Martin family legacy at Negro Leagues Museum

August 31st, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- A lot of Major League players visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum when they come to Kansas City, but perhaps nobody has been touched by that experience the way was on Friday.

For the Orioles infielder, it was personal. Martin is the maternal grandson of Walter Thomas, who played for five seasons in the Negro Leagues. As a contingent of Orioles personnel received a guided tour from NLBM president Bob Kendrick, the pride swelled in Martin.

"To see it firsthand and be able to carry that legacy on is pretty important to me," Martin said. "It was amazing. It was everything I expected and more. Bob did a great job with the tour. Nothing was scripted. It was very intimate and you could tell he has a lot of passion in what he does."

In the Jackie Robinson section, Martin was able to see a photo of his grandfather, who played for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1944 and '45. Martin was able to contact his mother and send her pictures shortly after the tour.

"It was cool to hear her reaction," Martin said. "She was saying she wanted to come check it out, too."

Martin was presented with a Monarchs jersey, which he proudly displayed at his Kauffman Stadium locker prior to Friday night's Orioles-Royals game.

"A lot of times, guys take for granted what we have now," Martin said. "It's our job to carry that legacy on."