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.
- jerseys available in auction to benefit the Negro Leagues Museum
- game highlights
- MLB photo gallery
- ESPN photo gallery
- KC Star photo gallery