LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado’s baseball culture were given started long before the Rockies. You can hint it back to the Nineteen Twenties to a team called the Denver White Elephants.
Bob Kendrick has committed his existence to talk about one of the forgotten chapters in American sports history: Negro League Baseball. Kendrick is the President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
“The Negro Leagues were obviously created in the course of a generation of American segregation whilst African-American and Hispanic baseball gamers denied a possibility due to coloration. So they created their own league,” Kendrick stated.
He started out as a volunteer at the museum before he met Buck O’Neil, who played within the Negro Leagues and led an effort to open the baseball museum. The encounter changed his life.
“I tell human beings all the time, when you are bitten through the ‘Buck-computer virus’ it’s throughout. You simply desired to be on Buck’s team, Kendrick stated.
“I took into consideration myself to be a baseball fan, but right here is a whole chapter of baseball and Americana that I actually did no longer know anything approximately. The extra I turned into delivered to this tale, the more I learned about this story, the more I wanted to learn about this tale and so I almost have become engrossed in it.”
Kendrick now goes across the country in one of the six journeying exhibits to tell others approximately the life and legacy of the Negro Leagues which lasted from 1920-1960.
The competition changed into fierce. Giving future Baseball Hall of Famers like Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron their begin in professional baseball.
“This is only a sampling of the talent that had been there inside the Negro Leagues,” Kendrick stated. “It makes us as baseball fanatics marvel what did we leave out? What could have passed off had the doorways opened faster?”
Colorado by no means had an affiliated Negro League group, however, it had the Denver White Elephants, the most lasting African-American semi-seasoned crew in Denver from 1915-1935. The White Elephants had been owned by using Albert Henderson Wade Ross, or A.H.W. Ross for brief. He changed into a businessman and baby-kisser who owned the Rossonian Hotel in Denver’s Five Points.
The White Elephants could barnstorm around Colorado and also play inside the Denver Post Tournament which became the primary American event to integrate in 1935.
“Although they weren’t respectable participants of the Negro Leagues, they have been a dominant black baseball team competing frequently against white baseball teams due to the fact they didn’t have that inflow of black baseball groups in and round them. So they were going all over the nation taking all comers and whooping all comers,” Kendrick stated.
One of the players at the White Elephants’ roster turned into Theodore “Bubbles” Anderson. He played with the crew at the ripe age of 15. Two years later, he could end up the handiest Colorado native to play inside the Negro Leagues in 1922 when he joined the Kansas City Monarchs as a 2nd baseman, 3rd baseman, and pitcher.
Anderson would play for the Monarchs (1922-23), Washington Potomacs and Birmingham Black Barons (1924), Indianapolis ABCs (1925), Atlanta Black Crackers (1938). He becomes additionally a World War II veteran and died on March 14, 1943, on the age of 38 from a gastric ulcer. Anderson’s final resting region is on the Fairmount Cemetery in Denver.
Stories of the Denver White Elephants, Bubbles Anderson, and the Negro Leagues are the purpose why Bob Kendrick keeps to journey u . S ., hoping the legacy of those tales remain bright inside the hearts and minds of the subsequent generation.
“The satisfaction, the passion, the perseverance, the determination could now not handiest change our game, more importantly it’d trade our united states,” Kendrick stated. “This is what ushered inside the Civil Rights Movement in our united states of america. This is a powerful and compelling story of variety and inclusion.”