball #sporthistory

Its been heartwarming, the overflowing amount of concern, said Kendrick, who attributed to strange coincidence a water-pipe bursting at the NLBM itself the same night, causing minor damage, and the recent suspicious fire that destroyed the home of the legendary Satchel Paige. People have already expressed a willingness to want to help, whatever that is, whether its with labor or financially.

Its the Buck ONeil spirit. Hes seemingly always brought joy out of despair, and I think thats what well see here. And (the vandalism) has put (the NLBM and its work) back on the tops of peoples minds.”

This is a small setback for the museum and its actually brought more attention to the place that deserves praise and needs the support of the community to stay functioning. Despite the damage and the message of intolerance that was set by the vandals, Americans of all colors have also shown their character by supporting the museum financially and with encouraging words throughout the ordeal.

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