National Archives at Kansas City

Press Release: August 29, 2013

National Archives at Kansas City

Tom Dunkel to Discuss Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball's Color Line at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

For More Information Contact:
Kimberlee Ried, 816-268-8072

Kansas City (MO)…On Saturday, September 21 at 1:30 p.m., in partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, will host Tom Dunkel for a discussion and signing of his book Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseballís Color Line. Copies of Color Blind will be available for purchase in the museum gift shop.

During the Great Depression, out in drought stricken North Dakota, one of the most improbable teams in the history of baseball was put together by one of the sport's most unlikely champions. In Bismarck, a decade before Jackie Robinson broke into the Major Leagues, car dealer Neil Churchill signed the best players he could find, regardless of race, and fielded an integrated squad that took on all comers in spectacular fashion. When baseball swept America in the years after the Civil War, independent, semi-pro, and municipal leagues sprouted up everywhere. Color Blind focuses on the wild world of independent baseball, with its tough competition and novelty, from all-brother teams and a prison team (who only played home games, naturally), to one from a religious commune that sported Old Testament beards. Dunkel traces the rise of the Bismarck squad, and follows them through their highs and lows, focusing on the 1935 season, and the first National Semi-Pro Tournament in Wichita, Kansas.

The National Archives at Kansas City and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum have partnered to present the Swing into History program series this year. The focus is on baseball and its impact on American culture. The series will continue during the 2013 baseball season.

To make a reservation for this event call 816-268-8010 or email kansascity.educate@nara.gov. *Museum admission rates will apply. For Negro Leagues Baseball Museum hours, directions, and admission fees visit www.nlbm.com/s/hours.htm.

About the Author

Tom Dunkel grew up in New Jersey and attended Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania then earned a masters degree in journalism from New York University. He has been a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler and George, John Kennedy Jr.'s genre-bending magazine that commingled politics and culture. From 2003 to 2007, Dunkel was a feature writer at The Baltimore Sun. His freelance credits include The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Smithsonian, Travel & Leisure, Slate, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as commentaries for National Public Radio. Color Blind is his first book.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to more than 50,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by nearly 100 Federal agencies. Serving the Central Plains Region, the archives holds records from the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The facility is located at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108. It is open to the public Tuesday - Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for research, with the exhibits open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit us online.

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