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KC Monarchs in Our Hometown, w/author Phil Dixon
April 22 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pmFree
Bartlesville Public Library will host award-winning author Phil Dixon to talk about his book “Kansas City Monarchs in our Hometown,” which chronicles the history of the Kansas City Monarchs baseball team — the longest running franchise in the history of baseball’s Negro Leagues.
The free program is set for 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the Library’s Meeting Room A. The library is located at 601 S. Johnstone Ave. in downtown Bartlesville.
Bartlesville is one of many stops Dixon will make on his tour to discuss the 1924 World Champion Monarchs and baseball history. He began a 90-city tour to honor the Monarchs— winners of a national title 90 years ago — but never imagined where it would take him, he says.
“I started with a basic desire to return to a few cities where the Monarchs once played league and exhibition games during their 1920-1965 history,” Dixon said. “It quickly grew into something much larger than baseball history.”
For the past 37 years, Dixon has made a study of the Kansas City Monarchs and their opponents. Known for his creative storytelling and historical accuracy, Dixon will talk about the players, their opponents, where they played, where they slept and how much
“Most people have heard of Jackie Robinson, some have heard of Satchel Paige, many have heard of the Kansas City Monarchs,” he said. “But few know how connected these men and their teams were to cities and communities all over America. The Kansas City
Monarchs and their opponents changed modern sports and social history forever.”
Dixon said that in some cities the Monarchs competed against local competition while in others they battled against Negro League teams or major league All-Star teams and players — history that is unknown to most of the local residents.
“Games were generally against white players and teams,” he said.
Those attending Sunday’s presentation will hear stories about games played by the Monarchs in the Bartlesville area, involving people who once lived in the community — local residents, “perhaps a relative or a neighbor,” Dixon said.
“This is the kind of relevant local history I combine with the history of African-American baseball in my ‘Hometown’ presentations,” he said. “It is not your typical baseball production. I have learned how to tell stories as they were told to me — colorfully and
A native of Kansas City, Kan., and a University of Missouri graduate, Dixon has authored numerous books on Negro League baseball including one on Wilber “Bullet” Rogan, a Monarch, who Dixon calls “the greatest all-around player in baseball history.”
As a writer, Dixon has won the prestigious Casey Award for the Best Baseball Book of 1992 and received a SABR (Society of American Baseball Researchers) MacMillan Award for his excellence in historical research. He formerly worked in the Public
Relations office of the American League Kansas City Royals and has contributed articles to newspapers and written history on the backs of baseball cards. Dixon is also a cofounder of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., and a member of the Kansas and Missouri Humanities Council’s resident experts.
“My lifelong mission is to bring people together by educating them through my writing and speaking,” he said. “I desire to share the good will and positive race relations Negro League baseball, its owners and its players generated and to ensure that future
generations know of the important role Kansas City’s Monarchs and other teams played in baseball history — history that was often made right in their hometowns.”
“Mr. Dixon’s presentation is an uplifting conversation about diversity and race relations told through baseball, the ‘Great American Pastime,’” said Library Operations Manager
Denise Goff. “He has been receiving rave review throughout the U.S. and Canada, and we are pleased that he is visiting Bartlesville on his tour.”
The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call 918-338-4187.