In celebration of baseball's return to Wichita, the Wichita Public Library is partnering with Humanities Kansas, The Kansas African American Museum, Urban Professionals and other organizations to present "Wichita’s Diverse History of Baseball," a Candid Conversations series that explores Wichita’s storied history of minority baseball, from the Negro Leagues to the Mexican American teams.
On Sunday, June 21, 1925, a baseball game was played at the ballpark on Ackerman Island in Wichita, Kansas that did not receive much news coverage. The Ku Klux Klan played an exhibition game against the all-black Monrovians. This was three decades before Brown v. Board of Education, and nearly two decades before the color barrier was broken in Major League Baseball. According to the Wichita Beacon, "Strangle holds, rasors [sic], horsewhips, and other violent implements of argument" were barred, and the "rooting was enthusiastic." The game drew a large crowd at Island Park, and there was no violence or any other problems at the game.
This momentous game is the basis for the "Wichita's Diverse History of Baseball" Candid Conversations series this summer.
Learn more about the diverse history of baseball in Wichita and America by exploring the following links: