When they head to the ballpark this summer, some lucky baseball fans will be able to stop off at the museum on the way. A traveling museum devoted to the history of Negro Leagues Baseball will stop at ballparks in 15 cities during this summer's "Times of Greatness" tour. Many of the tour stops are timed to coincide with Negro Leagues heritage days at major league ballparks.
Now in its third season, the "Times of Greatness" tour is sponsored by Roadway. The 53-foot mobile unit features historic Negro Leagues film footage, uniforms, interactive displays, photographs, and other memorabilia. The exhibit includes a life-size replica of baseball legend Leroy "Satchel" Paige as well as baseball-related artifacts specific to the local area the tour is visiting. "Roadway has done an admirable job connecting the history of a past era with values that are still in place today … my father would be very proud," says Robert Paige, a Roadway driver and son of Satchel Paige.
This year's tour will feature a special tribute to John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil, who died on Oct. 6, 2006, at the age of 94. Buck O'Neil served as chairman of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and on the Veteran's Committee of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum has launched the "Thanks a Million Buck" campaign to raise funds for the John "Buck" O'Neil Education and Research Center. The new center will be part of an expansion of the Negro Leagues Museum to be built at the historic Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, the birthplace of the Negro Leagues.