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Debate emerges over Birmingham Negro Leagues museum

New Birmingham ballpark

When the new home of the Birmingham Barons (Class AA; Southern League) opens next spring, a planned museum honoring Negro League history won’t be open — though it is fully funded.

The issue: how to program the museum in the face of criticism from Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick, who says the world doesn’t need two Negro Leagues museums:

“I simply don’t know what Birmingham’s intent is,” Kendrick said. “Certainly in Kansas City, we don’t think there’s a need for a second Negro Leagues museum. That’s like building another National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum. Why? Now, if Birmingham wants to tell its rich black baseball history, that’s something we would like to partner with them on.”

The original plan for a museum at Rickwood Field would have focused more on Birmingham’s baseball history as well the Southern League.

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