Monday, August 26, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Royals In Monarchs Duds: August 24, 2013

The Royals held their (mostly) annual Salute to the Negro Leagues last night, and celebrated by wearing the uniforms of the 1942 Kansas City Monarchs and supplying the opposing Washington Nationals with the threads of the '42 Homestead Grays. I appreciate both teams wearing uniforms from the same year, I guess because it allows the imagination to flow back to specific games and personalities. And it would be hard to beat the '42 Monarchs and Grays for excitement and personalities. That year's squad may have been the greatest of many great Monarchs teams, but the Grays had their number in the regular season. That made the Monarchs the underdog heading into the World Series between the two teams, but the Monarchs rose to the challenge and swept the Series in four games--not counting the game in Kansas City when the Grays brought in some ringers, won, but had the game nullified by the league after the Monarchs protested. Satchel Paige pitched in every game for KC, and added to his legend by walking the bases loaded to get to, and strike out, Josh Gibson. (You can read a longer account I wrote of the '42 Monarchs season here.)

Harper & Hosmer

The 2013 Royals and Nationals have been pretty underwhelming, but at least they looked great for this game. Nerds like me notice little things different about the recreations. For instance, the Royals didn't have stripes on their socks, nor did they have numerals on the left, front hip of the pants like the Monarchs did. And, as usual, the bright blue Royals batting helmets and shoes were a little jarring to the look. And unfortunately a few players chose to look like complete doofuses by going with the pajama pants look and not showing any sock at all, something that would have been mercifully unthinkable in 1942. But the overall effect was there, and it was a nice distraction to another awful game by KC as they dropped their seventh straight.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

1942 Kansas City Call Calls Out The Blues For Segregating Ruppert Stadium Fans

May 22, 1942 Kansas City Call
This photo spread shows fans attending the 1942 Kansas City Monarchs home opener. The arrows point out white fans sitting peacefully in the integrated seating. The caption reprimands Ruppert (later Municipal) Stadium management for segregating the very same stands at KC Blues games:
TRUTH IS THE LIGHT- These candid shots, made at Ruppert stadium during the Kansas City Monarchs-Memphis Red Sox game, which opened the Negro season in Kansas City, Sunday afternoon, May 17, prove that white baseball fans DO sit beside, in front of, and behind Negro fans; prove that the mixed group of fans enjoy the game without starting a race riot, yes, right here in Kansas City. These shots prove, among other things, that when a ball game is in process, the fans center their attention on the game and NOT on WHO sits beside, behind, or in front of who- Why, then, does the Ruppert stadium management segregate Negroes who must buy a GENERAL ADMISSION ticket? The white fans do not raise the howl. Instead, it is the orange clad ushers who say in a most belligerent manner, "You can't sit there" to Negroes when they are sitting, and quite comfortably, too. White fans laugh at the antics of the ushers trying to get Negroes out of the grandstand. Truth is a bitter pill for SOME FOLK, but these pictures sure force the issue. The truth, pure and simple, is that it is the Ruppert stadium management, not the fans, who bring up and enforce segregation when the Blues play. Why would a white fan sit beside, behind and in front of a Negro one day and refuse to do the same thing another day? These pictures prove that nothing happens when it is done, so why does the management continue "carrying the ghost"?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Two Great Royals Starts In One Day

I greatly enjoyed watching Danny Duffy & James Shields have back-to-back great starts in a split doubleheader in Detroit earlier this month, and it made me wonder about other double whammy starts in team history. I used a game score of 65 as the arbitrary cut-off for an excellent start, and found the below 12 instances when both Royals starters reached that mark in a doubleheader. Duffy (70) and Shields (68) combined for the sixth best average game score out of the 12 twin bills in question.

Over the first eight Royals seasons (1969-77), there were nine doubleheaders in which both KC starters were good enough for a 65+ game score. Then as doubleheaders became a rarity, so of course did doubleheaders with two excellent starts. It didn't happen again until 1990 when Kevin Appier and Luis Aquino turned the trick, then not again until 2001 with the legendary duo of Jeff Suppan and Chris George. That was the last time until Duffy & Shields, Inc. this season.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pic Dump IV

An assortment of KC baseball images sourced mostly from eBay listings and the Kansas City Baseball Historical Society's Facebook page, where people regularly post great photos.

1960 A's Opening Day

Lou Gehrig & Babe Ruth present a refrigerator to Children's Mercy Hospital, and the scorecard for the benefit game they played in KC

Bo Jackson & Kurt Stillwell can't come up with the ball, ca. 1988-90