Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Are the Royals are too cheap to buy replica Negro Leagues uniforms?


Kansas City Monarchs pitching great Leroy Satchel Paige poses in the dugout at New York’s Yankee Stadium August 2, 1942 for a Negro league game between the Monarchs and the New York Cuban Stars. Paige was considered a top prospect for the major leagues after baseball’s commissioner ruled that there were no provisions barring players of color from the majors. (AP Photo)


Joe Posnanski once wrote about how, roughly ten years ago, the Royals decided not to buy Negro Leagues replica uniforms for their Negro Leagues tribute day -- like every other team that runs such a promotion -- because they didn’t want to pay the $20K or whatever it would cost to do it. Lately that story has been used to illustrate the bad old days in Kansas City, after which a transition to “but now the Royals are running like a quality club” is made.

Old habits apparently die hard, however, because Sam Mellinger reports -- and condemns in sharp prose -- the Royals’ doing it again. No Negro Legaues uniforms on Negro Leagues promotion day. This despite the fact that Kansas City is the home of the Negro Leagues Museum and the Royals have probably the closest relationship with that organization of all baseball teams. Or at least should.

Is there an explanation for this that doesn’t involve parsimony? Mellinger doesn’t think so. And given that this isn’t the first time the Royals have done this, I think the burden of proof is on them to explain why they aren’t going with the Negro League throwbacks.