Sending Office: Honorable Emanuel Cleaver
Please join me by cosponsoring H.R. 4104, the Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, which honors the establishment of the Negro National League, a professional baseball league formed in response to African-American players being banned
from the major leagues.
On February 13, 1920, Andrew “Rube” Foster convened a meeting of 8 independent African-American baseball team owners at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri, to form a “league of their own,” establishing the Negro National League, the first successful,
organized professional African-American baseball league in the United States.
The creation of the Negro Leagues provided a playing field for more than 2,600 African-American and Hispanic baseball players to showcase their world-class baseball abilities. Negro Leagues baseball would become a catalyst for economic development across
the United States in major urban centers such as Kansas City, St. Louis, New York, Memphis, Baltimore, Washington DC, Chicago, and Atlanta.
The Negro Leagues operated until 1960, but left significant cultural, economic, and social impacts on the nation. The Leagues introduced innovations to baseball, such as night games and batting helmets, while attracting black and white fans to watch the
sport together. Major league stars, including Jackie Robinson, LeRoy “Satchel” Paige, and Larry Doby, among others, were produced by these teams.
The Negro League Baseball Museum was established in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1990 to preserve and celebrate the history of African-American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America. Since opening, the Museum has welcomed more than 2
million visitors and was designated in 2006 as “America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum” by Congress.
The design of the coins minted under this Act will be emblematic of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and its mission to promote tolerance, diversity, and inclusion. The design will be selected by the Secretary after consultation with the Negro Leagues Baseball
Museum and the Commission of Fine Arts and then reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
The Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act has been endorsed by both the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, Robert Manfred, and the Major League Baseball Players Organization. The Act will not cost any taxpayer dollars, as all funding
will come directly from the sale of coins to private citizens. The funds from these sales would then be distributed by the U.S. Treasury to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for educational and outreach programs and exhibits to help ensure that the indelible
legacy of the Leagues lives on for future generations.
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