Royals hope World Series adds to city\'s legacy

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KANSAS CITY - The Royals have called Kansas City home since 1969, but before the Royals, there was Municipal Stadium. 

Built in 1923 Municipal Stadium, originally named Muehlebach Field, hosted all of Kansas City's sports teams. The Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League were first to call the stadium home; when players such as Satchel Paige and "Buck" O'Niel trotted across the powdered lines. 

"It's all about honor, the Monarchs were one of the most successful teams we've ever had," said Tom Summers, a neighbor of the old stadium. "They were tough, pioneers in the Negro League."

The Kansas City Athletics, Chiefs, and eventually Royals all followed in their use of the stadium on 22nd Street and Brooklyn Avenue. 

"Take all that in and imagine the history of the game, the development of the players, and being right here where those monumental things took place," said Michael Johnston, who lives in what used to be left field of Municipal Stadium. "I mean, it's historic, it's great."

The 49 year history of the stadium saw two Negro League World Series, both of which were won by the Monarchs. It played host to the first of two MLB All-Star games in 1960, littered with future hall-of-famers (Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, and Stan Musiel all played in that game). The Beatles even made an impropmtu stop by Municipal Stadium during their first United States tour. 

"There's so much history in this place I could fill your head in minutes," Summers added.

Today, there are no home runs to see at the old Municipal Stadium, just single-family homes. The names of the greats, like Paige and O'Niel, have been replaced by street signs. There isn't even a plaque signifying where home plate orginally sat. 

Despite all the change, some residents in the Municipal Manor neighborhood feel it's all still there.

"Imagine how many great athletes were right here where you're at," Johnston said. "I mean, it gives you the chills a little bit, knowing you're a part of history."

 

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