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Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s “Hall of Game” will honor former Major Leaguers

February 13, 2014

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Lou Brock, Joe Morgan, Dave Winfield and Roberto Clemente form the inaugural class of inductees; ceremonies planned for April 12 in Kansas City, MO.

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) announced today the establishment of the “Hall of Game,” a tribute to former Major League Baseball stars who played the game with the same passion, determination, flair and skill exhibited by the heroes of the Negro Leagues. The celebrated announcement was made today in ceremonies held at the NLBM on the 94th birthday of the Negro Leagues.

Four baseball legends form the museum’s inaugural Hall of Game class: Lou Brock, Joe Morgan, Dave Winfield and the late, great Roberto Clemente. The much-anticipated induction ceremonies are planned for 8 p.m., Sat., April 12, 2014, at the Gem Theater in Kansas City, MO.

Hall of Game inductees will also receive permanent recognition as part of the future Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center being developed by the NLBM at the site of the Paseo YMCA, the birthplace of the Negro Leagues. On Feb. 13, 1920, Andrew “Rube” Foster established the Negro National League in a meeting held at the Paseo YMCA.

“This is truly a historic and proud day as we continue our efforts to celebrate the heritage of baseball,” said NLBM president Bob Kendrick. “The Hall of Game celebrates both the style and substance of the Negro Leagues which represented professional baseball at its absolute finest.  Our inaugural class of Major League inductees were all, in their unique ways, connected to the Negro Leagues experience. Their play was reflective and reminiscent of that common thread and we’re delighted to welcome them into the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum,” Kendrick said.

The Hall of Game will annually honor former Major Leaguers who best exemplified the spirit and signature style of play that made Negro Leagues baseball a fan favorite. Or, in the words of O’Neil: “You couldn’t go to the concession stands because you might miss something you’ve never seen before!”
 
The induction event will take place at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the Gem Theater in the historic 18th & Vine District in Kansas City. The day’s festivities will include a press conference, VIP meet-and-greet, reception and dinner at the NLBM followed by the Hall of Game ceremonies at the Gem Theater. Hy-Vee is the presenting sponsor of the event.

The establishment of the Hall of Game and its annual celebration event has two distinct purposes:
1) to provide an avenue for the NLBM to continue garnering attention for one of the greatest stories in American history in conjunction with the date synonymous with the integration of baseball, and 2) to serve as a significant fund-raiser to increase the NLBM’s ability to stay relevant with technology, community programming and to complete the Buck O’Neil Education Center.

A committee of the city’s most prominent business and civic leaders has been established to create awareness of and sponsorship for this exclusive event. Bob Page, President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Kansas Hospital, will serve as chair of the committee.

“The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is a true gem,” Page said, “and the Hall of Game concept will help ensure the museum’s impact is continued to be felt not only in Kansas City but around the country. As chairman, I am very appreciative of the support being provided by our steering committee and the lead role taken by Hy-Vee as presenting sponsor of the inaugural event.”

Premier Sports Management, a Kansas City-based sports agency, is managing the Hall of Game initiative with NLBM and will produce the event. For sponsorship information, contact Erik Miner at 913.563.5412 or via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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THE NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and illuminating the rich history of black baseball. The museum, built in conjunction with the adjacent American Jazz Museum at the famous 18th & Vine District, has become an iconic piece of Kansas City’s social and entertainment culture. NLBM is a privately funded, 501c3 not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1990. The museum’s inception brought together the vision of a group of Kansas City business leaders, historians and former baseball players, headed by the legendary John “Buck” O‘Neil. For more information, visit www.nlbm.com and follow the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on Twitter @nlbmprez.

HY-VEE
Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 235 retail stores in eight Midwestern states. For 2013 the company recorded sales of $8 billion, ranking it among the top 25 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States. To learn more, visit the company’s website at www.hy-vee.com.

PREMIER SPORTS MANAGEMENT
Premier Sports Management is a full-service sports and entertainment marketing agency based in Kansas City. The agency partners with organizations and consumer and B2B brands to strategize, develop and implement a wide variety of marketing programs, sponsorships and events. For more information, visit www.premiersportsonline.com and follow Premier on Twitter @PremierKC.

CONTACT
Laurie Bollig, Director of Communications and Events
Premier Sports Management
913.563.5417