Title: "Show Me Champions"
2017, hand-painted exterior mural, latex paint, spray paint on DiBond

Location: Kansas City Urban Youth Academy
1622 E. 17th Terrace, Kansas City, MO 64108

Phil Shafer’s 100 foot by 14 foot mural, Show Me Champions, adorns the South facade of the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy in the heart of historic 18th and Vine District. The hand painted design pays tribute to Kansas City baseball's past, present, and future. Included are references to the Negro Leagues, founded in Kansas City in 1920, along with legendary players like Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Bob Gibson, Frank White, Bo Jackson, Salvador Perez, and Alex Gordon, to name a few. Painted illustrations celebrate messages of community and sportsmanship with homages to KC Jazz, Municipal and Kauffman stadiums, the Royals championship teams of 1985 and 2015, youth baseball, and women’s softball.
Imagery notes Left to Right:
• “Honor the man, not just the player”. Depicts youth following Satchel Paige on his way to a game at Municipal Stadium. Children carried his uniform and equipment to get into the games for free. The community looked up to this sharply dressed man, because of who he was off the field as much for who he was while playing baseball.
• Municipal Stadium: Former home of the KC Athletic’s, Chiefs, and Monarchs 1923-1976.
• Honoring KC Jazz: the mural is located in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz district and depicts Shafer’s Granduncle, the jazz drummer, “Cozy” Cole, who worked with Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong, among others.
• “Show Me” as part of the mural name: references Missouri, the Show-Me-State.
• Player #44: Hank Aaron wore this number and also represents Barack Obama as the 44th and first black president. 
• Bob Gibson: iconic pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals with a unique throwing style.
• John Mayberry: former Royals player and supporter of the UYA.
• #42 Jackie Robinson: He paved the way so we could play
• Multicultural youth running to play ball 
• Flags of countries and organizations that have ties to Kansas City, The KC Monarchs and baseball as a whole. Puerto Rico, Japan, Cuba, Juneteenth flag, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, USA
• Center framework is in art deco style:  inspired by KC’s unique Art Deco buildings.
• Crown on the ball references the old KC Monarchs logo
• “Good game” line showing sportsmanship: a quality reinforced by the UYA.
• Willie Wilson: speedy clutch hitter with 668 career stolen bases
• Salvy splash on Alex Gordon: two of KC’s favorite players celebrating a win.
• Frank White: Royals hall of fame second basemen and my grandmother’s favorite player
• Kauffman stadium: the best place to catch a Royals game, opened in 1973.
• “Champions”  2nd part of the mural title: we all strive to be Champions in our lives.
• Kids hats-off: celebrating all those who play for the love of the game
• Little leaguer with Dad: My Dad introduced me to baseball and we’ve maintained a connection through the sport. It’s his favorite pastime and one that we share together as a family with him and my brothers.
• Softball slide: When I was 7 years old I spent the summer with my aunt in KC. I went with her everywhere, her softball games stand out in my mind as fond memories.
The Kansas City MLB Urban Youth Academy is a non-profit organization with the mission to empower Kansas City's underserved youth through baseball and softball, as well as academic and social opportunities to be the leaders of tomorrow.  The vision for the Academy is to become the epicenter for youth baseball and softball throughout the Midwest, beginning with the urban community and its location in the backyard of the historical 18th & Vine District.

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