Lawmakers seek to honor Negro Leagues baseball with commemorative coin
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A bipartisan group of lawmakers is introducing legislation to have the U.S. Mint produce a Negro Leagues baseball commemorative coin.

The bill, called the Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, was introduced by Sens. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntWashington prepares for a summer without interns GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill Senators weigh traveling amid coronavirus ahead of Memorial Day MORE (R-Mo.) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Health Care: Sewage testing gives clues of coronavirus | White House says Trump would take hydroxychloroquine again | Trump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K virus deaths 14 things to know today about coronavirus The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Unemployment claims now at 41 million with 2.1 million more added to rolls; Topeka mayor says cities don't have enough tests for minorities and homeless communities MORE (D-Va.) and Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversHouse Republicans voice optimism on winning back the House following special election victories The Hill's Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 GOP rallies behind effort to defeat Steve King MORE (R-Ohio) on Tuesday.

The effort would honor the Negro National League, formed for black baseball players in 1920 when they were shut out from the segregated big leagues.

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“It’s difficult to overstate the significance that sports played in the civil rights movement. As America’s pastime, baseball and the Negro Leagues were at the very forefront of the fight for equality,” Cleaver said in a statement.

"As the representative of Kansas City, the birthplace of the Negro Leagues and home of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, I couldn’t be more proud to sponsor this legislation. I would urge all of my colleagues to support this bill and honor the legacy of every player that participated in such a pivotal organization in American history," he added.

“From Jackie Robinson to Satchel Paige to Buck O'Neil, several of baseball’s most iconic players began their professional careers in the Negro Leagues,” Blunt said in a statement touting the legislation. “The talent, excitement, and sportsmanship they brought to the game helped break down the barriers of segregation. 

Kaine said the creation of a commemorative coin would not only honor the players and teams, but would "ensure their legacy is carried on,” while Stivers called the minting of a coin "undeniably worthwhile."