Monarchs Defeat the Blues

Author: 
Kansas City Public Library

On October 6, 1922, the Kansas City Monarchs and the Kansas City Blues baseball teams embarked on a six-game series that would end with the Monarchs being crowned "The New City Champions" by the Kansas City Star.

Kansas City Monarchs
Team photo of the Kansas City Monarchs. Courtesy of the Black Archives of Mid-America.

The Monarchs, founded in 1920, were an all-black baseball team in the Negro National League. the Blues, a leading minor league team of white baseball in the central United States at the time, had one of the best offenses in the American Association. By winning five of the six games, the Monarchs clearly demonstrated the talent many black players possessed in a time when white baseball players received most of the glory.

The victory caused Thomas Hickey, commissioner of the American Association, to ban American Association teams from playing Negro National League teams. The Monarchs went on to defeat Babe Ruth’s All Stars team in the same year, causing major league baseball to institute similar bans on interracial play.

With these wins, however, Wilbur "Bullet Joe" Rogan, pitcher for the Monarchs, established a reputation as one of the finest players in the sport and became one of the first black superstars. The Monarchs continued their winning ways by dominating the Negro National League (and later the Negro American League), with 12 league championships in its 37 seasons of existence.

Acknowledgement: 

This article has been adapted from an article published at KChistory.org.

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.