NLBM's Legacy Awards given Jan. 30

NLBM's Legacy Awards given Jan. 30

KANSAS CITY -- There'll be a definite Royals tinge to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum's 20th anniversary celebration this year.

Julia Irene Kauffman, daughter of Royals founders Ewing and Muriel Kauffman, will team with former star second baseman Frank White and his wife Teresa as chairs of the event for the Kansas City institution. Kauffman, a civic leader, is a member of the Royals board of directors and White is a senior advisor and TV broadcaster for the team.

"We couldn't be more excited about the All-Star leadership team we've assembled to help plan the museum's 20th celebration," said NLBM president Gregory D. Baker.

A yearlong schedule of programs will begin Saturday, Jan. 30, with the 10th annual Legacy Awards at the Kansas City Convention Center.

"I'm looking forward to the Legacy Awards," White said. "I think it's going to be a nice event. You're just hoping that a lot of the players show and make it even more special for the people who are coming."

Those who will be honored include Royals pitcher Zack Greinke, Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, broadcaster Joe Morgan and Commissioner Bud Selig. Those four have not yet committed to attend but several honorees, including players Mike Cameron, Michael Bourn, Brian Fuentes, Elvis Andrus and Andrew McCutchen, have indicated they'll be at the event.

Also on the Legacy Awards planning team are Hall of Famer Lou Brock and former NFL star Gale Sayers, a big baseball fan. Emmy Award winning broadcaster and entertainer Roy Firestone will return as the host.

Tickets for the event, $150 each, include a one-year membership to the museum and can be obtained by calling (816) 221-1920.

The museum, co-founded by the late Buck O'Neil and Horace Peterson, was born in a tiny, one-room office inside the Lincoln Building at historic 18th & Vine streets in Kansas City. It has since grown into an impressive cultural showplace for the preservation of an important part of baseball history.

"You always strive to go higher and get better and become more of a destination point for a lot of people who are history buffs who want to take it in as part of their trip to Kansas City," White said.

Other events for the 20th anniversary celebration include:

• Greatness Confirmed: A five-part series of discussions focusing on the careers of African-American and Hispanic players in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Dates are to be determined, but the series will start in February and conclude in October.

• Coming Home 2010: Fewer than 150 of the 2,600 players in the Negro Leagues are still surviving. Many of them will attend a reunion at the museum on Sept. 27-28.

• Buck O'Neil Golf Classic: Baseball and sports legends will play in the annual celebrity tournament on Aug. 24 at Shoal Creek Golf Course.

• Buck O'Neil Memorial Birthday Salute: Before his death in 2006, O'Neil used his birthday to raise funds and awareness for the museum. This year's celebration will come on what would have been his 99th birthday, Nov. 13, at the Gem Theater.

2009 Legacy Award winners

Oscar Charleston Award to AL, NL MVPs: Joe Mauer, Twins, and Albert Pujols, Cardinals

Bullet Rogan Award to AL, NL Pitchers of the Year: Zack Greinke, Royals; Chris Carpenter, Cardinals

Josh Gibson Award to AL, NL HR leaders: Carlos Pena, Rays, and Mark Teixeira, Yanks (tie); Pujols

Cool Papa Bell Award to AL, NL stolen-base leaders: Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox; Michael Bourn, Astros

Buck Leonard Award to AL, NL batting champs: Mauer, Twins; Hanley Ramirez, Marlins

Rube Foster Award to AL, NL Executives of Year: Jack Zduriencik, Mariners; Dan O'Dowd, Rockies

C.I. Taylor Award to AL, NL Managers of Year: Mike Scioscia, Angels; Jim Tracy, Rockies

Larry Doby Award to AL, NL Rookies of the Year: Elvis Andrus, Rangers; Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

Hilton Smith Award to AL, NL Relievers of Year: Brian Fuentes, Angels; Heath Bell, Padres

Pop Lloyd Award in recognition of baseball/community leadership: Mike Cameron, Red Sox

Sam Lacy Award to baseball writer of year: Claire Smith, ESPN

Jackie Robinson Lifetime Achievement Award for career excellence in the face of adversity: Joe Morgan, ESPN baseball analyst

Buck O'Neil Award for outstanding support of the NLBM: Commissioner Bud Selig

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.