Photos: KC City Council vs Jackson County Legislature softball game

City Hall Vs Jackson County 07 17 22 9171

KC City Council vs. Jackson County Legislature softball game. // Photo by Jim Nimmo

Sports rivalries are a part of growing up in Kansas City. We all know that when the Raiders visit Chief’s Kingdom, we turn out. Our parents and grandparents still debate the plays of the I-70 Series against the Cardinals. Appropriately enough, our common sports unity shatters during KU/MU basketball as the Border War game splits the community evenly.

But one rivalry has outlasted all of the others. Admittedly, it doesn’t happen every year, but dating back to the 1890s, the City Council vs. Jackson County Legislature Softball game has featured Kansas City politicians, administrative aides, and maybe even a couple of “ringers” brought in to influence the outcome of the game. 

The original game in 1898 saw Tom Pendergast at third base and Jesse James, Jr. in center field.

The 2022 game took place on a hot Sunday afternoon in July and featured the coaching talents of Mayor Quentin Lucas for the City Council team, Frank White for the Jackson County team, and former mayor Sly James behind the plate as the umpire.

Royals mascot Slugger was on hand to cheer both teams on to victory. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker brought wrongfully convicted and recently released Kevin Strickland as her guest for the game. The two teams met at the Urban Youth Academy to decide a victor. The field’s backdrop was the downtown skyline. There was trash talk, a lot of laughs, and, mostly importantly, a ball game.

The City Council team took an early lead. Despite an honest effort from the Jackson County team, the City Council held onto the, lead to win the game 18-15, which included bragging rights and the same traveling brass winner’s trophy cup that was used in the ’70s and ’80s.

The game was sponsored by a variety of local corporate donors and raised over $17,000 for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. 

Categories: Sports