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From BR Bullpen
James Leslie Wilkinson
Businessman J.L. Wilkinson grew up in Des Moines, IA. When an injury cut short his baseball playing career, he became the manager of the All Nations team. In 1920 Wilkinson took some of his All Nations stars and remade the team into the Kansas City Monarchs. By 1923 the Kansas City club had become the strongest one in the Negro Leagues and they won the first two Negro World Series in 1924 and 1925. In 1930 Wilkinson helped start night baseball by buying a portable lighting system and playing night games before Major League Baseball teams were doing so. Wilkinson ran the Monarchs throughout almost their entire history, finally selling the team in 1948 to Tom Baird. Wilkinson also served as a secretary of the Negro National League and treasurer of the Negro American League. The most influential white man in black baseball, Wilkinson was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006 by a Special Committee.