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Calendar No. 387
109th Congress Report
2d Session 109-228
NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM
April 3, 2006.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Domenici, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. Con. Res. 60]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the concurrent resolution (S. Con. Res. 60) to
designate the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City,
Missouri, as America's National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum,
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an
amendment and an amendment to the preamble and recommends that
the resolution, as amended, do pass.
The amendments are as follows:
On page 2, in the first whereas clause, strike ``1988, as''
and insert ``1988 as''.
On page 3, strike lines 9 and 10 insert the following:
``(2) supports the efforts of the Negro Leagues
Baseball Museum to recognize and preserve the''.
PURPOSE OF THE MEASURE
The purpose of S. Con. Res. 60 is to designate the Negro
Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, as America's
National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
BACKGROUND AND NEED
During the first half of the 20th century, racism and
segregation laws barred African-Americans from playing baseball
on major league teams. Black baseball players formed their own
teams, and in 1920, eight of those teams formed the first Negro
baseball league. Over 70 teams existed at one time or another
between 1920 and 1955. Until the 1940s, the teams thrived.
In 1946, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier when the
Brooklyn Dodgers recruited him from the Negro Leagues. Other
major league teams followed suit and began recruiting star
players from the Negro Leagues. Attendance at Negro League
games dropped, and the last of the Negro League teams went out
of business in the early 1960s.
In 1990, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum was established
in Kansas City, Missouri to preserve and interpret for present
and future generations the history of the Negro Leagues and the
story of its players. Although the National Baseball Hall of
Fame in Cooperstown, New York recognizes the achievements of
baseball's greatest players of all races, the Negro Leagues
Museum tells the remarkable story of the black athletes who
built a successful baseball league in the face of racial
segregation. As the Museum's Chairman, John Jordan ``Buck''
O'Neil, who played in the Negro Leagues himself, testified,
``Negro Leagues baseball helped to drive social change in a
segregated America.'' The Museum provides ``a gentle
explanation of a harsh time in our Nation's history,'' and in
doing so, serves as ``a tool for improving race relations by
sharing this overlooked and yet very important history.''
S. Con Res. 60 recognizes the importance of the Museum's
efforts to preserve and interpret this important aspect of our
history by designating the Museum as ``America's National Negro
Leagues Baseball Museum.''
S. Con. Res. 60 was introduced by Senator Talent on October
25, 2005. The Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on
S. Con. Res. 60 on November 15, 2005. At its business meeting
on March 8, 2006, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
ordered S. Con. Res. 60 favorably reported as amended.
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open
business session on March 8, 2006, by unanimous voice vote of a
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. Con. Res.
60, if amended as described herein.
During consideration of S. Con. Res. 60, the Committee
adopted two technical amendments.
COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS
The Congressional Budget Office estimate of the costs of
this measure has been requested but was not received at the
time the report was filed. When the report is available, the
Chairman will request it to be printed in the Congressional
Record for the advice of the Senate.
REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION
In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate,the Committee makes the following
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in carrying
out S. Con. Res. 60. The resolution is not a regulatory measure in the
sense of imposing Government-established standards or significant
economic responsibilities on private individuals and businesses.
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of S. Con. Res. 60, as ordered reported.
The views of the Administration on S. Con. Res. 60 were
included in testimony received by the Committee at a hearing on
the bill on November 15, 2005. This testimony follows:
Statement of Don Murphy, Deputy Director, National Park Service,
Department of the Interior
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the
views of the Department of the Interior on S. Con. Res. 60,
designating the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City,
Missouri, as America's National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Since the concurrent resolution involves a statement expressing
the sentiment of both the Senate and the House and would not
become law, our comments are limited to providing background
information for the consideration of the committee.
African-Americans began to play baseball in the late 1800s
on military teams, college teams, and company teams. They
eventually found their way to professional teams with white
players. Because of racism and segregation, laws forced them
from these teams by 1900. These black players then formed their
own units, ``barnstorming'' around the country to play anyone
who would challenge them.
In 1920, an organized league structure was formed under the
guidance of Andrew ``Rube'' Foster--a former player, manager,
and owner for the Chicago American Giants. In a meeting held at
the Paso YMCA, the center for black culture and life in Kansas
City, Missouri, he and a few other Midwestern team owners
joined to form the Negro National League. The Kansas City
Monarchs were charter members of that league. Rival leagues
were soon formed in eastern and southern states, bringing the
thrills and innovative play of black baseball to major urban
centers and rural countryside in the United States, Canada, and
The leagues maintained a high level of professional skill
and became centerpieces for economic development in many black
communities. The Kansas City Monarchs introduced night baseball
five years before the major leagues did and won their first
Negro Leagues World Series title in 1924. In 1947, Major League
Baseball's Brooklyn Dodgers recruited Jackie Robinson from the
Kansas City Monarchs. When he left the Monarchs to move to New
York, Robinson became the first African-American in the modern
era to play on a Major League roster. While this historic event
was a key moment in baseball and civil rights history, it
prompted the decline of the Negro Leagues. The best black
players were now recruited for the Major Leagues, and black
fans followed. The last Negro Leagues folded in the early
1960s, but their legacy lives on through the surviving players
and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM).
Through the inspiration of Horace M. Peterson III (1945-
1992), founder of the Black Archives of Mid-America, a group of
local historians, business leaders, and former baseball players
came together to create the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in
the early 1990s. It functioned out of a small, one-room office
in the Lincoln Building, located in the Historic 18th & Vine
Jazz District of Kansas City. The museum opened in 1991 as a
tribute to some of baseball(s best unknown players. In 1994, it
expanded to a 2,000 square-foot space in the Lincoln Building.
During the late 1990s, plans were underway by city
officials to create a new home to showcase Kansas City's jazz
heritage and to revitalize the Historic District. A new
facility was built to host the new American Jazz Museum and a
new, permanent, expanded home for the Negro Leagues Baseball
Museum. This new 50,000 square-foot building opened in
September 1997 and the Baseball Museum opened in November. It
has welcomed several thousand visitors, including school groups
and dignitaries. The NLBM also has developed a traveling
exhibit to help bring the history of black baseball to people
outside Kansas City.
The NLBM was created to remember the often-forgotten
stories of legendary athletes who built a baseball league in
the midst of segregation and helped make baseball one of
America(s national pastimes. It was conceived as a museum to
preserve and interpret the legacy of Negro Leagues Baseball,
telling the complete story of the average players to the
superstars. It tells the story of a vibrant and compelling
center of American history that has not been told before. The
National Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, New York,
recognizes baseball's greatest players. However, the NLBM
provides special recognition to those Negro Leaguers who have
been honored in Cooperstown.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. I would be
pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the
subcommittee may have.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no
changes in existing law are made by the resolution S. Con. Res.
60, as ordered reported.