The Negro Leagues
Courtesy of Library of Congress.
Among professional baseball's most successful, long-running, and storied franchises, the Kansas City Monarchs ball club was organized in 1920 under the direction of the legendary J.L. Wilkinson. In 1937 the team joined the Negro American League and went on to take that year's championship. Among a veritable litany of baseball greats and future hall-of-famers who played for the Monarchs are Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, and Hank Thompson. Indeed, the Monarchs lost more talent to the majors than did any other African American franchise. In 1930 the team became the first to play a game at night, using a system of portable lights, a feat major league baseball would not duplicate until the Reds and Phillies took the field in May 1935. The Monarchs franchise ended in 1965.