2012 Anderson Monarchs Barnstorming TourA tribute to Jackie Robinson and Negro Leagues Baseball
April 15, 1947 - Jackie Robinson takes the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers and becomes the first African American to play Major League baseball in the 20th century, opening the door for future generations to pursue their dreams. For decades African Americans, shut out of the major leagues, formed and played in their own leagues - the Negro Leagues. In the offseason, players from the Negro leagues often boarded buses and "barnstormed" their way around the country, playing games against town teams, as well as Major League players. It was a tough way to live but a way to make a living playing the game they loved. The high level of play and the success these players enjoyed were what paved the way for Jackie Robinson's historic accomplishment.
Fast forward 65 years... June 30, 2012 - as a tribute to Jackie Robinson and the Negro Leagues, the AndersonMonarchs, an inner city, 11 year-old African American baseball team from South Philadelphia, will board an authentic 1947 Flxible Clipper touring bus, and embark on a 22-day, 4000-mile journey - barnstorming their way across the country - all the way to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, arriving during the 2012 Major League Baseball All Star Game festivities.
Along the way, The Monarchs will play games against local youth teams, meet surviving players from the Negro Leagues, visit historic sites - such as Jackie Robinson's grave site in Brooklyn, Wrigley Field, the Field of Dreams in Iowa, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the Louisville Slugger Museum, the three remaining stadiums in the country which Negro League teams called home, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.