The Negro Leagues have been in the news a lot lately. Shortly after celebrating their 100th anniversary in August, Major League Baseball said the league had officially been elevated to Major League status and the statistics and records of its 3,400 players will now be counted in the overall record books for the sport.
Now Routine, a streetwear brand with a baseball-inspired aesthetic, has teamed with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., for a capsule collection. The six-piece capsule of hoodies, T-shirts, beanies and baseball caps is intended to educate and honor the impact of the league on baseball and the Civil Rights Movement.
Called the NL x Routine, the capsule pays homage to the teams, including the museum’s hometown club the Kansas City Monarchs. Since being forced to close during the pandemic, the privately funded NLBM has been hosting broadcasts on YouTube, Spotify and Pro Athlete, parent company of Routine, entitled “Storied: 22 Stories of the Negro Leagues,” an overview of the challenges and triumphs the leagues faced as retold by Bob Kendrick. The broadcast also honors Buck O’Neil, founder of the museum and manager of the Kansas City Monarchs, whose jersey number was 22.
“Sharing these stories is so important: not just for baseball, but as part of the ongoing social justice movement,” said Andrew Dowis, chief executive officer of Routine. “NLBM president Bob Kendrick always says, ‘This isn’t just a baseball museum, it’s a civil rights museum.’ The stories and struggles of these trailblazing players and their fans ring true as we work together to be a more inclusive and equitable country. We hope that by recognizing and honoring these icons, we can make progress toward real change.”
The collection, which will retail for $32 to $70, will be available starting Feb. 18 on the Routine e-commerce site.