McCRACKEN — Baseball historian Phil Dixon will speak at the McCracken Community Building at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 26. The public is invited to come for lunch at 1 p.m., followed by Dixon’s program on the history of the Kansas City Monarchs. Freewill donations will be accepted for the McCraken Public Library.
Dixon is also scheduled to speak at the Barton County Historical Society at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 22.
This story appeared in the June 2, 2016, Great Bend Tribune:
Award winning baseball author Phil S. Dixon will visit the Barton County Historical Society this month to present, “The Monarchs, a Baseball Revolution.”
The free program will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, at the historical society museum, located at 85 South U.S. 281, south of the Arkansas River bridge in Great Bend.
Dixon resides in Belton, Mo., and is widely regarded as one of America’s foremost experts on baseball history. He has authored various books on the Negro Baseball leagues, and was awarded the prestigious Casey Award for the Best Baseball Book of 1992, “The Negro Baseball Leagues: A Photographic History, 1867-1955.” Other books he has authored include “The Ultimate Kansas City Baseball Trivia Quiz Book,” and “The Monarchs 1920-1938 Featuring Wilber “Bullet” Rogan The Greatest Ballplayer in Cooperstown.”
“I love baseball and I love talking about it,” Dixon said in a recent interview on Sports Radio KFH in Wichita.
Dixon began a 90-city tour with the program “Monarchs In Our Hometown” to honor Kansas City’s 1924 World Champion Monarchs. His current program is an extension of that tour with a totally new presentation. He plans to visit 108 cities in 2016 and 2017. This time he is donating $108 from each engagement to HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and encourages others to do the same.
The Monarchs sent more players to the major leagues than any other Negro League franchise.
“Most people have heard of Jackie Robinson, some have heard of Satchel Paige, many have heard of the Kansas City Monarchs, but few know how connected these men and their teams were to cities and colleges all over America,” Dixon said. “The Kansas City Monarchs and these HBCUs changed modern sports and social history forever.”
Whenever possible, Dixon talks about specific games played in the communities he visits, using data he researched over the past 35 years. He also blends in stories and poetry. “In some cities the Monarchs competed against local competition, in others, they battled against Negro League teams or major league All-Star teams and players, history that is unknown to most of the locals,” Dixon said. “Games were generally against white players and teams.”