Monarchs Partner With Dairy Farmers of America

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Kansas City Monarchs and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) have announced a new and exciting partnership, beginning with the 2024 baseball season.

The partnership, which impacts many aspects of the two organizations, is focused on a shared commitment of supporting the Kansas City community.

“We are excited to announce our partnership with the Monarchs. While neighbors in Kansas City, Kan., both of our organizations are dedicated to actively supporting the entire Kansas City community, celebrating the rich history of the city and its citizens and showing what an impact we can make together,” said Jenny Hofeditz, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at DFA. “We also look forward to employees at our KC headquarters supporting this partnership through volunteer opportunities and other experiences at Legends Field.”

DFA will be the presenting sponsor of the Monarchs’ Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Greek Night, Friday, Aug. 23. The annual event celebrates the rich history of the Negro Leagues on a night dedicated to HBCUs and historically Black Greek organizations.

DFA will also serve as the presenting sponsor of Los Monarchs Days at Legends Field, Sunday, May 19, Sunday, June 9, Sunday, July 29 and Sunday Aug. 25. For four Sunday home games, the Monarchs will wear special themed uniforms to honor the Hispanic and Latino community in Kansas City and beyond — the games will also feature performances by traditional dancers.

“We’re thrilled to partner with DFA. Our organizations’ shared commitment to community makes this a perfect match,” Monarchs owner Mark Brandmeyer said. “Our team is proud to call Kansas City, Kan., home and joining forces with such a revered local institution strengthens our bond with this great community.”

2024 is a special year for the Monarchs organization. In partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, the Monarchs are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs versus the Hilldale Club in 1924. The celebration exemplifies the Monarchs’ mission to honor the past and welcome the future of baseball in Kansas City.

The modern Monarchs are defending their own title. They won the 2023 Miles Wolff Cup as champions of the American Association of Professional Baseball.

The Monarchs’ 2024 home opener is Thursday, May 16, at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

About DFA

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is a national, farmer-owned dairy cooperative focusing on quality, innovation and the future of family dairies. While supporting and serving nearly 11,000 family farm-owners, DFA manufactures a variety of dairy products, including fluid milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, dairy ingredients and more that connect our Cooperative’s family farms to family tables with regional brands such as Alta Dena® Dairy, Meadow Gold® Dairy, Friendly®’s, Borden® Cheese, Plugrá® Premium Butter and Kemps® to name a few. On a global scale, we work with some of the world’s largest food companies to develop ingredients their customers are craving, while staying committed to social responsibility and ethical farming. For more information, please visit dfamilk.com.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

About the American Association

The American Association of Professional Baseball is an MLB Partner League that began play in 2006. Teams in the league are not affiliated with any one MLB organization. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase their talents for a chance to be signed by a major-league team.

Monarchs Champion Yerzy Signs With Brewers

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Andy Yerzy celebrated a league championship with the Kansas City Monarchs in 2023. Now he’s celebrating a move to an MLB organization.

Yerzy has signed a minor-league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. The 25-year-old has been assigned to the Brewers’ Double-A team in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Yerzy, a catcher and first baseman, is the second 2023 Monarch to sign with a major league organization in the 2023-24 offseason. Catcher and infielder Gavin Collins inked a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals in late December.

The Monarchs begin their American Association title defense in May 2024. Their home opener is scheduled for Thursday, May 16. 6 and 12-game ticket packages are available at MonarchsBaseball.com.

Yerzy, a Toronto area native, joined the Monarchs for the final two weeks of the 2023 regular season. He batted .286 with an impressive .457 on-base percentage in 12 games with the team.

“It was great being able to catch every day and play every day and remind myself and anyone watching that I could still play at a high level,” Yerzy said.

Yerzy backed up AAPB Player of the Year Chris Herrmann during the Monarchs’ run to the 2023 league championship.

“It’s nice to play to win, and that was the vibe I got from the team,” Yerzy said. “We were in it to win the entire thing.”

“Andy’s a phenomenal player,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “Everything impressed me about him: his catching ability, his throwing arm, his communication with the pitchers. Right away he blended with all the guys immediately.”

“We could tell he was someone who deserved a shot in affiliated ball, and we’re incredibly excited for him.”

Yerzy, who played in Triple-A earlier in the 2023 season, is a second-round draft pick. The Toronto native won a Northwest League title with the Hillsboro Hops in 2019.

The lefty batter posted a .900 OPS between Double-A and Triple-A in the Reds organization in 2023, playing 17 games. It was his first Triple-A action after making it as high as Double-A with the Diamondbacks.

Drafted 52nd overall by Arizona in 2016, Yerzy adjusted relatively quickly to the professional ranks. He delivered a .298 batting average and .834 OPS with Rookie-level Missoula in 2017.

He made the jump to the Northwest League the following season and maintained his production, earning midseason and postseason All-Star honors. The York Mills Collegiate Institute grad batted .297 with an .834 OPS and 8 home runs in 63 games over his first year with the Hops.

Yerzy made his Double-A debut in 2021. He posted an .813 OPS between Class A, High-A and Double-A that season.

Find the Monarchs’ schedule, news and ticket information at MonarchsBaseball.com.

Finnegan Gets First Win, Monarchs Clinch Series

By Nolan Brooks

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Brandon Finnegan got the win in his Kansas City Monarchs home debut, but the Monarchs bullpen stole the show and sealed a 5-3 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries.

The Monarchs’ second home game was a fun one, featuring a back-and-forth battle at the plate early on.

Monarchs fan favorite Jan Hernandez continued to show why he was a Player of the Year candidate the last two seasons. The first baseman got the Monarchs on the board with an RBI double in inning number one. Chris Herrmann would add onto the total with an RBI single scoring Hernandez making it 2-0 Monarchs after one inning.

The Canaries stormed back in the second inning, scoring three runs. Trevor Achenbach drove in the first on a bases-loaded hit by pitch. A sacrifice fly from Marshall Rich that scored Hunter Clanin and an Ozzie Martinez RBI single that scored Jordan Barth put Sioux Falls up 3-2.

Brandon Finnegan settled in by the third inning and the Monarchs bats stayed active. Chris Herrmann kept the line moving with a base hit to move the runners and Gavin Collins did the job with a sacrifice fly to center scoring Hernandez and we were all tied up.

The final exclamation point for the Monarchs offense came from none other than Hernandez on an RBI single that scored L.J. Hatch. Hernandez was then picked off stealing second base but he set up an easy hustle play for left fielder Jacob Robson to sprint home and that made it 5-3 Monarchs.

Finnegan went five innings and allowed three runs, striking out three without walking a batter.

The Kansas City bullpen was locked in after that. Jordan Martinson faced nine batters and sat down every one of them in three innings of work. Patrick Weigel closed the door on Sioux Falls and retired all three batters he faced.

Finnegan got the win (1-0) in his second start of the season, D.J. Sharabi got the loss (0-2) and Patrick Weigel picked up his first save of the year and the first save of the season for the Monarchs.

The Monarchs 5-3 victory marked the first series win on the year for KC and moved them to 3-5 on the season overall.

UP NEXT: The Monarchs continue their home slate with the final game of their series against the Sioux Falls Canaries, series finale scheduled for 6 p.m.

Monarchs Partner With 38 The Spot For Live Game Broadcasts

FOR THE FIRST TIME, FANS WILL BE ABLE TO WATCH MANY GAMES LIVE ON 38 THE SPOT 

Kansas City, MO – KSHB 41 and 38 The Spot are proud to announce a new broadcast agreement with the Kansas City  Monarchs to become the official local television broadcast partner for the 2023 season. 

“We are thrilled to have the Kansas City Monarchs coming to 38 The Spot,” said Kathleen Choal, vice-president and  general manager of KSHB and KMCI. “It’s no secret Kansas City loves baseball, and for us to be able to offer several  games on 38 The Spot through the 2023 season, that are free and over-the-air, will provide a great opportunity for our  audience to capture every amazing moment. In addition, we are excited to be able to offer extended and exclusive  coverage on KSHB 41 across all platforms. This partnership solidifies our commitment to be the best spot for sports in  our community and for the team.” 

The Kansas City Monarchs’ broadcast schedule kicks off on 38 The Spot, Saturday May 20, 2023 as the team takes on  the Sioux Falls Canaries at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. Coverage time begins at 6pm, CT. The full  broadcast schedule is featured below.  

“We are excited about our partnership with KSHB 41 and 38 The spot and the opportunity to bring live TV coverage of  our Kansas City Monarch’s baseball games during many weekends this summer on 38 the Spot,” said Mark McKee,  CEO of the Kansas City Monarchs. “This gives our growing fanbase one more way to connect to our team and exciting  baseball,” added McKee. 

38 The Spot and the Kansas City Monarchs are working to add additional games and fan opportunities during the 2023  season. “It is such an exciting time to be in Kansas City, and the family-friendly nature of these Kansas City Monarch  games are the perfect addition to our lineup,” added Choal.  

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. In  2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the  Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. 

The modern-day Monarchs will contend for their fourth straight division title in 2023 after finishing 2022 with the AAPB’s  best record. The club has won two American Association titles, in 2018 and 2021. 

Kansas City Monarch Broadcast Schedule on 38 The Spot 

DATE TIME & OPPONENT 

May 20 6pm CT vs. Sioux Falls Canaries 

June 4 6pm CT vs. Cleburne Railroaders 

June 24 6pm CT vs. Chicago Dogs 

July 1 6pm CT vs. Winnipeg Goldeyes 

July 15 6pm CT vs. Gary SouthShore RailCats 

August 5 6pm CT vs. Winnipeg Goldeyes 

August 19 6pm CT vs. Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 

September 2 6pm CT vs. Lake County DockHounds

38 The Spot can be viewed on the following broadcast providers: 

Spectrum: Channel #8 Digital Channel #1230 

Comcast (Independence, MO): Channel #5 Digital Channel #807 

Google Fiber: Channel #38 Digital Channel #38 

Comcast (Olathe, KS): Channel #2 Digital Channel #807 

Consolidated: Channel #8 Digital Channel #632 

Dish Network: Channel #38 Digital Channel #38 

Direct TV: Channel #38 Digital Channel #38 

AT&T U-Verse: Channel #38 Digital Channel #1038 

Midco: Channel #15 Digital Channel #615 

Suddenlink (St. Joseph, MO): Channel #17 Digital Channel N / A 

Over-The-Air: Channel #38.1 Digital Channel #38.1 

BIG-LEAGUE ‘DAREDEVIL’ MALLEX SMITH RETURNING TO MONARCHS

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Mallex Smith’s resume speaks for itself: a former MLB stolen-base leader who spent parts of 5 seasons at the game’s highest level. But according to Kansas City Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra, Smith’s skill on the diamond goes beyond the numbers. 

“He’s fearless. The wall is never there for him,” Calfapietra said. “You have the speed, you have the instincts, but then you have the fearlessness when the ball goes up in the air. He has that little daredevil in him.”

Smith is set to return to the Monarchs in 2023, the club announced Tuesday. He joined the Monarchs on August 5 of last year, boosting a club in the middle of a tight race for the American Association West Division title. He wasted no time getting involved, leading off and stealing two bases in his Monarchs debut.

“Mallex was a big part of the push that we made at the end of last season,” Calfapietra said. “There was no doubt that he was a big contributor, offensively and defensively.”

The 29-year-old served as the Monarchs’ leadoff hitter during the 2022 stretch run, posting a .281 batting average and .374 on-base percentage with 11 steals in 27 games. He came up big in the team’s Labor Day regular-season finale, drawing a bases-loaded walk that would hold up as the game-winning RBI in a division-clinching victory over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.

Smith played parts of five seasons in the major leagues with the Braves, Rays and Mariners. The Tallahassee, Florida native had a breakout season in 2018 with Tampa Bay, batting .296 with a league-leading 10 triples and 40 steals. After a trade, Smith suited up for Seattle in 2019 and led all MLB players with 46 stolen bases. He owns 120 major-league stolen bases in 442 games.

Smith has a .272 batting average and 419 stolen bases over his 11-year professional career. He most recently took the field for Toros del Este in the 2022-23 Dominican Winter League season.

Smith is the second player signing the Monarchs have announced in 2023. Right-hander Alex Valdez, who served as the club’s closer down the stretch last season, officially returned to the Monarchs on January 18.

Champions of the American Association in 2021, the Monarchs again finished with the league’s top regular-season record in 2022, though they lost to Fargo-Moorhead in a tight semifinal series. They open up their 2023 season on Friday, May 12, with their home opener set for Friday, May 19.

Fans can buy tickets, check out upcoming promotions and learn more about the team at MonarchsBaseball.com. Follow the Monarchs on Twitter @KSCityMonarchs, on Instagram @KC_Monarchs, and at Facebook.com/KCMonarchsBaseball.

BROOMS ON SALE IN WINNIPEG

The Kansas City Monarchs (52-31) completed the three-game sweep of the Winnipeg Goldeyes (46-37) by a score of 7-2 Thursday night at Shaw Park. Some injuries in the rotation and awkward timing of starts required Kansas City’s Jordan Martinson to make his first start of the season, and Martinson took the opportunity by storm as he went six innings of one-run ball, only allowing two hits in the process.

Kansas City’s usual back-end bullpen arm Jordan Martinson would begin the game on the mound for the first time this season, and his phenomenal showing played a large part in keeping the matchup a low-scoring one. The affair started out quiet, with the first two innings coming and going with only seven batters seeing the plate each inning.

It wasn’t until the third inning that the first run would be scored as, after a 1-2-3 top half, Winnipeg second baseman Kevin Lachance would belt a leadoff home run, spoiling Martinson’s perfect start. Eric Rivera would later smack a two-out double to center field, but Martinson would retire the next batter, only allowing the one run through three.

As per usual for the 2022 Monarchs offense, this opposing score would soon be met by the Monarchs scoring a run of their own. Darnell Sweeney reached on a single and Jan Hernandez was hit by a pitch by Alex Manasa. Casey Gillaspie would then deliver like he’s done on the road all season with a double to right field, scoring Sweeney and evening the game at one. In the bottom half, Martinson would settle back into his groove and retire the side in order.

In the fifth, Kansas City would once again put a run on the board with two outs when Ryan Grotjohn would step up to the plate after the first two batters of the inning were sat down. Grotjohn extended the inning and the Monarchs’ run total with a solo home run to right field, giving Kansas City its first lead of the game, 2-1. In the bottom half, Martinson would make it seven straight outs when he retired the side in order.

The Monarchs would lead the top of the sixth off with back-to-back singles, which would chase Goldeyes starter Alex Manasa from the game. After relief pitcher Travis Seabrooke got Gillaspie to fly out for the second out of the inning, J.C. Escarra would double to right field and move Jan Hernandez to third base. Pete Kozma would then step up and hit a single that would score Hernandez and lengthen the KC lead to 3-1, but Escarra would get thrown out on a close play at the plate to end the half-inning. In the bottom half, Jordan Martinson would remind us that he is in fact human, and allow back-to-back walks after retiring the first batter of the inning. It all ended up being part of the plan, however, as he would then induce a 1-4-3 double play, ending the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Ryan Grotjohn would lurk in the on-deck circle, fresh off of his go-ahead homer in his last at-bat. Grotjohn decided one wasn’t enough, and promptly blasted another solo homer, extending the Monarchs lead to 4-1. In the bottom half, Jeremy Rhoades would enter on to begin the inning, ending the stellar night for Martinson. Rhoades would strike out two of the four batters he would face, keeping the score 4-1 Monarchs.

Bryan Blanton would come in for the top of the eighth and limit the Monarchs to nothing but a Jan Hernandez walk and stolen base. Rhoades would remain on for the Monarchs in the eighth and record a 1-2-3 inning.

Pete Kozma stepped up to the plate in the top of the ninth as the beginning of the Monarchs’ last chance to add on to their lead. Kozma then delivered with a leadoff single. Two batters later, Ryan Grotjohn would hit a single of his own, putting runners at first and second. With two outs on the board, Matt Adams made sure to drive the nail deep into the heart of Winnipeg with a three-run bomb, giving the Monarchs a late 7-1 lead. After a pitching change and a pair of free bags, a Casey Gillaspie strikeout would end the half-inning.

Jacob Lindgren would relieve Rhoades in the ninth and walk the first batter, which would then be followed by an infield single, and then another walk, loading the bases with no outs. Frank Rubio would then come on for the Monarchs and strike out the first batter he saw. The next batter, Logan Hill, would hit a sac fly out to left, leaving the Goldeyes with one last chance to make up the now five-run deficit. A ground ball from Kevin Lachance would end those hopes, making the final score 7-2 Monarchs for the final game of the three-game sweep.

The Monarchs begin a three-game weekend series tomorrow night (8/19) against the Lincoln Saltdogs at 7:05 p.m at Haymarket Park in Lincoln, Nebraska. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the video stream airing on aa baseball.tv.

Tickets to all Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting monarchsbaseball.com. For additional information or interview requests, members of the media may contact the Monarchs Media Relations Department at (817) 739-3693. Stay tuned to monarchs baseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.

WP: Jordan Martinson (5-1)

LP: Alex Manasa (3-5)

S: N/A

Boxscore

BY: Adam Cook

GAMEDAY EXPERIENCE TEAM

Negro Leagues Coins

United States Mint Accepting Orders for Negro Leagues Baseball Commemorative Coin Program