Baseball expert to speak Tuesday about KC Monarchs in Monett

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Presentation on 1927 game offers insight into local history

Monettans will have a rare treat to learn more about early baseball in the community on Tuesday.


Phil S. Dixon, author of nine books on baseball, will bring his expertise to the Monett City Park Casino.

He will speak at 7 p.m. about the July 15, 1927, game between the Kansas City Monarchs, from the Negro League, and a Monett team. Dixon's visit is sponsored by the Monett Kiwanis Club Lions Club and Monett Historical Society, and is free to the public in an effort to broaden the public understanding of local history.

Monett had semi-professional baseball teams back to 1911. More typically, there were various teams made up of local enthusiasts representing businesses that played in their own league each summer, as well as teams from nearby communities. Monett teams played area teams of color occasionally during the 1920s and 1930s, though no African Americans lived in Monett. While no local account of the game against the Monarchs has survived, it is likely an all-star team of local players assembled to take on the professional-level team.

The Monarchs came through southwest Missouri on that occasion playing in Carthage, Cassville, Neosho, Joplin, Monett and Rogers, Ark.

Dixon is co-founder of the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City and has worked in public 
relations for the Kansas City Royals. He also speaks on Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight boxing champion, and is completing his latest book that studies the connection between boxing and organized crime in lightweight boxing during the 1940s and 1950s.

The day after speaking in Monett, Dixon will discuss "The Unsung Pioneers of Negro League Baseball" at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Corley Auditorium at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.

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