Review: Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for iPad

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Negro Leagues Baseball Museum iPad app

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum was released last week on the iPad App Store. It’s great time to launch the app as we’re now at the mid-point of the MLB season and it’s All-Star week. In fact, the app is currently on offer at a ‘special price’ of $1.99 to mark All-Star week.

Here’s a little excerpt from the App Store page for the app, that gives an intro to the museum that the app celebrates:

Founded in 1990, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM), located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District of Kansas City, MO is a privately funded, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the rich history of African-American Baseball.

Through the inspiration of Horace M. Peterson III (1945-1992), founder of the Black Archives of Mid-America, a group of local historians, business leaders, and former baseball players came together to create the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Now the museum brings you an app to learn even more about a key time in American history surrounding the league and all of the great players involved, players like Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, Jackie Robinson, and many more.

As Buck O’Neil once said, “Man, could we play!”. And they could.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum iPad app

The app starts off on a great foot, with a  Foreword by Joe Posnanski, a former senior columnist for Sports Illustrated and one of my favorite baseball writers and sports writers of any kind.

I’m a huge baseball fan and I’ve heard of and read a little about some of the big stars from the Negro Leagues – guys like Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson – and have often thought about how much of a shame it is that they never got the opportunity to display their full talents in the major leagues (although Paige did play in the MLB in his later years). This app is a great way to build on my tiny amount of knowledge about the Negro Leagues – and happily it’s well presented and a pleasure to browse and read through.

The app is divided into these main sections:

Timeline: Short blocks of information by decade, starting in the 1860s, with items covering American History, African American History, Negro Leagues History, and Baseball History.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum iPad app

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum iPad app

One of my favorite items in the timeline is the entry for 1946. It’s a video clip of ‘Clown teams’ who played ‘pepper ball’ and shadow ball’ as entertainment and as a way of highlighting their skills. It’s a lot like a baseball version of the Harlem Globetrotters.

Clown Baseball video

Map of Negro League franchises: A map view of cities with Negro League teams. A tap on any of the dots brings up a popover with details including team history, rosters, and a team photo.

Field of Legends: This section highlights the place where tours of the Negro Leagues Museum end – the Field of Legends, a mock baseball diamond filled with bronze sculptures of some of the leagues’ legendary players.  This is probably the most fun section where you can see popover cards for each of these players with a photo, basic player details (years played, teams played for, positions played, height, weight etc) and a brief bio and career summary.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum iPad app

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum iPad app

Legends Josh Gibson

There’s also a listing of Negro League players who have been inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame – including greats like Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, and Ernie Banks – as well as Gibson and Paige.

Photo Gallery: A small collection of great photos of the players, teams, and owners from the Negro Leagues.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum iPad app

Photo Gallery

I’d love to visit the Negro Leagues Museum someday, but so far I’ve never managed to get to any of the HOF type museums – and I don’t know if any of these are high on my wife and daughter’s wish list. So I’m very happy to see an app like this one and have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with it. I hope the Baseball Hall of Fame takes a good long look at it and thinks about doing an app like this of their own.

Here’s an App Store link for Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for iPad; it’s priced at a special price of $1.99 for All-Star week as this post is written.

Disclosure: This app was independently purchased by the post author. For information on our review policies please see our About page.


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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