Key Takeaways

  • In April, the Kansas City Fed co-hosted an event with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to unveil the U.S. Mint’s new Negro Leagues Baseball Commemorative Coins.
  • Triple Play, the Kansas City Fed's Money Museum exhibit examines and celebrates the economic impact of Black baseball.
  • Educators can access new baseball themed educational materials from the Bank focused on history and economics.

Negro Leagues Baseball Commemorative Coin Reveal

Civic leaders, city dignitaries and media gathered in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's Money Museum on April 25 to view the unveiling of the External LinkU.S. Mint's newly struck coins celebrating Negro Leagues baseball. The event highlighted recent Bank efforts, including a new Money Museum exhibit and educational materials, celebrating the legacy and history of Black baseball.

“These teams provided not only a place where baseball fans could see some of the era’s top talent, but they also played an important role in the cultural and economic landscape of Negro League cities, where baseball games were the center of thriving African American businesses, providing retail, restaurants, hotels and other services to fans,” Bank President and CEO Esther George said at the event. 

In 2020, Congress passed the External LinkNegro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, which directed that the U.S. Mint would produce a limited run of commemorative coins in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues. 

The Five Dollar gold coin depicts Andrew "Rube" Foster, who founded the Negro Leagues in 1920 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver sponsored the legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senator Roy Blunt did the same in the U.S. Senate. Cleaver called the event a special day for Kansas City, the hometown of the Kansas City Monarchs, one of the most celebrated and successful teams in the Negro Leagues. Additionally, Andrew "Rube" Foster founded the Negro Leagues during a meeting at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City in 1920.

“If you think about it, there’s no other city on the planet and no other Federal Reserve can do this but us,” Cleaver said.

Triple Play: Economic Impact

Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro League Baseball Museum, explains the history and impact of Black baseball.

Guests also explored, the debut of "Triple Play," a Money Museum exhibit celebrating the historical impact of African American baseball and the impact the leagues had on their community economies.

Oklahoma City Branch Executive Chad Wilkerson and Public Affairs Assistant Vice President Lowell Jones have loaned items from their personal collections to the museum, including an autographed postcard of Baseball Hall of Famer, James “Cool Papa” Bell, a John “Buck” O’Neil signed baseball, and a Bowman card of Baseball Hall of Famer Larry Doby.

Civic dignitaries attended the Money Museum event. From the left are attendees Jackson County Executive Frank White; Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Quinton Lucas; Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick; U.S. Mint Director of Office of Diversity Management and Civil Rights Ashley Bailey; Kansas City Royals President and CEO John Sherman; Kansas City Fed President Esther George.

George added, “It is our pleasure to display these coins in this special summer exhibit, and, after this, in the Money Museum’s permanent collection. The Bank has also developed special educational programming and teaching materials to engage K-12 students in history and economics with External Linkbaseball-themed activities.” 

Now available on External Linkkansascityfed.org, these educational lessons were created by the Bank's Public Affairs, Lead Economic Education Specialist, Gigi Wolf. They are free and formed to inspire critical thinking, creativity and active learning.

Negro Leagues Baseball Commemorative Coin Descriptions

Listen to Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, describe the three new coins minted in honor of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Negro National League.