Location: Kansas City, Mo.
The great shame of baseball is its history of segregation, which was not rectified until Jackie Robinson crossed the color line for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. For decades, African-Americans were banned from the national pastime. In 1920, at Kansas City’s Paseo YMCA, Andrew “Rube” Foster met with several team owners to establish a professional Negro League, which thrived until the major leagues finally opened the doors.
Now, around the corner from that historic YMCA, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museumshares its home with the American Jazz Museum, and offers up a history of the players from this era of American apartheid. It is not a Hall of Fame, but instead features photos, artifacts and multimedia exhibits about the players and executives who defined the Negro Leagues.
You can learn not only about all-time greats like Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell and Josh Gibson — who are memorialized with other superstars in life-sized bronze statues — but also about the anonymous everyday players for teams like the Kansas City Monarchs and New York Black Yankees.