Anyone who’s paying attention knows Mo’ne Davis is one extraordinary kid. But behind her, and the 13 others who play for the Anderson Monarchs (run out of the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation) is Steve Bandura. For two decades he’s shaped the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged kids with big dreams.
The Monarchs play basketball, soccer and baseball, depending on the season, and the kids are together year-round. The team is named for Marian Anderson, who in 1955 became the first black singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, and for the Kansas City Monarchs, a standout in the Negro Leagues back when professional baseball was segregated. Jackie Robinson was its star.
For three weeks this summer, they’re dotting their exhibition tour with a tour of Civil Rights history. Taking time out from baseball to make stops at places like the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama, the site of the 1963 bombing which killed four black girls, and Little Rock Central High School, the epicenter of the fight to end segregated schools.
Read the full piece at the New York Times: Baseball and Black History – NYTimes.com