Ryan Mayer

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum began a $4 million renovation in 2011 of the Paseo YMCA to house an education and research center named after Negro Leagues star Buck O’Neil. That renovation project was set back last week when vandals broke into the building and cut a water pipe, which then caused flooding to occur on two floors of the building.

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The water damage incurred by the flooding is expected to delay the opening of the Buck O’Neil Research and Education Center, which was due to open next year. However, NLBM president Bob Kendrick told the Kansas City Star that the support in the wake of the damage to the project has been heartening.

“It’s been heartwarming, the overflowing amount of concern,” said Kendrick, who attributed to “strange coincidence” a water-pipe bursting at the NLBM itself the same night, causing minor damage, and the recent suspicious fire that destroyed the home of the legendary Satchel Paige. “People have already expressed a willingness to want to help, whatever that is, whether it’s with labor or financially.”

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In on-the-field news, the New York Yankees first-half power surge has continued, with the Bombers breaking a franchise record for most round-trippers prior to the All-Star break. They have 137 after hitting six total in their 11-1 win over the Red Sox on Sunday night. Currently, the Yankees are on pace to hit 274 homers this season, which would break the single-season record for most home runs by a team, previously set by Ken Griffey Jr.’s Seattle Mariners back in 1997. Seven Yankees players are currently on pace to hit 20-plus home runs for the season, and they’re now, once again, tied at the top of the American League East with their foes from Beantown.

New York’s other team “celebrated” an ignominious date in team history over the weekend, with July 1st being “Bobby Bonilla Day.” It’s the annual pay date for Bonilla’s deferred payment of over $1.1 million that will continue through 2035. While the Mets take a lot of flak for this particular contract negotiation, there are plenty of other teams that have also negotiated prolonged or deferred payments in their contracts with players. Twitter user Michael Mayer had a good list of them.

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