Category: Baseball

Baseball

Liberal Bee Jays

Enjoy an evening at the ballpark with the future pros as the Liberal Bee Jays take to the diamond. The Liberal Bee Jays baseball team is an all-star cast of collegiate athletics practicing their skill in the competitive Jayhawk Conference. Many past Bee Jays, like Doug Drebek, David Segui, Troy Percival, Tom Pagnozzi, just to name a few, have gone on to All-Star careers in the Major Leagues.

The Bee Jays play at Brent Gould Field, located on the Seward County Community College campus. On the Fourth of July, a special homestand celebration, the Bee Jays move to the Fairgrounds Park located on the Seward County Fairgrounds. Bring the entire family and join the Bee Jays for an action-packed night of baseball. We hope to see you there!rn

Semi-pro Baseball

Elkhart boasts its own semiprofessional baseball team, the Dusters, sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Promising, hopeful players descend on the community each summer to play, practice and live with local families.

The Dusters attract fans of all ages and even scouts from the pros while they keep the summers alive with the excitement of baseball.

Wichita Wranglers

The Wichita Wranglers is a double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. They play sixty-eight home games starting in April through September. There is a fireworks show every Saturday home game.

Professional teams in Wichita have had numerous names, managers, affiliations and championships throughout the last 114 years.

Technically, Wichita’s first professional club played in 1887 as the Wichita Braves, going 17-10 and winning the Kansas State League. Wichita was not in a professional league until nine years later, however, resurfacing as the Wichita Eagles. Another nine years passed before the Wichita Jabbers won the Western Association title in 1905 with an impressive 79-56 record. Wichita’s return to baseball marked a run of 29 consecutive years in professional baseball until 1933. In that span, Wichita was in the Western Association for four years and the remaining 25 years as part of the Western League. Wichita captured titles during that run; in 1905 and 1907 as the Jabbers, 1918 as the Witches, 1921 as the Izzies and 1930 as the Wichita Aviators.

After 1933, however, Wichita did not have a professional baseball team until 1950. It was then that Wichita was first affiliated with a major league team, the St. Louis Browns. Wichita had to wait until 1957 for another title. The Wichita Browns won the American Association championship that season, winning 93 games as the Triple-A affiliate of Milwaukee.

Unfortunately for Wichita baseball fans, the championship drought that ensued lasted from 1958 until 1987. The Wichita Pilots brought back home Wichita’s eighth overall title in their first season in the Texas League. Wichita has been known as the Wranglers since then, winning Texas League championships in 1992 and 1999. Wichita owns a total of 10 titles in professional baseball.

1913 World Tour Exhibition Game Site

On October 24, 1913, Blue Rapids played host to the Chicago White Sox and New York Giants as they played an exhibition game while on World Tour. More than 3,000 fans sat on bleachers, hung on fences, and watched from Model T’s when the teams came to town. Advance tickets sold for $1.00 and cost $1.50 at the gate.

The Blue Rapids diamond is one of the few surviving sites still in use to have fielded baseball legends Crawford, McGraw, Klem, Mathewson, Thorpe, and Weaver. Blue Rapids is also the smallest town in the U.S. to have hosted a National League baseball game.

In 1913, Chicago White Sox owner, Charles Comiskey initiated a “World Tour” of baseball to help promote the spread of baseball to other countries. Following the World Series, the two teams began their tour in Cincinnati. The Giants had won the National League pennant and had just lost the World Series, 4 games to 1, to the Philadelphia Athletics.

Towns wanting to host the touring teams were required to put up a $1,000 guarantee. A group of Blue Rapids businessmen acted quickly to sell shares of stock and raise the needed money. After securing the game, a large effort was made to publicize it and sell tickets. Dozens of area banks became ticket outlets, and posters were distributed for up to 100 miles.

Blue Rapids was the seventh game on the tour. It was the only Kansas town included and the smallest among the 49 playing sites. A special train carrying the World Tour entourage arrived at the depot at 7:00 a.m. on October 24, after the teams played a game at Sioux City, Iowa, the previous day. The players were given automobile tours of the area after their arrival. At noon, the schools and most businesses closed. The townfolk and out of town visitors gathered for a parade of players and bands around the town square, and they marched down to the ball park where the game began at 2:30 p.m.

The game was won by the White Sox, 8 to 5. It was highlighted by four home runs by the Sox. The crowd, suspicious of “minor league” pitching, began chanting, “Big Six,” in an attempt to get Christy “Big Six” Matthewson into the game for the Giants. But Matthewson was used sparingly on the tour and did not pitch that day.

After leaving Blue Rapids, the players traveled on through the Southwest and up the Pacific coast to Vancouver, British Columbia, where they sailed to Japan. They continued their series along the Pacific Rim, to Ceylon and India, and through the Suez Canal to Egypt. They wound up with several games in Europe, the last and most exciting being played in front of King George V in England. The teams arrived back in New York on March 6, 1914, sailing on the Lustania, which was later to play a role in the United States’ entry into World War I.

In 1939, the Kansas City Monarchs played on this field during the Marshall County Fair. Buck O’Neal was among the Monarch players. In the early 1950s, Earl Woods, father of professional golfer, Tiger Woods, played for a local town team. Earl Woods was one of the first black athletes to play in the Big 7 (now Big 12 Conference) while playing at Kansas State Agricultural College.rn

Kansas City T-Bones

“Fun Well Done.” The Kansas City T-Bones Baseball Club, the newest team of the Northern League, will play it’s inaugural season at a new baseball facility in 2003. Enjoy affordable, family entertainment and unique fun between-inning events at this 4,300+ seat stadium. With most tickets priced under $10 and free parking, you can be sure T-Bones baseball will quickly become on of the best ticket values in Kansas City.

Fun Valley Sports Complex

Nicknamed “America’s tournament headquarters,” Fun Valley has been named Softball Complex of the Year by both U.S. Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) and Softball Owners and Directors of America and hosts more national events than any other baseball/softball facility in the country. Fun Valley has seven natural turf fields spread across 35 acres. During peak season, the complex employs 200 people to take care of the teams, keep tournaments running smoothly, and maintain playing conditions at the immaculate level for which it is known.

Under the same leadership as Fun Valley, Hutchinson also has Hobart-Detter Field in Carey Park. A former minor league and semi-pro park, it was extensively renovated in 1990 and is considered Kansas’ premier natural turf field.