Coinciding with the much-anticipated start of the 2021 baseball season, SiriusXM and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum present an exclusive new podcast series, Black Diamonds. Hosted by museum president and historian Bob Kendrick, the podcast will showcase the history of the Negro Leagues, highlighting the players, people, and events that shaped them, as well as spotlighting the leagues’ achievements and innovations during a time of segregation and inequality.
The first two episodes are available now. The 20-episode series can be heard on the SiriusXM app and other podcast platforms.
“For 30 years, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum has given voice to a powerful and compelling story that had escaped the pages of American history books,” said Kendrick. “Our collaboration with SiriusXM to produce the new Black Diamonds podcast not only amplifies that voice but provides an incredible platform that will bring the inspirational story of the Negro Leagues to life. As host of the show, I’m excited to take listeners on a nostalgic journey as we celebrate baseball’s unsung heroes who overcame tremendous social adversity to play ball.”
“You cannot tell the full history of baseball without sharing the story of the Negro Leagues,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming. “We are honored to be teaming up with Bob and the Negro Leagues Museum to bring their extensive knowledge and perspective on what is a really remarkable and important part of history to our listeners.”
Episodes one and two focus on the great Jackie Robinson, whose importance in the history of his sport as the first Black player in the modern era to play on a Major League roster, cannot be overstated. Robinson played with the Negro Leagues’ Kansas City Monarchs before the Brooklyn Dodgers brought him into their organization as a minor league player in 1946, then promoted him to the major league club for the 1947 season. Kendrick and guests tell Robinson’s story on and off the field and explain why, of all the players in the Negro Leagues, he was the right man to break baseball’s color barrier.
“Jackie always said, ‘Fellas, we’re bitter now but things are going to get better.’ … Jackie was a prophet. Because things did get better. We made a radical change to racism in this country for what we did on the baseball field,” said Don Newcombe, Dodgers great and Robinson’s teammate for six seasons
Throughout the series, in addition to Robinson’s story, listeners will hear about baseball legends like Oscar Charleston, Josh Gibson, and Satchel Paige, and important figures like Rube Foster, Effa Manley, Buck O’Neil, and many more.