KANSAS CITY, MO. — Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is making a $20,000 contribution to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City while visiting the museum Saturday afternoon.
"It's about the game of baseball, about the Negro Leagues side of it, their point of view — the things that they didn't have as much as everybody else, the things that they didn't care about as much as everybody else," Jones said before Friday's game. "Just the sheer game of baseball. You walk through those doors, such a love for baseball that it's contagious."
As part of his donation, Jones will also provide free admission to the museum to children from Operation Breakthrough, a Kansas City-area nonprofit that offers daycare for children up to age 5 as well as before-school, after-school and summer activities for children ages 5 to 13.
"It's all about the knowledge. It's all about giving knowledge. Give kids opportunities," Jones said. "It's all about what they want to do with the opportunity. As long as they have an opportunity presented to them, you let them make the decision. If you don't even have the opportunity, there's nothing to talk about. I'm a person who just likes to give kids, give humans, give people an opportunity to learn. When I walk through those walls, I learn. It would be selfish of me not to help other people learn."
The museum, which was founded in 1990 as a one-room office, currently has 10,000 square feet of space to preserve and educate on the history of the Negro Leagues and its players.
NLBM president Bob Kendrick said Jones' contribution will be used to support "new augmented reality technology" for the museum and support the building of a new exhibit called "Barrier Breakers." The exhibit will chronicle the complete integration of Major League Baseball from 1947-59 from Jackie Robinson to Pumpsie Green.