During a Lunch and Learn hosted by Fort Scott Community College Thursday, author and baseball historian Phil Dixon shared some of the history the Kansas City Monarchs have with the city of Fort Scott.
The Kansas City Monarchs, a team of the Negro National League team from 1920 until the 1960s, played games not just among the eight teams in their league, but against teams around the state and even neighboring states in exhibition games.
Dixon, who spent time in the 1980s as a public relations person for the Kansas City Royals, said the Monarchs were a formidable foe that in their early years, winning pennants and even world championships in their league. They also at one time had more than 400 exhibition wins and just three losses.
Between 1922 and 1932, Dixon said he believes the Monarchs played in Fort Scott approximately nine times, with some of the matches being close considering the quality of the Monarchs, some of whom would go on to become major league players and even Hall of Fame members.
“They had some pretty good ball players in this town,” Dixon said of Fort Scott, even bringing up quotations from Monarchs players who said the Fort Scott team they played in 1922 was the best independent ball team they played that season.
During those years, Dixon said attendees often paid a quarter for a ticket, maybe 50 cents if it was a more respected pitcher. Around that time, they also began playing night games for the first time and started taking buses to different cities instead of trains.
Dixon dedicated his discussion Thursday to Monarchs player George Sweatt, who was born in Humboldt and lived much of his life in Iola.
Dixon said it is important for baseball fans to continue to share that passion with younger generations to keep that pastime alive.
Attendees of the event could ask questions and also share information with Dixon about their experiences with games played in Fort Scott in past decades. Dixon also presented a photo of the Monarchs team to Jill Warford and the Gordon Parks Museum.