New license plate to honor Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

New license plate to honor Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

BY WILL MORRIS

MISSOURI NEWS NETWORK

JEFFERSON CITY — Missourians should soon have the option of getting a special “Negro Leagues Baseball Museum” license plate because of a bill that passed the Missouri House on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 189 gives citizens the option of donating $10 to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, making them eligible to apply for the specialty license plate. That would include another $15 charge on top of regular registration fees.

The museum was founded in 1990 in Kansas City. According to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s website, it sits just two blocks from the YMCA where the Negro National League was created in 1920.

For proponents of the bill, it’s more than just a symbolic license plate. Rep. Mark Sharp, D-Kansas City, co-sponsored a version of the Senate’s bill in the House. He said the license plate is just one step in raising awareness.

“Our intention wasn’t just to make a specialty plate. We believe that this bill truly will create more awareness throughout the state about this jewel of a museum that we have,” Sharp said.

The timing for the bill is important, Sharp said.

“As time goes on we lose more and more of these living legends who played in the Negro Leagues,” Sharp said. “In their absence, our hope is that this license plate reminds people of the rich history that is the Negro Leagues.”

For other representatives from Kansas City, it represents a sense of pride in their city.

“As a lifelong resident of Kansas City, I couldn’t be more proud … I’m literally beaming right now,” said Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove, D-Kansas City.

The bill originally passed through the Senate and now will be sent to Gov. Mike Parson to be signed before taking effect.