Bob Decides To Move On

By Sam Mellinger
Updated: February 9, 2010

KANSAS CITY — Bob Kendrick, the longtime marketing director and close friend of Buck O’Neil, has resigning from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Kendrick has worked at the museum since 1998, and before that volunteered for about five years. After O’Neil’s death, Kendrick was the museum’s most prominent spokesman and lost a narrow vote of the board of directors in December 2008 to become executive director.

Kendrick told Greg Baker, who won that vote, of his plans on Monday to become executive director of the National Sports Center for the Disabled’s Kansas City office.

“It’s going to be difficult not driving to 18th and Vine every day,” Kendrick said. “My loyalties to that museum remain. I will remain an advocate to that organization, and a loyal supporter. From a career standpoint, it’s time to do something different.”

It’s not immediately known how the museum will replace Kendrick. Among other duties, he was a major fund-raiser and organizer for the Legacy Awards show and other events put on by the museum.

He also served as the contact person for many Negro Leagues players as well as current and former big-leaguers.

Kendrick’s departure comes during a tough economic turn for the museum, which lost close to $200,000 but projects to at least break even this year as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

The museum got off to a good start as the 10th Legacy Awards show last month produced a profit approaching or exceeding $100,000.

Last week, The Star reported Ollie Gates taking the lead on building the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center.

“I still am a believer,” Kendrick said about the museum’s future. “I believe the leadership there will continue to help the museum remain strong and successful. I’m no different than anybody else in terms of hoping that’s going to be the case.”