The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM), located in Kansas City's historic 18th & Vine Jazz District, is dedicated to preserve the rich history of professional African-American baseball of the early 1900s to the 1950s and its profound impact on the social advancement of America. The privately funded non-profit museum was incorporated in 1990 two blocks from the Paseo YMCA where, in 1920, Andrew "Rube" Foster established the Negro National League.
Through the inspiration of Horace M. Peterson III (1945-1992), founder of The Black Archives of Mid-America, and the passionate leadership of Negro Leagues legend John "Buck" O'Neil (1911-2006), a group of local historians, business leaders, and former professional baseball players came together to create a museum that would give voice to a remarkable chapter of American history.
The NLBM opened its doors to the public in a tiny one-room office space in 1991. By 1994, the NLBM expanded to a 2,000 square foot space in the Lincoln Building which became the catalyst for redevelopment of the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District.
In November, 1997, a dream was realized when the NLBM joined the American Jazz Museum as part of the new "Museums at 18th & Vine" complex. The NLBM houses a 10,000 square foot exhibit featuring multi-media displays, several film exhibits, hundreds of photographs,
12 bronze sculptures of Negro League legends, and a growing collection of artifacts.
In July, 2006, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum gained national distinction from the U.S. Congress earning the designation as "America's National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum."