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The Kansas City Monarchs, a black baseball team founded by J.L. Wilkinson in 1920, is one of the storied franchises of Negro Leagues history. The story of black baseball clubs and players in Kansas City prior to the First World War is less known, yet it forms the foundation on which the 1920 Monarchs were established. The story of early black baseball in Kansas City from 1870 through 1899 is summarized here. Among the clubs to take the field were the Kansas City Maroons and their star catcher, Frank Maupin. Former classmates organized the Lincoln High Schools in 1899, who became the Jenkins’ Sons in 1900–1907 and the “original” Kansas City Monarchs in 1908–1909. Among the opponents of the Kansas City clubs were the Lexington (MO) Tigers, Lincoln (NE) Giants, St. Joseph (MO) Black Wonders, and Topeka (KS) Giants. In addition to these black teams, the Kansas City clubs also played white amateur and semipro teams in Kansas City and other towns.

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Kansas City Maroons, Kansas City Times Hustlers, Bradburys, Kansas City Unions, Frank Maupin, George William Castone, Bud Fowler



Black Baseball in Kansas City, 1870–1899

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