In The Loop: September 25, 2022
Your connection to Downtown Kansas City
Give us a follow….
Hey, Loopers, wanted to remind you that The Loop is on several social media platforms:
Facebook: America’s online social-gathering spot, we post weekly on our page and occasionally on Facebook Groups devoted to Kansas City history
Instagram: Since we’re into photography and cool images, we love IG, and we post on there as often as possible
LinkedIn: It’s all business on LinkedIn, so we post a weekly link to our “In The Loop” newsletter there
Twitter: For The Loop, this may be our most active and chatty platform — come join the conversations!
And now, on to the The Loop….
September 25, 1965: Ol’ Satch takes the mound
On today’s date in 1965, Satchel Paige — thought to be 59 years old at the time — took the mound as the starting pitcher for the Kansas City A’s, thus becoming the oldest player to ever compete in a major league contest.
Athletics owner Charles O. Finley came up with the idea to bring Paige out of retirement for one game with the hopes of boosting horrible attendance at Municipal Stadium. (Only two days earlier, a meager 690 people watched the last-place A’s beat the Washington Senators with a walk-off win.)
Paige was a legend throughout baseball, but even more so in his adopted hometown of Kansas City, where he had played for the Kansas City Monarchs during parts of the 1930s and ’40s. Being a bit of a showman himself, Paige seemed to embrace Finley’s silly gimmicks, such as having the pitcher sit in a rocking chair between innings, attended to by a nurse who rubbed liniment oil into his pitching arm.
The liniment oil must have done the trick because, despite not having made a major league appearance over the previous 12 years, Paige threw three shutout innings that night using only 28 pitches against the Red Sox, giving up just one hit — to Carl Yastrzemski.
Kansas City Star writer Paul O’Boynick wrote, “It was almost unbelievable to watch Paige mow down the Boston hitters. He used fast balls, curves and his famous hesitation pitch, which completely foiled the Red Sox batters.”
When A’s manager Haywood Sullivan went to the mound to ask Paige for the ball before the top of the fourth inning commenced, the 9,289 fans in attendance booed. As Paige strolled to the dugout while tipping his cap and bowing, the boos turned to a standing ovation.
Once in the clubhouse, Paige was asked to return to the field where he encountered a darkened stadium — the lights had been turned off — with the 9,000-something fans piercing the darkness with their matches and cigarette lighters while singing “The Old Gray Mare.”
The hyped up crowd went home somewhat disappointed, however, because the Red Sox, down 0-2 early, came back to win 5-2.
Audio from the Athletics’ radio broadcast of Satchel Paige’s last game ever in the major leagues. The conversation picks up at the top of the fourth inning, when Paige goes to the mound to warm up, and A’s manager Haywood Sullivan goes to the mound to change pitchers after the agreed-upon three innings pitched from Satch.
September 26, 1872: In Downtown KC, the James Gang legend grows
Tomorrow is the day in 1872 when three men, allegedly including Jesse James, robbed the Kansas City Industrial Exposition near closing time, just before sunset. The Exposition (sort of Kansas City’s regional version of a World’s Fair) was held on grounds located south of 12th Street between Campbell and Tracy. The second and third robbers were Cole Younger and John Younger, if testimony by former bushwhacker Jim Crow Chiles is to be believed. Other versions of the story tell that the three robbers were Jesse and Frank James with Cole Younger.
Most photographs claiming to be Jesse James are either fake or misidentified. As of last year, there were only eight verified photos of Jesse James in existence. This glass-plate image of Jesse was donated to the James Farm and Museum in Kearney while I was producing a video for the site several years ago. The version on the left is a photo I took of the image before it had ever been seen by the public. The version on the right was retouched by an unidentified admirer of the image on social media.
No matter who actually committed the crime, Kansas City Times editor John Edwards Newman, a Southern sympathizer and former Confederate adjutant for General Jo Shelby, used the incident to propel the legend (and myth) of Jesse James and the James-Younger gang to hero status. Here’s what happened:
On the fourth day of the six-day Exposition the bandits, disguised with what The Times reported as “pieces of checked cloth drawn down over their foreheads and below their eyes” rode their horses up to the office of the ticket-seller as a crowd of thousands watched in disbelief. With two of the men keeping their weapons pointed at the crowd, the third robber dismounted and ultimately took the cash box containing a relatively paltry $978. (Had the trio arrived just 30 minutes earlier, their take could have been closer to $12,000.)
Either during a struggle with the ticket officer, or when the robbers were escaping the scene amidst their own gunfire, an 8-year-old girl was struck in the calf.
The next day, Edwards published articles gushing about the “utterly indescribable daring,” “bravery,” and “nerve” of the then-unidentified criminals. In later weeks and months, he would posit the James boys (without naming them directly) as anti-establishment Southern heroes, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor — which certainly was not the case. Still, a public that distrusted banks and the government and Reconstruction in the South bought the narrative, and the legend of Jesse James was secured.
Certificate: “Awarded at the Kansas City industrial Exposition,” 1872. Jay T. Last Collection of Graphic Arts and Social History at The Huntington Library, San Marino, California
The 'best front porch' for artists is on the Missouri River
Julie Denesha of KCUR writes that “Roger MacBride, the captain of The Kansas City Lady, wants more people to engage with the river he loves. The boat has become a friendly space for friends, artists, musicians and just about anyone hanging around onshore.” Here’s more:
LINK: A Kansas City pontoon boat has turned into the 'best front porch' for artists on the Missouri River
ASB Bridge over the Missouri River
KCQ explores the old Priests of Pallas festival
A collaboration between the Kansas City Star and the Kansas City Public Library, Michael Wells of the library responds to a reader’s question regarding the disturbing use of the abbreviation “KKK” associated with the Priests of Pallas festivals of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The acronym is not what it appears to be, although the parades and events were far from inclusive.
Floats in 1905 ran along streetcar tracks, allowing lights to be incorporated into the parade by using the same electricity as that which would have powered the streetcars. Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Mo.
Kitty’s Cafe on 31st makes New York Times list
Admittedly, Kitty’s is not the healthiest food in Kansas City, but it continues to be among the most decadent and tasty. Here’s what they’re saying in New-Yooooork-City!
Kitty’s is at 810 E. 31st Street, between Charlotte and Campbell.
A crowd waits at the locked gate of the Criminal Court building at 536 Oak Street Downtown for news about the murder trial of Myrtle Bennett. Bennett shot and killed her husband John G. Bennett in their apartment at 902 Ward Parkway on September 29, 1929, in a quarrel over a bridge game. Defended in court by former U.S. Senator James A. Reed, she was acquitted. Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Mo.
Artful City: One weekly selection with a Downtown connection
Downtown Lens: A single image depicting the urban aesthetic
According to the Downtown Council, 31st Street (shown here at Main Street) is the southern boundary of Downtown. I chose this drone image for today’s issue, because the City Plan Commission voted 5-1 Tuesday to recommend historic landmark status for these threatened properties, including the Victorian-style Jeserich Building (center), built in 1888. The question of historic designation now goes to the City Council for final approval. Photo by Chris Stritzel (@chris_stritzel on Twitter)
Who are all these people?
Answering the question “Who are all these people and where are they going?”, The Loop brings you a list of some of the biggest events happening Downtown each week. Please give a friendly Downtown-Kansas City welcome to audiences and attendees of….
Last day, Kansas City Symphony presents Broadway's Leading Men at Kauffman Center
Los Tigres del Norte at the Midland
Discover Beauty Show, today and tomorrow at Bartle Hall
Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents Carmen through Sept. 30 + Oct. 2 at Kauffman Center
THURSDAY the 29th
Keith Urban at T-Mobile Center
GIVĒON at the Midland
Junior League Holiday Mart, today through Oct. 2 at Bartle Hall
UMKC Conservatory presents UMKC Cantate Choral Invitational at Kauffman Center
The Fab Four 'Beatles Tribute at KC Live! Block
FRIDAY the 30th
Kansas City Jazz Orchestra presents The Horn, featuring Sean Jones at Kauffman Center
Platinum Rock Legends at KC Live! Block
SATURDAY the 1st
Violent Femmes with the Kansas City Symphony at Kauffman Center
Downtown Hoedown with Russell Dickerson at KC Live! Block
Maya the Exhibition: The Great Jaguar Rises, most days through Jan. 1, at Union Station
For a more exhaustive list of everything happening Downtown, go to the VisitKC events page and use the “regions” function to search for Downtown, Westside/Southwest Blvd, West Bottoms, River Market, Power & Light, Crown Center, Crossroads, 18th & Vine—or anywhere you want to go in the KC Metro
For live Kansas City Jazz performances, visit LiveJazzKC.com
Until next week—enjoy the city!
Got a tip or question about Downtown KC?
Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact The Loop via social media
Kevin Worley, Co-Publisher/Editorial
Joe Nichols, Co-Publisher/Business
Give The Loop a boost: Become a Founding Subscriber
In addition to having access to all content, and receiving invitations to The Loop’s Downtown events, Founders Level subscribers ($200 annually, or any amount above) receive a Downtown Loop sticker, a T-shirt in their choice of fit, size, and color, and recognition on the website.
THANK YOU TO THESE FOUNDING SUBSCRIBERS….
Karin (Erickson) Bradford
The Kiwinda-Tinsley Family
Todd and Donna Martin
Jane Reed and Mark Patterson
The Loop is a reader-supported publication, and we could use your backing. To receive full access and support our work, consider becoming a paid subscriber for $6 a month, $60 a year, or $200 or more annually.