The Kansas City Monarchs were one of the most successful and, arguably, famous teams in the Negro Leagues. The Monarchs had a franchise record of 1553 wins and 951 losses in their 37-year franchise history. They were the first Negro Leagues team to win their league’s “world championship” in 1924 and would do so again in 1942.
Formed in 1920 by J.L. “Wilkie” Wilkinson, the only white club owner in the Negro Leagues, the Monarchs established their well-known reputation as a barnstorming powerhouse through their travels of the Midwest, West, and Canada. After the Negro National League collapsed in 1931, largely as a result of the Great Depression’s impact on the country and the game; the Monarchs would go on to become a charter member team of the Negro American League at its foundation in 1937. It was during this period that the Monarchs would cement their positions as one of the Negro Leagues’ preeminent teams.
The Monarchs are credited with sourcing more major league players than any other Negro Leagues team. Players like Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks, and Satchel Paige, just to name a few, all played for the team before moving on to their major league careers. Additionally, the first black coach in the big leagues, Buck O’Neil, was also a product of the Monarchs.
To learn more about the Kansas City Monarchs, as well other Negro Leagues’ teams and historical facts, be sure to try your hand in Storylines: The Negro Leagues – Season One only available in MLB® The Show™ 23