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T.Y. Baird Papers

Call Number: RH MS 414


The T. Y. Baird papers are those of an owner of the Kansas City Monarchs Negro League baseball team. He also worked as a scout for Kansas City Athletics and owned and operated a bowling alley.


  • Creation: 1913 - 1992


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of T. Y. Baird

Thomas Younger Baird was born circa 1885 in Arkansas. After a broken leg sustained while working at the Rock Island Railroad ended his own career as a semi-professional athlete in Kansas City, Kansas, Baird ran a billiard parlor and worked as a sports promoter. In 1919, with J.L. Wilkinson, Baird organized the Kansas City Monarchs; in 1947 Baird bought out Wilkinson to become the team's sole owner. Before becoming the Monarchs' sole owner, Baird also worked as booking agents for both that team and the House of David team. While 1940s racial integration contributed to a decline in Negro League baseball, Baird was able to keep the Monarchs going for almost another decade by recruiting and training new talent; during the team's last ten years they sold 38 players, the majority of which went to major league teams. In 1956, Baird sold the team. During Baird's time with the Monarchs, the team had a number of achievements including sending the first African American to the major league (Jackie Robinson), winning nine pennants and five Negro League World Series.

Within a month of selling the Monarchs, the Kansas City Athletics signed Baird as a scout. The following year he became business manager for the Harlem All-Stars. In 1960, the veteran bowling proprietor, along with his son-in-law Milford Wickstrom, built a 16 lane bowling center in Wyandotte County. Baird also held the Stratton-Baird Recreation Center in Kansas City, KS since 1943.

Baird and wife Francis had two daughters, Harriet and Doris. T. Y. Baird died on July 3, 1962.


6.5 Linear Feet (7 boxes+ 2 oversize boxes, 5 oversize folders)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The T. Y. Baird papers date from 1913 to 1992 and at the RH MS 414 location are arranged in two series: Monarchs Records and Personal Papers. Within the Monarchs Records are correspondence, game gate information, receipts and bills, payroll information, clippings, and player information. Personal Papers includes correspondence, clippings, and financial information. The RH MS 1325 location houses related items such as awards, printing blocks of players, baseball cards, and various magazine and newspaper clippings related to the Monarchs.

Photographs from the collection are located at RH MS-P 414. Photographs are grouped by subject and are listed in the following order: Baird, the Monarchs, general people, and places/things. Many of the photographs have copy negatives available. Oversize materials are located at RH MS Q209, RH MS Q385, and RH MS R181; a panoramic photograph is located at RH MS-P 414(ff). Originals of some items are at RH MS VLT 414.

Physical Location

RH MS 414

Physical Location

RH MS 1325

Physical Location

RH MS-P 414

Physical Location

RH MS Q209

Physical Location

RH MS Q385

Physical Location

RH MS R181

Physical Location

RH MS-P 414(ff)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Mrs. M. L. Wickstrom, 1985, 1986, 1996.

Gift, Harriet Baird Wickstrom, 2004.

Gift, Thomas Wickstrom, 2005.

Guide to the T.Y. Baird Collection
Papers of T.Y. Baird
Finding aid prepared by mbw, 2006; awo, 2014. Finding aid encoded by mbw, 2006; awo, 2014. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2017, 2019; ew, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Support for the processing of this Collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
T.Y. Baird Collection, RH MS 414, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States