Saturday, February 27, 2010

Royals In Monarchs Duds: June 26, 1999

2003 Mike Sweeney game-used jersey

I unfortunately haven't found photos from the June 26, 1999 game or photos of jerseys from the game; the above jersey is from a 2003 game, but is the 1924 style that the Royals wore on June 26, 1999. This 1924 style has been worn by the Royals numerous times, including 1994, 1999, 2003 and 2009, and the road version has been worn by the Royals on the road at least a couple of times. The 1924 team is significant, as they won the first "colored" World Series. Here's a shot of the great Bullet Rogan at the 1924 World Series:

The Royals played the Indians in the 1999 Salute to the Negro Leagues game, who appeared as the 1946 Cleveland Buckeyes. Again no pictures, but this is the '46 Buckeyes jersey that Ebbets Field Flannels offers:

And here are the actual 1946 Buckeyes:

The Royals/Monarchs started Chris Fussell who managed to give up six runs in two innings of work. Bartolo Colon hurled for the Indians/Buckeyes and was going well through seven innings. Going into the bottom of the eighth, Cleveland had a 7-1 lead. According to, the Royals win expectancy at that point was 2%. Colon loaded the bases and got one out before getting pulled. A ten run inning followed, with a wild pitch, walk, single, walk, walk, single, double, intentional walk and double recorded before the second out. Ricardo Rincon got the loss while Jeff Montgomery got the W in a wild 11-7 win for Kansas City.

Royals in Monarchs Duds: June 13, 1998

Jeff Conine 1998 game-used jersey

The Monarchs wore a dizzying array of uniform styles during their existence, with little carryover from year to year, or even similarity between home and away uniforms some years. This gives the Royals a lot of options to work through when choosing throwback unis each year. The Royals said they based the 1998 jersey on a 1949 Monarchs style. Here's the 1949 team:

Doesn't look like an exact match. The jersey the Royals wore looks like the one in this shot of Buck O'Neil, but I don't know what year this photo was taken:

It's possible that Buck is wearing the 1949 road grays there, and the Royals turned it into a white for their game. I haven't managed to find another picture of a Monarchs jersey that looks just like this one. It's a pretty common photo of Buck, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was the basis for the 1998 jersey.

The Tigers came dressed as the 1935 Detroit Cubs, an obscure team that operated independently for one year only. The jersey number on a cub on the sleeve is a great little detail:

Luis Gonzalez 1998 game-used jersey

As for the game, the Cubs romped over the Monarchs 7-1. Justin Thompson pitched a complete game for Detroit, while Pat Rapp started and took the loss for Kansas City.

Royals In Monarchs Duds

As someone with great fondness for the history of the Kansas City Monarchs and as a lifelong Royals fan, I love seeing the Royals don Monarchs uniforms every year. The tradition began in 1994, and has been repeated each year since with the exceptions of 1996, 1997, 2002, and 2011. (Negro Leagues nights were held those years, but Monarchs uniforms weren't a part of the celebrations.) I'm going to take a year-by-year look at the uniforms, the games, and the Negro Leagues teams that were being honored. The Royals have participated in many such games on the road, but for now I'll just focus on games in Kansas City.

Here is what I believe is a complete list of such games. Click the links to see my write-up of each year, or click the "Royals in Monarchs Duds" tag at the bottom of this post to see them all.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

RIP Slick Surratt

Alfred "Slick" Surratt, Kansas City Monarchs and Detroit Stars outfielder between 1947-52, has passed away. Claire Smith and Fay Vincent have written tributes to their friend. If you can track down a copy of the Monarchs documentary film Ain't Seen Nothing Like It Since, you can see Slick interviewed.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Negro Leagues Museum Reading

The Associated Press released a story recently about financial difficulties at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The article and annual Legacy Awards event on January 30th have contributed to a small flurry of NLBM related articles. The museum is an issue close to my heart, and I hope to have a post here with my thoughts at some point. In the meantime, I want to collect some links for reading on the topic: