Kansas City’s Clash of the Titans

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Above image credit: This 1934 team photo of the Kansas City Monarchs included “Bullet” Rogan (kneeling, third from left), one of the stars of the 1922 team that beat the Kansas City Blues. Cool Papa Bell was also part of the team (standing, fourth from right). (Courtesy Missouri Valley Special Collections)

Kansas City might be the Chiefs Kingdom nowadays, but a century ago, professional baseball ruled the roost, treating fans to some of the best talent on both sides of the color barrier.

It was only fitting that Kansas City would boast one of the nation’s finest black teams, the Monarchs, given the city’s historic role in hosting the charter meeting of the Negro National League in 1920. Whites played for the Blues, one of the country’s best minor league clubs.

Both teams played at old Association Park at 19th and Olive streets, just around the corner from the jazz district at 18th and Vine streets. It was the dawn of the Roaring Twenties, and even a century…

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