Nick Allen -- 1992
1888 in Norton, Kan., Allen played six years in the majors with the
Buffalo Buffeds, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds. He appeared in 216
games and batted .232 career. He was a backup catcher. His best seasons
were 1915 when he appeared in 84 games with Buffalo, 1919 when he batted
.320 and 1920 when he batted .271 with Cincinnati. He died in 1939 in
Hines, Ill., but is buried in the Ninnescah Cemetery in Udall, Kan.
Ferrell Anderson -- 1967
Maple City, Kan., in 1918, Anderson had two stints in the majors, seven
years apart. A strapping 6-1, 200-pound catcher, he batted .256 for the
Brooklyn Dodgers who finished second behind the Cardinals in the National
League in 1946. He got back to the majors in 1953 with the Cards and hit
.286 in a reserve role. He appeared in 97 games and had a career batting
average of .261. He died and is buried in Joplin, Mo.
Nick Allen -- 1992
a backup catcher for the Chicago Cubs in 1929, when they won the National
League pennant and lost the World Series to the Philadalphia A’s in five
games. After one year in the majors, Angley became a semi-pro player and
sporting goods salesman. He was born in Maryland and played football for
Georgia Tech in 1925 to 1927. After his playing days he became the
official scorer for the National Baseball Congress. He moved to Wichita
where he died and was buried in 1952.
Lee Anthony -- 1962
who was born in 1919 in LeRoy, Kan., pitched for many years in the minor
leagues. He played in the Alabama-Florida League, for New Orleans in the
Southern League, and the PCL, where he played for the LA Angels and
Hollywood Stars. He managed the Seminole Oilers in the Sooner State League
and Wytheville Senators in the Appalachian League and scouted for the
Senators, KC A’s and Rangers.
Raleigh Aitchison -- 1952
played for the 1910 Wichita Jobbers. His big year in the major league was
1914 when he won 12 and lost 7 games for the Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers)
with an earned-run average of 2.66 and three shutouts. Raleigh made his
first big-league appearance in 1911 but only for one inning. After he
retired from baseball, he served 18 years for the Columbus, Kan., police
department and as deputy sheriff. He died in Columbus in 1958 at the age
Elden Auker -- 1951
Norcatur, Kan., Auker was famous for his underhand pitching style which
earned him the nickname “Submarine.” Auker won 130 games in 10 seasons in
the majors. He was 15-7 with a 3.42 earned-run average in 1934 when his
Detroit Tigers beat the Cubs in the World Series, and 18-7 3.83 in 1935.
Auker developed the underhand delivery to compensate for an injury
suffered in football when he was All Big Six at Kansas State in football,
basketball and baseball. He died Aug. 4, 2006, at age 95.
Mell Backus -- 1949
born at Latham, Kan., in 1883 and was graduated from Winfield High in
1901. He played in the Three I League (Indiana-Illinois-Iowa) and in the
Wisconsin League. He also played for the Winfield Reds semi-pro team. He
is enshrined in the NBC Hall of Fame. He became a licensed druggist in
1904 and at one time operated eight drug stores in Kansas. He died in
Winfield in November, 1957, at the age of 74.
Jack Banta -- 2004
Hutchinson-born righthander pitched for Brooklyn four years. He won 10 and
lost 6 in 1949 to help the Dodgers capture the NL title. He made three
appearances in the 1949 World Series, getting no decisions but posting an
impressive 3.18 ERA as the Dodgers lost to the Yankees in five games.
Banta had a career record of 14 wins, 12 losses and a 3.78 ERA. In his
final major league season (1950) he posted a 4-4 record with a 4.36 ERA.
Jesse Barnes -- 1941
1897 and raised near the northeast Kansas town of Circleville, Virgil
followed his brother Jess to the major leagues. They became teammates with
the New York Giants in 1919 and would later become the first two brothers
in major league history to oppose each other as starting pitchers. Virgil
pitched for the Giants until 1928, winning 61 games and appearing in two
World Series. He continued to barnstorm and pitch semipro ball, living in
Holton and later in Wichita, where he died in 1958.
Virgil “Zeke” Barnes -- 2010
Born in 1897 and raised near the northeast Kansas town of Circleville,
Virgil followed his brother Jess to the major leagues. They became
teammates with the New York Giants in 1919 and would later become the
first two brothers in major league history to oppose each other as
starting pitchers. Virgil pitched for the Giants until 1928, winning 61
games and appearing in two World Series. He continued to barnstorm and
pitch semipro ball, living in Holton and later in Wichita, where he died
Walter "Barney" Barnett, Sr. -- 2012
Barney Barnett spent his professional life underground, working in the
lead and zinc mines that defined southeast Kansas and neighboring
Oklahoma and Missouri in the early to mid-1900s. During most of this
time, Barnett coached baseball teams made up of miners. In 1944, Barnett founded The Baxter Springs Whiz Kids, a youth team.
Barnett kept the Whiz Kids in tact year after year, moving them into
different leagues as they got older. The Whiz Kids won big, dressed well and went to St. Louis to see a
major league game at the conclusion of each season. They would play
adult competition. The 1946 Whiz Kids wore former New York Yankee
uniforms. Toward the end of the 1947 season, Barnett invited Mickey Mantle --
from nearby Commerce, Oklahoma -- to play with the Whiz Kids. Mantle's
father worked for the same mining company as Barnett. Mantle was invited back in 1948 and the legend began. While playing
with the Whiz Kids, Mantle was spotted by Yankee scout Tom Greenwade,
who eventually signed him to a professional contract. Mantle's future Yankee teammate Ralph Terry -- from Big Cabin, Oklahoma
-- later played with the Whiz Kids. Mantle remained close to Barnett and played in an exhibition for him in
Joplin, Missouri following the 1952 season, shortly before Barnett's
death. In Mantle's Hall of Fame acceptance speech, he acknowledged
Barnett and the Whiz Kids.
Monty Basgall -- 1961
of Pfeifer, Kan., Basgall played three seasons with the Pittsburgh
Pirates. His best season was 1949 when he appeared in 107 games and drove
in 26 runs. He was a second baseman with a sterling fielding average of
.973. He had a career batting average of .215. He signed his first
contract with the Dodgers and held many positions with the Dodger
organization, including instructor, scout and being Manager Tommy
LaSorda’s right-hand man in the Dodger dugout.
Outfielder and quarterback Bennett led Wichita
West High to state baseball titles in 1967 and ’69 and to state football
crown in 1968. He was signed by famed Yankee scout Tom Greenwade in 1969
and played six years in the Yankee system, earning International League
Rookie of the Year honors in 1973 at Syracuse. He was dealt to the Chisox
in 1975 and played his last year at Denver. He played two years in
Wichita’s semi-pro Victory League.
Roy Bentley -- 1946
started his career as an infielder. However, Jack Holland, manager of
Wichita’s Jobbers in the Western Association, saw in him a potential
pitcher. Bentley proved Holland’s intuition correct and became a mainstay
for the 1908 team. Between 1910 and 1918, Bentley pitched for Wichita,
Baltimore, Minneapolis and Providence, R. I. He also played for Holland at
Hutchinson and St. Joseph, Mo., in the Western League. He died in
Joe Berger -- 1947
broke into the majors in 1913 and played two seasons as an infielder with
the Chicago White Sox. But his claim to fame in Kansas were his six
seasons as manager of the Wichita Witches and Izzies from 1917 to 1922. He
guided the Wichita teams to titles in the Western League in 1918 and 1921.
He appeared in 127 games with the Chisox primarily as a second baseman. He
was born in St. Louis and died in 1956 in Rock Island, Ill.
Ken Berry -- 1991
Bandit” robbed opponents of homers by leaping high off the outfield fence.
He had a 14-year career in the majors. He broke into the majors in 1962,
played nine years with the White Sox, three with the Angels and one each
with the Brewers and Indians. He batted .255 lifetime, earning All-Star
honors in 1967, two Golden Gloves and had no errors in 1969 and 1972. He
led the American League in assists by an outfielder in 1972 with the
Angels. He also managed in the minors for 22 years.
Roy Bevis -- 1947
Bevis was an early-day pitcher for Kansas City. He played for the KC Blues
in 1896 and 1897, when he was released and signed with Minneapolis of the
American Association. In 1898, he pitched for Burlington of the Three I
League. After retiring from baseball, Bevis settled in Winfield in 1900.
In 1910 and 1920 he was living in Wichita and was working as a wholesale
Dave Bingham -- 2011
Bingham is the most successful coach ever at two universities in Kansas.
At Emporia State, the Hornets won 588 games during Bingham’s 14 seasons.
In 1978, ESU won the NAIA World Series. Three times Bingham was NAIA coach
of the year. At Kansas, Bingham won 249 games in eight years and took the
Jayhawks to their first College World Series appearance in 1993. Bingham
has coached eight national/international teams, including the 1984 and
1988 U.S. Olympic teams.
Vern Blasi -- 1989
a catcher who played in the Victory League at age 16. He signed with the
Yanks in 1944. Because of WWII he played only one season of pro ball at
Little Rock in 1947. He joined the Navy and played for Great Lakes and San
Diego. From 1947-60 he played in the Victory League for Coleman, Cessna
and the Weitzel Cowboys. From 1961-72 he sponsored the Blasi Oilers, who
qualified for the NBC tournament in 1979-80. His grandson Nick is an outfielder
for the Oakland A’s in 2006.
John E. Blue -- 1998
was born in Oatville, Kan., and went to work for the Stearman Company in
1929. He was player-manager for Stearman baseball teams in the early days
of the NBC semi-pro tournaments and was also involved with company teams
after Stearman became the Boeing Corp. He played professional ball for 14
years, including the last two years at Oklahoma City. A shortstop, he
played semi-pro ball for the Marland Oilers in Ponca City, Okla. He died
in 1966 at the age of 71.
Jim Blue -- 2003
up with semi-pro ball, serving as batboy for Stearman’s 1941 state champs
and Boeing’s 1942 national NBC champs. He also played on East High’s
undefeated 1946 football team and two state champion baseball teams. He
was a member of the All-Navy champions during WWII. Out of the service in
1950, he played first base and third base for teams representing
Beechcraft, Coleman and Weitzel. He played on local teams until the late
1950s, when Boeing transferred him to Seattle.
Mike Blue -- 1995
lefty, is a grad of Wichita West High and a member of its 1959 state
champion baseball team. He played in the farm systems of the New York
Giants (Decatur, Ill.) and the Washington Senators (Geneva, NY;
Burlington, NC; Wisconsin Rapids). Also coached at Geneva. He coached
football and baseball at West High for 20 years, was AD for five years. In
1959, he was MVP and all-star pitcher for Boeing BoJets in state NBC meet.
Coached El Dorado team with Daryl Spencer in mid-1970s.
Bluma ended his WSU career in
1994 as the all-time leader in appearances and saves with 114 and 34. He
was a two-time All-Missouri Valley pitcher and a member of four NCAA
Tournament teams and three World Series teams. He was All-Midwest Region
in 1994 and a 1993 All-Atlantic Regional star allowing only one earned run
in 18 2/3 innings. He was drafted in the third round of the 1994 draft and
played for the Kansas City Royals in 1996.
Jack Bolin -- 1940
Wesley “Jack” Bolin was an early-day star who played third base for the
Minneapolis Millers of the American Association in 1903. During a minor
league career, he also played for the Toledo Mud Hens in 1907. He lived in
Wichita most of his life and worked as a postal carrier. He also played
several years of semi-pro ball in Wichita.
Red Borom -- 1995
He has a
lot of championship rings from semi-pro to minor leagues to the World
Series with the winning Detroit Tigers in 1945. Borom bounced around the
south in Class D action and was involved with two NBC tournament titlists
– Wichita’s Boeing Bombers in 1942 as player and Sinton, Texas, in 1951 as
manager. He was 27 when he broke into the majors and spent two seasons
with the Tigers. He was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in
Bobby Boyd -- 1984
Also in the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame & N.B.C. Hall
small, quick infielder was nicknamed “The Rope” because nearly all his
hits were line drives. He was born in Mississippi but spent most of his
life after baseball in Wichita. He had a nine-year career in the majors
after breaking in at the advanced age of 31. He had a career batting
average of almost .300 (.293). His best season was with the Orioles in
1957 when he had 154 hits and scored 73 runs. His fielding average was a
sizzling .991. Boyd is in the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame. Boyd died in
Wichita in 2004.
Chet Brewer -- 2011
right-handed pitcher, Chet Brewer was born in Leavenworth in 1907. He
pitched in the Negro Leagues from 1925 to 1948, included four stints with
the Kansas City Monarchs. He is credited with 127 wins. After retiring as
a player, Brewer became a major league scout and instructor with the
Pittsburgh Pirates from 1957 to 1974 and later worked with Major League
Baseball’s scouting bureau. Brewer died in 1990. A baseball field in Los
Angeles is named in his honor.
Ad Brennan -- 1957
Kan., produced this lefthander who pitched in the majors for seven years
between 1910 and 1918. He won 38 and lost 37 while posting a solid 3.11
earned-run average for the Phillies, Chicago Whales, Washington Senators
and Cleveland Indians. He broke into the majors in 1910 at the age of 27.
Brennan was with the Phillies frim 1910 to 1913. His best year was 1913
when he won 14, lost 12 and posted a strong 2.39 earned-run average.
Fred Brickell -- 1951
Saffordville, Kan., Brickell broke into the majors in 1926 at the age of
19 when he was sold to Pittsburgh by Wichita of the Western League. In
1927 he helped the Pirates win the National League pennant. They were
swept 4-0 in the World Series. Brickell played outfield eight seasons in
the majors, with the Pirates and Phillies. In 1928 he batted .322 and
drove in 41 runs for Pittsburgh. In 1931 he rapped 130 hits for the
Phillies and drove in 31 runs. He died in Wichita in 1961.
Fritz Brickell -- 1976
One of the
rare father-son entries in the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame is that of
Fred and Fritz Brickell. Fred was a longtime hand with the Pittsburgh
Pirates and his son Fritz spent three seasons in the majors – 1958-59 with
the Yankees and 1961 with the Angels as a shortstop and second baseman.
Fritz was born in Wichita in 1935 and broke into the majors at the age of
23. He died at the age of 30 in Wichita in 1965.
Greg Brummett -- 2009
A right-handed pitcher, the Wichita Northwest H. S. grad had a
record-tying three victories in 1989 to lead the Shockers to their first
national championship. His complete-game 5-3 victory over Texas in the
title contest capped a remarkable senior season in which he posted a
nation-leading 18 victories and was named second-team All-American.
Brummett was drafted by the Giants in 1989, made his big league debut in
1993, had a 2-3 record and was traded to the Twins. His coaching career
includes Cloud County C.C.
Gayle Bryant – 2010
Gayle Bryant’s sharp-breaking curve ball led Wichita East High School
to state championships in 1956 and 1957. After moving on to Wichita State
(then Wichita University), he pitched summer league ball for the Boeing
Bo-Jets and the 1961 Kansas champion Weller Indians. He was named a league
all-star each season. Bryant signed professionally and spent one season at
the Class C level. Instead of accepting a promotion to AA the following
season, he left baseball to begin a career as an engineer.
For 24 years Carlile has been general manager
of the Liberal BeeJays, the most successful semipro baseball team in the
state. His father was involved before him and Bob has been a key figure In
the team’s success for the past 43 years. The BeeJays have produced four
NBC national titles and were runnersup six times; won 13 state and 20
Jayhawk League crowns; had three big league managers and many players who
advanced to the majors.
Vance Carlson -- 1988
in the Yankees’ system as a pitcher for 10 years and began his officiating
career in 1958 as a Big Eight Conference football ref. He served the Big
Eight for 28 years and called a record 270 conference games. He was on the
crew that worked the “Game of the Century” between Oklahoma and Nebraska
in 1971. He also worked three national championship games (1971 Orange
Bowl, 1978 Cotton Bowl and 1983 Sugar Bowl). He was born in Falun, Kan.,
and grew up in McPherson.
Joe Carter -- 2007
Shocker, Blue Jay Hero
Carter is best known as the
man who hit the home run that gave the Toronto Blue Jays the 1993 World
Series title. Wichitans also know him as the man who put Shocker baseball
on the map. He was the NCAA Player of the Year in 1981 and was a
first-round draft choice of the Chicago Cubs. His major league career
included stints with the Cubs, San Diego, Toronto, San Francisco and
Baltimore. Ten times he drove in more than 100 runs and five times was
named an all-star. He hit more than 396 home runs in a career that spanned
16 seasons. Carter came to Wichita as a football and baseball player. He
played football only one year but in baseball he set a standard that
established the tone for the development of the Shocker program as one of
Dick Casidy -- 1988
Dick had a
successful minor league career with the San Francisco Giant Organization. Casidy
played in 12 national NBC tourneys, including 1963 when he and his Rapid
Transit Dreamliners won the championship and 1964 when he helped Service
Auto Glass win the title. He was a power hitter who also played with the
John Weitzel Cowboys, the Boeing Bo-Jets, the Sunflower Packers and
Liberal’s BeeJays. He also pitched and relied on a knuckleball. After his
playing days, he moved to Overland Park where he was area sales manager
for a subsidiary of the Coleman Co.
Vance Cauble -- 1997
Benedict, Kan., this right-handed pitcher was the Most Valuable Player in
the 1940 NBC national championship with the Enid, Okla., Champlin Oilers.
He was the first pitcher to notch four victories in the tourney. His Enid
team also won in 1941 and he helped the Mt. Pleasant, Texas, team reach
the finals in 1939 before losing to Duncan, Okla. He signed with the KC
Blues in 1935 and pitched for Omaha in the Western League in 1936.
David Chadd -- 2009
All-America outfielder for Kansas State in 1988. Former assistant coach
for Kansas State and WSU. Wichita State grad who became director of
scouting for the Red Sox in 2001 and has signed a great number of
up-and-comers for the Red Sox and Miami Marlins, with whom he spent eight
seasons. Also, became the Vice-president, Amateur Scouting for Detroit
Tigers. Signed Tigers lefty Nate Robertson and many other solid performers
in the majors.
Ed Chaney -- 1985
worked for years as the Wichita area “bird dog” for the Dodgers. In the
early 1940s Chaney became close friends with Bert Wells, the regional
scout for the Dodgers, who was responsible for scouting in an eight-state
area. Chaney was a member of long standing in the Kansas Baseball
Association and was instrumental in running the old-timers’ games.
Fred Clarke -- 1939
outfield 21 seasons with Pittsburgh, compiling .315 career batting
average. Also managed 15 years. In 1903 was manager of Pirates in the
first World Series. Managed Pirates to World Series title in 1909. Broke
into majors in 1894 with Louisville, which became the Pirates in 1900.
Retired in 1915. Helped found the Winfield Country Club in 1917. Elected
to National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.
Lou Clinton -- 1987
broke into the majors at age 22. He played a total of eight seasons, the
first five with the Boston Red Sox. In the 1962 and 1963 seasons he hit a
total of 40 home runs and drove in 152 runs. He also played for the
Angels, Athletics, Indians and Yankees. After retiring from baseball,
Clinton founded an oil producing company in Wichita and became an
outstanding amateur golfer. He competed in many local and state amateur
tournaments and was a perennial title contender.
Mardie Cornejo -- 2001
6-foot-3, 200-pound Wellington, Kan., native was 26 years old when he
broke into the major leagues after a brilliant career at Tulsa University.
He won 4 games and lost 2 while posting a strong 2.45 earned-run average
in his only year in the big leagues. The problem was he was performing for
the New York Mets, who won only 66 games and finished 24 games behind the
champion Phillies in the Eastern Division of the NL. Son Nate went to
Detroit in the first round of the 1998 draft.
Darren Daulton -- 2006
all-around athlete at Arkansas City High School was the inspirational
leader as a catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies who won the National
League pennant in 1993. Daulton was also named the Comeback Player of the
year in 1997 helping the Miami Marlins win the World Series. In 14 seasons
in the major leagues he played in 1,161 games, hit 137 home runs and drove
in 558 runs. He was selected for the Hank Aaron Award after the 1992
Larry Davis -- 1985
to work at the National Baseball Congress in 1950 as a part-time ticket
seller and became the right-hand man of legendary founder Hap Dumont. He
was frequently a chauffeur for Dumont who did not drive. Upon Dumont’s
death, Davis became director of the tournament and handled the job for
more than 25 years. He was the one who created the schedule which some
days called for round-the-clock action. Davis died in 2002 in Wichita.
Les Davis – 2010
The most successful coach in Kansas High School history, Les Davis
coached 1,522 football, basketball and baseball victories in a 48-year
career. Forty of those years were spent at Sedan High School. His baseball
win total was 512, which includes a state championship in 1973. A graduate
of Wichita North High School and Friends University, Davis played baseball
on numerous NBC Tournament teams, including the 1958 Kansas champion John
Jim Deckinger - 2012
As a coach at Southeast High School and Bishop Carroll Catholic High
School, Jim Deckinger won ten Greater Wichita Athletic League titles,
five state championships and was named GWAL coach of the year 11 times. From 1976 to 1978, his Southeast teams were 57-2. State
championships were won in 1976 and 1978. The 1978 team was the only
undefeated (23-0) in 5-4-3A history and was named mythical national
champion by Collegiate Baseball magazine. The Buffaloes outscored their
opposition 155-25. All seven seniors on the 1978 team received college scholarships. These
included Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame member Jim Thomas (Wichita State)
and Kevin Clinton (University of Kansas), who is the son of the late Lou
Clinton, also a member of the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame. Deckinger also coached at the collegiate level, at Friends University
in Wichita. There he was named KCAC coach of the year in 1988. In 1997, Deckinger was named Kansas High School Coach of the Year and
in 1998 was honored with a lifetime achievement award, presented by the
Kansas Association of Baseball Coaches.
Elwood "Bingo" DeMoss -- 2011
Topeka in 1889, Bingo DeMoss made his professional debut at age 16 with
the Topeka Giants. He was a shortstop until hurting his arm, forcing a
move to second base. The speedy DeMoss went on to play 20 seasons in the
Negro Leagues, including nine with the Chicago American Giants. He then
managed another 20 seasons. DeMoss died in Chicago in 1965. In 2011, the
Topeka Capital-Journal ranked him #12 on their list of “Top 100 Athletes
in Shawnee County History.”
Jack Delp -- 1955
played for the Wichita Watermen, a hot club in local circles even before
Hap Dumont began his National Baseball Congress tourney in the mid-1930s.
In 1938, the Watermen won the state championship and finished third in the
NBC National tournament. The Watermen group included three eventual Kansas
Baseball Hall of Fame players – Delp, Mickey Flynn and Fred Brickell.
Don Dennis -- 2003
Uniontown, Kan., and educated at Emporia State, Dennis broke into the
major leagues in 1965 at the age of 23. A 6-foot-2, 190-pound righthander,
he pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals for two seasons (1965-66). He
appeared in 79 games, won six games and had eight saves, posting a 3.69
earned-run average. He handled 51 fielding chances with only one error.
He had a strong strikeout-to-base on balls ratio (54-33).
This early-day pitching star won 172 games with
a 3.66 earned-run average. He pitched in one World Series while on leave
from the military during WWII. He spent most of his years in the National
League with the Cards, Pirates and Phillies but ended his career in Kansas
City and after baseball lived in Kansas. He died in Kansas City in 1989
and was buried in Leavenworth. He made his major league debut with St.
Louis in 1939 and ended it in 1959 in KC.
Frank Dockins -- 1959
teamed with long-time major league pitcher Hap McKain, they called Frank
Dockins ”the little right hander.” At 5’8” and 155 pounds, he lacked the
height and heft of his big league counterpart. But he had the punch. His
manager at Hill City called him “the player who made the difference.”
For more than two decades through 1959, Dockins was one of Kansas’
premier pitchers, being named to the all state team four times and
playing for a season in the St. Louis Browns’ organization in the
Nebraska State League. He pitched for Aurora, Clyde, Concordia,
Fairbury, Glasco, Hill City and Manhattan. He retired from oil industry
work to Concordia.
George Dockins -- 2013
Dockins was born in Clyde, Kan., in 1917 and broke into the major leagues
at age 28 with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1945. He had an 8-6 record with
a 3.21 earned-run average. He was out of the majors in 1946 but returned
in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1946, he was with Fort Worth where
he went 12-6 with a 2.17 earned-run average. He also served as manager of
the Fort Worth Cats in 1948 until the arrival of Bobby Bragan. He died in
1997 at the age of 79 and is buried in Clyde.
Darren Dreifort -- 2011
college baseball’s all-time greats, Darren Dreifort was a two-time
All-American at Wichita State and the NCAA player of the year in 1993.
Dreifort played on the 1992 U.S. Olympic squad and was drafted second
overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1993. He is one of the few players
to bypass the minor leagues, but had an injury-filled major league career
in which he won 48 games with a 4.36 earned run average.
Paul Donham -- 2000
a fleet center fielder who helped the powerful Rapid Transit Dreamliner
team win the 1965 NBC National championship. He played for 13 years in the
NBC tournaments on several teams including Bob Moore Olds, Service Auto
Glass and Sunflower Packers. A three-sport star at West High, he was a
member of the Pioneers’ 1959 state champion baseball team. He also played
three sports at Friends University and officiated more than 30 years in
high school and college games.
Hap Dumont -- 1964
Also in the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame -- N.B.C.
Hall of Fame
“Hap” Dumont founded the National Baseball Congress tournament in the
mid-1930s. It has been a fixture at Wichita’s Lawrence-Dumont Stadium for
more than 75 years. Considered a promotional genius he invented an
automated home-plate duster and a 20-second clock on pitchers to speed up
the game. The tournament draws teams from all over the world and plays a
marathon schedule. The NBC is also a supplier of baseball equipment to
teams across the nation.
Jim Durham -- 1942
a pitcher in the early years of the 20th century. He toiled
five or six years (1910-1915) for the Wichita teams of the Western League
after playing for Indianapolis in 1903 and Kansas City in 1904. In 1909 he
was with the San Francisco Seals. He pitched at Pueblo, Colo., when the
Wichita franchise was transferred there in 1911, then was sold to St.
Joseph, Mo., but was back in Wichita in 1912. He was a headliner for the
Wichita Witches. He was born in 1882 in Kansas.
Eddie Dwight -- 2011
A speedy outfielder and base stealer, Eddie Dwight had a pair of
five-year stints (1925-29, 1933-37) with the Kansas City Monarchs. Dwight
was a contact hitter with little power, but used his speed on the base
paths and in the outfield. Known as “Pee Wee” and “Flash,” the 5’8” Dwight
appeared in the 1936 All-Star game while a member of the Monarchs. He died
in 1975 in Kansas City, Kansas. He was 70 years of age.
Monk Edwards -- 1956
“Monk” for his big build, A.R. was known as a legendary Kansas prep coach.
He was a three-sport star at Kansas State in the 1920s and an outstanding
minor league player for Providence, R.I, and Independence, Kan., Omaha and
Pueblo, Colo., in the 1930s. It was reported he once led all minor league
players in hitting, causing foes to shift their defenses just as they did
against Ted Williams. In football, he led Wichita North for 18 years after
creating an unbeaten Wellington team in 1938.
Terry Elliot -- 2005
played in his first NBC tournament at age 16 out of Wellington. He has
appeared in over 17 tournaments as of his HOF induction as a catcher or manager
or both for 9 teams. He had an outstanding career at WSU as Coach Gene
Stephenson was making the Shockers a national power. Also played for
Seward County and the Liberal BeeJays. Elliot appeared in the 2006 NBC
tournament as a 41-year-old playing for Community Bank Cowboys. He was an all-around
athlete in high school and an all-state football player.
Cy Eppler -- 1980
one of the most successful managers in the history of the National
Baseball Congress tournament. His Boeing Bombers won back-to-back national
titles in 1954 and 1955. The powerful 1955 team he put together included
eight future Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, including Vern
Frantz, Minor Scott, Daryl Spencer, Les Layton, Ernie Logan, Gene Rogers,
Andy Teter and Loren Packard. Eppler’s 1953 team finished runnerup to Fort
Paul Fair -- 1970
Fair was a
key figure in the National Baseball Congress as head of umpires and
tournament director for Hap Dumont. Fair was the key figure as Dumont
created the NBC National Association of Umpires. The NAU is still in
existence today with the NBC as the governing body. As tournament director
Fair took many of the day-to-day responsibilities off the shoulders of
Dumont, who then could continue with his creative ways of promoting
Mickey Flynn -- 1985
played in the Cubs farm system in the Texas League and gravitated to
Wichita, where he managed Wichita’s Civic Theater team to the Kansas
semi-pro title in 1933. Two years later he played in the first national
NBC tournament game with early-day power Wichita Water. He also toured
with the House of David team and caught the legendary Grover Cleveland
Alexander. Hap Dumont paid Flynn to be a traveling goodwill ambassador for
the National Baseball Congress.
Larry Foss -- 2006
signed with the Pirates organization in 1955. He was born in Castleton,
Kan., in 1936. He debuted in 1961 for the Pirates and in 1962 played for
the Mets. He played at every level of pro ball from Class D to the majors.
The highlight was in 1961 when he won his first major league start for the
Pirates against Bob Gibson and the Cardinals.
Vern Frantz -- 1988
a leading pitcher on the Boeing Bombers for four years, including 1954 and
1955 when they won back-to-back national titles. The team also won the
Global World Series in Milwaukee where Frantz was one of two pitchers who
notched two victories. A right-hander with a wicked curve ball, he played
five years (1947-52) in the Dodgers system at Danville, Ill., Pueblo,
Colo., and Fort Worth. Frantz was a graduate of Wichita East High School
Jake Fretz -- 1995
to Kansas in 1950 to coach football at Bethel College in Newton. After
three years he moved to Wichita where he taught math and science at Meade
Junior High. It was during that time that he became an umpire in the
National Baseball Congress program. He officiated for two decades and
taught at Meade for 18 years before retiring in 1976. He was born in
Pennsylvania and was a three-sport letterman in Bluffton College in Ohio.
Owen Friend -- 1987
LONG TIME PRESIDENT OF THE KANSAS BASEBALL HOF
1944 and 1964, Friend bounced around the minor and major leagues with
seven seasons on major league teams – the Browns, Tigers, Indians, Red Sox
and Cubs. In 1950 he had 88 hits and 50 RBI for the Browns. He played on
17 minor league clubs and managed 8 teams. In 1954 he led the American
Assn. shortstops in double plays with 108 for Indianapolis. He played on
two NBC champs, Sinton, Texas, and Brooke Army Medical. He has served as
president of the Kansas Baseball Assn.
John Froome -- 1977
a radio-TV personality who came to Wichita in 1950 to work for radio
station KANS as program director. For years he did color commentary on
games of the National Baseball Congress tournament. In 1955 he was hired
by KAKE-TV where he did many jobs, including weather and sports. He also
created several of KAKE’s popular local shows such as “Party Line” and
“Show for Dough.” He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was a graduate of
Dalton Fuller -- 1942
a deaf athlete who rose to the ranks of professional baseball and was
inducted into the Hall of Fame of the USA Deaf Sports Federation in 1954.
He played baseball for the Kansas School for the Deaf 1900-1903 and the
University of Kansas. Fuller spent most of his life in Wichita where he
was a cabinet maker and foreman of a Wichita company that manufactured
furniture. He died in Wichita in June, 1969, at the age of 84.
John Gabler -- 1986
more than two decades in organized baseball but only got to the majors for
three abbreviated seasons. He played for the Yankees in 1959 but got into
only three games and went back to the minors. Eleven years later the Yanks
called him up and he saw action in 21 games, won 7 and lost 12. In 1961
the Senators got him via the expansion draft. He had a career record of 7
victories and 12 losses. From 1964 to 1968 Gabler was a frequent performer
in the NBC Tournament.
Bob Gadberry -- 1972
was the long-time public address announcer for the National Baseball
Congress tournament. He was also a close friend of NBC founder Hap Dumont
and delivered the eulogy at Dumont’s funeral. Gadberry became a
well-known newscaster and sportscaster at KFH and KFBI between 1938 and
1952, then joined Fourth National Bank and rose to the position of
vice-president. He also became well-known as a public speaker in Kansas,
Oklahoma, Colorado, Missouri, Illinois and Louisiana.
Harry Gaiser -- 1948
played minor league baseball with the Waterloo, Iowa, Blue Jays and at
Albert Lee, Minn. He was born in Wichita and attended Pittsburg State,
where he obtained his teacher certificate. He played semi-pro ball in
Wichita and was a member of the 1914 Kansas-Oklahoma All-Stars. His
parents owned the Gaiser Carriage (Auto) Works in Wichita. He taught
school in Wichita. He was born in 1891 and died in Wichita in 1975 at the
age of 83.
Dale Gear -- 1950
Lone Elm, Kan., in 1872, Gear attended Kansas University, then broke into
the majors at age 24 with the Cleveland Spiders. In 1896 he appeared in
three games with the Cleveland Spiders. Five years later with the Senators
he had a 4-11 record. He held the American League record for 105 years of
allowing 10 extra-base hits in a game. The record was tied by Curt
Schilling in 2006, against the Royals. Gear was president of the Western
Association and the Western League for many years.
Jerry Gile -- 2003
an outstanding baseball umpire for many years at the collegiate and
national semi-pro level. He also worked small-college football and
basketball games in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference for two
decades from 1961 to 1981. He officiated the KCAC football championships
in 1979 and 1980, the Rodeo Bowl in 1979 and the 1969 Silver Bowl
commemorating 100 years of college football. He was inducted into the
Kansas Collegiate Officials Hall of Fame in 2006 posthumously.
Clyde Girrens -- 1980
Mark’s, Kan., produced this catcher who first played in an NBC state
tournament at age 15 in 1945. In 1949 he performed in the NBC tournament
for Cessna. In 1950 he signed with the LA Dodgers and played five years in
the Dodger organization. He returned to Wichita and made the NBC
all-tournament team a record four times playing for the Weller Indians,
Service Auto Glass and Bob Moore Oldsmobile. He was the NBC MVP in 1959,
hitting .364 and driving in seven runs.
Glickman -- 2008
Philanthropist scrap metal dealer Milt Glickman
returned pro baseball to Wichita after a12-year absence. In 1970 he and 16
other investors bought a franchise in the American Association and created
the AAA Wichita Aeros, who represented the city for 14 years as a farm
club of the Cubs, Indians, Rangers, Expos and Reds. The Aeros won one AA
pennant in 1972. Glickman said he lost more than $1 million supporting
Art Griggs -- 1940
Topeka Dec. 10, 1883, Griggs played in the major leagues seven years for
the St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Naps, Brooklyn Tip Tops and Detroit
Tigers. He twice hit for more than .300 (.304 in 1912 for Cleveland and
.364 in 1918 for Detroit). He was a utility man who played every position
in the infield and outfield and compiled a .966 lifetime fielding average.
He also managed the Wichita Aviators in the Western League (1929-1931),
winning titles in 1930 and 1931. He died in 1938 in Los Angeles.
Don Gutteridge -- 1949
Pittsburg, Kan., Gutteridge played at Pittsburg State then had a 12-year
career as a major league infielder and a stint as manager of the White Sox
in 1969 and 1970. He was on two American League pennant winners – the
Browns in 1944 and the Red Sox in 1946. He had 1,075 hits, 391 runs batted
in and 39 homers. As a rookie with the Cards he once had six hits in a
double header. In 2006, the city of Pittsburg established June 19, his
birthday, as Don Gutteridge Day.
Earl Hamilton -- 1949
He threw a
no-hitter August 30, 1912, for the St. Louis Browns against the Detroit
Tigers. It was the first no-hitter in the history of the Browns’
franchise. He pitched 14 years in the majors, seven with the Browns. He
won 116 games, lost 147 and had an earned-run average of 3.15. He won 17
games, had a league-leading five shutouts, with the Browns in 1914 and won
13 with the Pirates in 1921. He is one of only three pitchers to one-hit
the Yankees twice. He grew up in Oswego, Kan.
Ron Hammett -- 1976
was killed at the height of his semi-pro career in 1967 at the age of 34
in an oil field accident in Oklahoma. A Salina native and Liberal
resident, he was a headliner in 1963 for NBC national champion Wichita
Rapid Transit Dreamliners and coached the 1965 national runner-up Liberal
Bee Jays. He was also a key right-handed pitcher for state champs Fort
Riley (1954), Weller Construction and Cessna Bobcats (1959-1961). He rose
to the Class B level in the Cardinals system.
Charles Hannah -- 1983
Hannah played in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization from 1923 to 1928. He
played third base for the Wichita Wolves, Wichita’s entry in the Western
League, in 1916. He was born in Mulhall, Okla., and had been a long-time
Wichita resident when he died in 1971 at the age of 76. He was a retired
nurseryman and former landscape engineer.
George Hale -- 1942
Hale was born in Dexter, Kan., in 1894. He broke into the major leagues
with the St. Louis Browns at the age of 20 in 1914. He played four seasons
with the Browns – 1914, 1916, 1917 and 1918. He appeared in 60 games and
batted .175. Hale was a catcher who threw and batted right-handed. He died
in Wichita in 1945 at the age of 51. He is buried in a cemetery in Dexter,
C. E. Heimple -- 1945
Heimple was a member of two traveling baseball teams – the Bloomer Girls
in 1906 and the Elks Club in 1907. Tragically, he lost an arm in an
accident at the age of 19, but continued to be involved in baseball. He
established a dry cleaning business and served as vice-president of the
Kansas Baseball Association for seven years. In his later years he was a
farmer. He died in September of 1966 at the age of 77.
The former Fairmount College (now Wichita State)
player had three 20-win seasons and won 141 games in a 10-year career with
a 2.66 earned-run average. He had a 24-9 record for the Pirates in 1912
and 20-7 in 1918 with the Cubs and appeared in one game in the World
Series games against the Boston Red Sox and Babe Ruth. He also played for
the Chicago Whales. He was born in Olathe in 1889 and died in 1944 in
Herb Hess -- 2001
Hess had scouted the National Baseball Congress tournament for 45 years
for three different teams – 8 years with the Pirates, 15 with the Reds and
22 for the Indians the past 17 years. He was NBC Scout of the Year three
times (1998, 2004 and 2005). He has staged camps and clinics that drew
4,000-5,000 kids. He played semi-pro ball in Texas and Arkansas before
joining the Navy during World War II. He coached in the Victory
League, wed and settled in Wichita.
Gus Hetling -- 1940
He had a
brief major league career, appearing in two games with the Detroit Tigers
in 1906. But he had a brilliant career in the minor leagues. In 1915 he
was rated the best third baseman in the early history (1908-1915) of the
Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League. He was an outstanding bunter and
pinch hitter with power. He wound up playing for the Wichita Wolves in the
Western League in 1915, 1916 and later. He remained in Wichita where he
died in 1962 at the age of 77.
Bill Hodge -- 1988
a former sportswriter and sports editor of the Wichita Eagle and Wichita
Beacon who greatly expanded the sports coverage of the papers. A former
amateur boxer, Hodge took the name of his column, “In This Corner,” from
that sport. The column ran five days a week. He was an avid supporter of
the NBC and baseball in general. He retired at the age of 60 in order to
participate in his favorite pastime, golf. He died on Sept. 11, 2002, at
the age of 81.
Chief Hogsett -- 1991
Chester Hogsett was born in Brownell, Kan., in 1903 and broke into the
majors in 1929 with the Detroit Tigers. The lefthander pitched for 11
years in the majors, eight years with the Tigers. He earned two World
Series rings in 1934, when the Tigers lost to the Cards and 1935 when they
beat the Cubs. Hogsett’s best years were 1932 when he was 11-9 with
Detroit and 1936 when he was 13-15 with the St. Louis Browns. He had a
63-87 won-lost record with 33 saves. He died in Hays, Kan., in 2001.
Brian Holman -- 2007
Seattle Mariners Standout
On April 20, 1990, former
Wichita North High standout Brian Holman retired 26 Oakland A’s in a row,
one out shy of the 13th perfect game in major league history.
The A’s Ken Phelps hit a home run, and Holman got credit for the 10th
one-hitter in Seattle Mariners history. Holman was a strong
right-hander who pitched 15 complete games during four years in the
majors. He was drafted in the first round in 1988 by Montreal and was
traded to Seattle in 1989. He won 37 and lost 45 with six shutouts during
a four-year career. On one other occasion Holman went into the ninth
inning working on a no-hitter. An injury forced him to retire early. He is
now the baseball coach at Andale High School. Brother Brad and step-father
Dick LeMay were also major league pitchers.
Bob Homolka -- 2011
Salina’s Bob Homolka has umpired more nearly 5,000 games at all levels.
For nearly 40 years, Homolka has umpired at the collegiate level, mostly
in the Big Ten, Big 12 and Missouri Valley Conference. He has been
selected to umpire two College World Series. In 1995, Homolka worked Major
League games during an umpire’s strike. Homolka is a math professor and
department chair at Kansas State University Salina.
Ralph Houk -- 1963
Lawrence, Kan., Houk played eight years with the Yankees but earned his
highest acclaim as manager of the Bronx Bombers for 20 seasons. He led the
Yanks to World Series titles in 1961 and 1962 and the following year he
got them to the World Series again but they were swept by the Dodgers. He
guided NY to 1,619 victories in 20 seasons and had a .514 winning
percentage. He was also a performer in the National Baseball Congress
tournament before breaking into the majors in 1947.
Dee Hubbard -- 1994
credit the Wichita entrepreneur with saving the National Baseball Congress
after the death of founder Hap Dumont. Hubbard formed the Wichita Service
Auto Glass baseball team in 1962 and in 1964 the team won the NBC national
title. He ran the team until 1974. When Dumont died in 1971 Hubbard bought
the NBC from his estate and served as chairman of the board until 1974. In
1981 WSU dedicated Hubbard Hall in honor of his gifts to the Center for
Frank Isbell -- 1939
Kansas Baseball HOF Charter Inductee
manager/owner gave Wichita its most colorfully named team – the Izzies --
in the 1920s and in 1932. Played 10 seasons with the Chicago White Sox and
still holds the World Series record for most two-base hits in a game – 4 –
in the 1906 Series. Managed the Wichita Jobbers in 1910 and 1911. Served
several years as Sedgwick County Commissioner, dying in office in 1941.
The Izzies won the Western League title in 1921.
Paul Jacobs -- 1985
the official scorer for the National Baseball Congress tournaments for 28
years. He was a former sporting goods salesman who moonlighted as the
scorer before retiring in 1977. After he retired, he moved to Salem, Kan.,
where he worked at a Boy Scout camp. He also compiled the statistical
records for the NBC Guide after his retirement. He managed some semi-pro
teams and scouted Kansas for the Senators, Indians and Phils.
Bill James -- 2007
Baseball Statistics Pioneer
Lawrence Kansas statistician has risen from curiosity to baseball savant,
even to baseball people who have a history of ignoring outsiders. James
has written more than two dozen books on baseball and has produced
statistical abstracts which have convinced teams like the Oakland A’s and
the Boston Red Sox that James holds the key to success in the future.
James calls his approach sabermetrics, from Society of American Baseball
Research (SABR). He currently lives in Boston where he is senior advisor
to the Red Sox. In 2006, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most
influential people in the world. James’ system projects the future success
of players at various levels of baseball competition, among other things.
Woody Jensen -- 1977
Also in the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame
lived most of his life in Wichita as owner of Rose Bowl East and West, two
bowling establishments. He held two National League records in nine years
with the Pirates – 526 putouts and 696 at-bats, both in 1936. His best
year was 1935 when he batted .324 and drove in 62 runs. He played for the
Wichita Aviators in 1930, when he met his wife, Lola. He returned to
Wichita after his baseball career and served as president of the Wichita
Braves and the Wichita Indians in the 1950s.
Ken Johnson -- 1998
born in Topeka, Kan., in 1923 and broke into the majors at age 24. He
played four seasons with the Cards (1947-1950), went to the Phillies for
parts of two seasons and finished with the Tigers in 1952. The lefty had a
career won-lost record of 12-14. His best years were with the Phillies
when he won 9 and lost 9 in 1950 and 1951. The Phillies reached the World
Series in 1950 but were swept by the Yankees in four straight games.
Johnson died in Wichita in 2004.
Oscar "Heavy" Johnson -- 2011
Atchison in 1896, Oscar “Heavy” Johnson was a 250-pound slugger who was a
premier hitter during the 1920s. Johnson started his career as a catcher
with the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry team. He shifted to the outfield when
he signed with the Kansas City Monarchs in 1922. In twelve Negro Leagues
seasons, Johnson compiled a .337 average. In 1924, he hit more than 60
home runs against all opposition (including the Cuban winter league).
Johnson died in Cleveland in 1966.
Topeka Jack Johnson -- 2011
“Topeka Jack” Johnson was an entertaining Negro Leagues manager who
borrowed his name from the heavyweight champion of the day. Topeka Jack
sparred against Jack Johnson on Thanksgiving Day, 1920 at the federal
prison in Leavenworth where the former champion was serving time. Topeka
Jack Johnson managed the Topeka Giants, which later moved to Kansas City,
Kansas. Johnson eventually left baseball and became a police officer in
Walter Johnson -- 1939
Train” was a dominating right-handed pitcher born in Humboldt, Kansas, who
for 20 years (1907-27) was an intimidating force for the Washington
Senators. Started in 666 games and relieved in some 150 others. MVP of
American League 1913 and 1924. Given the nickname “Big Train” by
sportswriter Grantland Rice. Managed Senators 1929-1932. Won the triple
crown of pitching (wins, strikeouts, ERA) in 1913, 1918 and 1924.
Tex Jones -- 1941
Roderick “Tex” Jones was born August 4, 1885, in Marion, Kan. He broke
into the major leagues at the age of 25 on April 13, 1911, after signing
with the Chicago White Sox. He played first base for the White Sox and
appeared in 9 games, batting .194. He handled 108 chances without an error
at first base. He stood six feet tall, weighed 192 pounds, batted right
and threw right. He died in Wichita in 1938 at the age of 52.
Rod Kanehl – 2010
Born in Wichita in 1934, “Hot” Rod Kanehl was one of the original
members of the New York Mets. A favorite of manager Casey Stengel, Kanehl
was known for his hustling, all-out style of play. In three seasons with
the Mets, Kanehl hit .241 with six home runs, 47 RBIs and hit the 1st
grand slam in Mets history. After retirement from the majors, he played
for the 1965 National Baseball Congress champion Wichita Rapid Transit
Dreamliners. Kanehl died in 2004 at the age of 70.
John Keenan -- 1988
on a family tradition of scouting, Keenan followed the lead of his
grandfather, Bert Wells, a respected scout for the Dodgers. Keenan served
36 years as a scout for the Dodgers. He became a supervisor of scouting in
a district that included 24 states in the Midwest and was a national
cross-checker. He scouted the NBC tournaments in all his 36 years of
service. Wells and Keenan are the only grandfather-grandson duo in the
Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame.
Leonard Kelley -- 1987
Kan., native Kelley played in 15 NBC tournaments and was named to the
all-tourney team three times competing for Wichita teams Rapid Transit,
Service Auto Glass and Cessna and for Hutchinson and Liberal. He was a
shortstop and a strong hitter, setting a tournament record with 36 total
bases in 1971. He was also a starting guard on the Shocker basketball
teams of the early 1960s. He signed with the Washington Senators in 1966
but went into the service right after spring training.
Brent Kemnitz -- 2002
Gene Stephenson’s top assistant since 1980, Kemnitz has become one of the
nation’s most respected pitching coaches. He helped coach Anchorage,
Alaska, to four top 10 finishes in the NBC World Series, including a
championship in 1986. A native of Perry, Okla., he had an 8-0 record as
his Phillips U. team put together a 29-game winning streak and a No. 1
ranking in the NAIA in his junior season. Over fifty of his WSU pitchers
have earned All-Missouri Valley honors nearly 100 times.
Mike Kennedy -- 2002
than a quarter century Kennedy has been the Voice of the Shockers in
basketball, baseball and women’s volleyball. He also did WSU football
play-by-play until the sport was eliminated in 1986. He was inducted into
the Kansas Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2005, the WSU Shocker Sports Hall
of Fame in 1995. He has been honored six times as the Kansas Sportscaster
of the Year. He began his radio career in Chanute, returning to Wichita in
1976 to do play-by-play of the Wichita Aeros.
Carl Kentling -- 1981
was an outstanding baseball and basketball player at Southwest Missouri
State. He played nine years in the minor leagues. After retiring from
professional baseball, he was the leading hitter in the 1940 National
Baseball Congress tourney for the Houston, Texas, Grand Prize Brewery
which finished third. He moved to Wichita in the 1940s and was involved in
several Boeing baseball projects. He was a regional scout for the San
Francisco Giants. He died in Wichita in 2003.
Fred Kipp -- 1996
Kipp had a
brilliant minor league career. He won 20 games for Montreal in 1956 and
took the ERA title in the Tri-State League in 1953 at 2.23, helped Mobile
win the Southern League playoffs and the Dixie Series against the Texas
League champs in 1955. The lefty from Piqua, Kan., was called up by the
Dodgers late in the 1957 season. In 1958 and 1959 he couldn’t crack the LA
mound dynasty of Koufax, Podres, Drysdale and Labine.
Jacob Klein -- 1986
was the inspiration behind the highly successful American Legion junior
baseball program in Newton for many years. He was a retired clerk for the
Santa Fe Railway in Newton. He played professional baseball for several
years, including a stint with Sioux City, Iowa, in the Three I League.
Klein died in Newton in 1986 at the age of 79.
Tom Kornhaus -- 1994
was born in Peabody, Kan., in 1913 and played football and baseball at
Wichita University in the early 1930s. He played pro ball at Bartlesville,
Okla., in the late 1930s and later played semi-pro ball in Wichita in the
early 1940s, according to his nephew Thomas J. Kornhaus in Overland Park.
The elder Kornhaus also coached baseball and basketball at Cathedral High
and after World War II reinstalled the school’s football program in the
Rocky Krsnich -- 1987
6-foot-1 third baseman bounced around in the major and minor leagues 12
years and had three seasons with the White Sox in 1949, 1952 and 1953. His
best season was 1949 with Memphis of the Southern Assn., when he hit 20
home runs, drove in 91 runs and batted .318. Krsnich was also the MVP of
the 1962 NBC Tournament as a member of the champion Wichita Dreamliners.
He made the NBC all-tournament team twice. In 120 games with Chicago, he
had 59 hits and 38 RBI.
Joe Kuhel -- 1995
years between 1930 and 1947 Kuhel played first base for the Senators and
the White Sox. When the Senators moved from Washington to Minneapolis, he
managed the new Twins franchise in 1948 and 1949. He helped the 1933
Senators win the American League pennant by batting .322 with 107 runs
batted in. The Senators lost the World Series to the Giants. He managed
the KC Blues in the American Association in 1950. Kuhel died in Kansas
City, Kan., in 1984 at the age of 87.
Al Kunigonis -- 2000
born in Pennsylvania but settled in Wichita after WWII. He played one year
in the West Texas-New Mexico League at Pampa, Texas, and at Clovis, N. M.
In 1949 he returned to Kansas and played on Cessna’s state NBC champions
and was named all-state at third base. In 1950 he played for the Boeing
Bombers and in 1951 for the Roscan Brothers team in the Victory League. He
umpired baseball for six years and officiated football for several years
after his playing days.
Les Layton -- 1958
1950s, Wichita’s Boeing Bombers were a semi-pro power, winning titles in
the National Baseball Congress tournament in 1954 and 1955. Layton was a
key member of that team, playing outfield for the Bombers. He was also a
former major leaguer, having played with the New York Giants in 1948. He
had the rare distinction of hitting a home run in his first at-bat with
the Giants May 21, 1948. In 1949, he played for Minnesota in the American
Assn., batting .269 with 9 homers and 36 RBI.
Frank Leo -- 2005
inducted in 2005, Leo was in his 26th season as head coach of
the Hays Larks, a perennial contender in semi-pro baseball. After an
all-district career as a player for Fort Hays State, Leo led the Larks to
the Midwest Regional title in the National Baseball Congress six times and
to the title in the powerful Jayhawk League four times. Leo coached the
USA Junior Pan American team to the title in 1991 in Vera Cruz, Mexico. He
also made Hays High School a perennial power in prep circles.
Paul Lindblad -- 1999
Chanute, Kan., the 6-foot-1 lefty appeared in 655 games in 14 years,
mostly with the Athletics in Kansas City and Oakland. He won 68 games and
saved 64 as a relief pitcher, compiling a solid 3.29 career
earned-run-average. He helped the Oakland A’s win back-to-back World
Series in 1973 and 1974. He capped his career as a reliever for the New
York Yankees, winning another World Series ring in 1978. He died Jan. 1,
2006, in Arlington, Texas.
Don Lock -- 1974
Wichita-born Don Lock played his college ball at Wichita University. He
broke into the majors at age 25 and had an eight-year career, four seasons
with the Senators, three with the Phillies and one with the Red Sox. An
outfielder, the 6-foot-2 Lock hit 122 career home runs and drove in 373
runs. In 1963 and 1964, he hit 55 homers and drove in 160 runs for the
Senators. He had a career batting average of .238 and a sterling .976
Ernie Logan -- 1983
power-hitting right fielder who made the NBC all-tournament team three
straight years – 1953-55 – Logan helped the Boeing Bombers claim
back-to-back NBC National titles in 1954 and 1955. They went on to win the
Global World Series in Milwaukee in 1955. Logan played for Charleston in
the South Atlantic League, Atlanta in the Southern Assn. and Columbus in
the American Assn. He batted cleanup and twice in one season hit four home
runs in a row while playing for Charleston.
Bob Mainzer -- 1992
the Cubs in the late 1940s, he played in Mayfield, Ky., and Springfield,
Ill. In 1950 he was shortstop for the Wichita Indians. In 1951 he quit pro
ball, joined the Boeing Bombers, won the trophy for most spectacular play.
He returned to pro ball in 1952 with Wichita Falls, Texas, moved up to AAA
Toledo and Atlanta in 1953 and Milwaukee in 1954. He quit pro ball again
in 1955, returned to Wichita, played semi-pro until 1967. In 1962 he was
the Boeing Bombers’ MVP.
"Runt" Marr -- 1953
probably no more colorful figure in baseball than Clifton A. Marr. In the
1930s he was owner/manager of the Fort Smith, Ark., Giants of the Western
Association. After World War II, he became a co-founder of the KOM
(Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri) Class D League. He then launched a long career
as scout for the St. Louis Cardinals that lasted from the 1950s until his
death. He also worked the NBC tournaments and was one the earliest scouts
taken into the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame.
Gene Mauch -- 2004
retired in 1988 after 26 years, only two men had managed longer in the
majors – Connie Mack and John McGraw. “Skip,” or “The Little General,” was
born in Salina in 1925 and broke into the majors at age 18. He played
infield nine years for the Dodgers, Pirates, Cubs, Braves, Cards and Red
Sox. He managed Philadelphia, Montreal, Minnesota and California and won
3,942 games. His best year was when he led the Phillies to a tie for
second place in the National League.
Dudley "Tullie" McAdoo -- 2011
Topeka in 1884, Tullie McAdoo started his professional career with the
Topeka Giants in 1907. He moved with the Giants to Kansas City, Kansas and
later played with the Kansas City Monarchs, the St. Louis Giants and the
St. Louis Stars. McAdoo was considered a premier power-hitting first
baseman. His playing career lasted until 1923. McAdoo died in Chicago in
John McGraw -- 1986
former manager of the New York Giants known as “Little Napoleon.” Not the
John “Tug” McGraw who was an NBC all-star pitcher for Hays in 1977. The
John McGraw inducted into the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame came to Wichita
in 1942 to play for Cessna. He was a graduate of Oklahoma A&M (now OSU).
The Oklahoma City native stayed in Wichita, became superintendent of
schools at Andover and did some “bird dogging” as a sub-scout for the Red
Archie McKain -- 1954
Delphos, Kan., lefty went 8-8 pitching in his rookie season of 1937 with
the Boston Red Sox and was 5-0 with a 2.62 earned-run average in 1940 in
relief for the Detroit Tigers, who lost 4 games to 3 in the World Series
to the Reds. McKain pitched three innings in the Series and gave up four
hits but had no decision. He played for the St. Louis Browns in 1941 and
1943. When he was traded to the Dodgers in 1943, he retired and returned
to Kansas to farm. He died in Salina in 1985.
Frank McMullan -- 1947
moved to Wichita in 1902 and served on the editorial staff of the Wichita
Eagle as a reporter, city editor and sports editor. In 1906 he went to
Kingman, Kan., as editor of the Kingman Journal. He returned to Wichita as
a baseball writer and sports editor. In 1911 he became secretary of
Wichita’s team in the Western League. He served with the club until 1914.
He later joined the Internal Revenue Service where he became an executive.
He died in 1960 at the age of 84.
Galen McSpadden – 2010
With 986 wins entering the 2010-11 season, Seward County’s Galen
McSpadden is among the all-time winningest coaches in the community
college ranks. Since coming to Seward in 1982, McSpadden has coached
thirteen Jayhawk West Conference champion teams and is a five-time coach
of the year. McSpadden has coached 82 players who were either drafted by
Major League teams or signed professional contracts.
Pat Meares -- 2012
Salina Sacred Heart did not field a baseball team while Pat Meares went
to school. Instead, he won the 3A golf championship to go along with his
football and basketball honors. Meares' performance during summer American Legion baseball was enough
to earn him a spot at Wichita State, where he played in the outfield as
a freshman for the 1988 College World Series squad. In the summer of 1988, Meares played for the Wichita (now El Dorado)
Broncos. He helped the team to a seventh place finish in the National
Baseball Congress World Series. In 1989, Meares moved to third base and filled in for injured teammate
Mike Lansing at shortstop during the College World Series. Meares hit
.429 during the series and hit a two-run homer in the championship game
won by the Shockers. For his performance, Meares was named to the
All-College World Series team. In 1990, Meares led Wichita State with 12 home runs and was second to
Lansing with 50 RBIs. He was named All-Missouri Valley Conference and
was drafted by Minnesota in the 12th round of the MLB draft. In 1993, Meares made his debut for the Twins and was the Twins' regular
shortstop for six seasons. Following the 1998 season, Meares became a
free agent and signed with Pittsburgh. He played three seasons with the
Pirates before a hand injury forced his retirement. Meares is an inductee in the El Dorado Baseball Hall of Fame.
Jack Miller -- 1987
newspaper-radio-television personality who was the top TV sportscaster in
Wichita from 1954 to 1975. He was born in Ohio but joined the Army Air
Corps during World War II and was sent to the air base at Independence,
Kan., where he met his future wife. He moved to Coffeyville where he
worked for radio station KGGF and for the local newspaper. In 1953 he
moved to Wichita to work for the Wichita Beacon. He worked for Hap Dumont
of the NBC for one year, then went to KAKE-TV.
Jim Mitchell -- 1983
hitting second baseman who played in the New York Giants chain before
joining the Boeing Bombers for their two titles in the NBC in 1954 and
1955. He was an all-around athlete at the University of Oklahoma in
baseball, basketball, football and tennis. Played in the Western
Association (Sioux City, Iowa) and the American Association (Minneapolis)
before a shoulder injury forced him to be cut. Played several seasons with
the Boeing Bombers in the 1950s.
Bob Monty -- 1990
Monty played basketball for the University of Wichita from 1946 to 1948.
He played semi-pro baseball in Wichita during the 1950s. Then he served as
an umpire in the National Baseball Congress for 15 years. He was born in
1926 and died in Wichita in March of 2000 at the age of 75.
Bill Morris -- 1999
Born in El
Dorado, he played two years of Kansas Ban Johnson ball at age 16 and
played for College of Emporia which had a strong NAIA team in 1960. Went
into military service and played at Fort Leonard Wood. He signed with the
Yankees in 1961 and played in the Florida State, Pioneer and West Carolina
leagues. Back in Wichita, he played semi-pro ball from 1963 to 1974,
helping Service Auto Glass win the NBC national title in 1964. He was on
the KBA Board for eight years.
Jim Morris -- 1985
Outstanding pitcher who helped the Boeing Bombers achieve two consecutive
National Baseball Congress World Series titles in 1954 and 1955. He was
named to the all-tournament team in 1955. Morris appeared in 10 NBC
national tournaments with Boeing and the El Dorado Broncos and won a total
of 11 games. He also struck out 103 batters, second on the list of most
strikeouts for many years. Morris played professionally with the Miami,
Okla., Owls and Topeka Owls in the KOM League.
Lew Morton -- 1968
played on the powerful teams out of Enid, Okla., in the 1940s. He was an
all-tournament outfielder for the Enid team that was runnerup in the 1943
NBC National tournament. He went on to reach the professional ranks and
played in the Texas League at Tulsa in the 1960s and Dallas in the 1950s
and with Toronto of the AAA International League in 1952. During the 1970s
and into the 1980s he was a scout for the Dodgers.
Carroll "Dink" Mothell --
in Topeka in 1897, Dink Mothell began playing for the Topeka Giants in
1914 and joined the Kansas City Monarchs 1920. Though originally a
catcher, he quickly became known for his versatility. The legendary “Cool
Papa” Bell called Mothell the “greatest utility man in the game.” After
his playing career, Mothell returned to Topeka, where he died in 1980. In
2011, the Topeka Capital-Journal ranked him #50 on their list of “Top 100
Athletes in Shawnee County History.”
Dick Murphy -- 1992
born in Oklahoma City but moved to Wichita at age 15 and played baseball
at East High. He played pro ball at Odessa, Texas (Longhorn League),
Pueblo, Colo., (Western League) and at Chattanooga (Southern Association)
as the property of the Senators. He batted .532 in 30 games with Odessa.
After he quit professional ball he played semi-pro ball for Cessna and
Boeing. He worked for Boeing, taught school, sold insurance and owned
Dairy Queen and liquor stores.
Roy Myer -- 1997
Myer played first base for two National Baseball Congress champions – the
Duncan, Okla., Cementers and the Enid, Okla., Champlin Oilers in the late
1930s and 1940s. He moved to Wichita in 1941 and played for teams such as
Boeing Bombers, U-Select Candymen and Cessna Bobcats. He was a long-ball
hitter. Three times he was named to the All-Kansas team in state meets.
Roy ended his career managing the Cessna Bobcats. He died in 2001 at age
Lance Michols -- 1990
played in the Dodgers organization, managed the New Orleans Pelicans of
the American Assn. in 1977 and the Rochester Redwings of the International
League in 1982-83. In 1984 he was director of field operations for the
Phils and in 1989 director of player development. He was also a scout for
the Denver Rockies. He played minor league ball in the Alabama-Florida
League in the 1960s. He was an all-tournament catcher for the NBC National
champion Liberal BeeJays in 1968.
Dave Newkirk -- 1975
was signed out of Augusta High School. He played at Iola, Kan., in the KOM
League and eventually reached the Class AAA level. He was purchased by the
Kansas City A’s in 1957. His left leg was crushed when he was hit by a car
at age 27 but he continued to play despite a noticeable limp. He played
outfield and catcher for Boeing and the Coleman Lamplighters. He became an
oil field maintenance supervisor in the Oklahoma City area. He died in
2005 in Oklahoma.
Jack O'Donnell -- 1973
the Rapid Transit Dreamliners to NBC championships in 1962 and 1963. At
155 pounds he was small but carried a big stick. He was named to the NBC
All-Tournament team three times – 1959 with Cessna, 1961-62 with Rapid
Transit. In 1950, he played for the Wichita Indians, a farm team of the
St. Louis Browns. He played in the Browns’ farm system for 13 years. He
met his wife Jessie in Wichita and settled down to raise a family while
working for the U. S. Postal Service.
John "Buck" O'Neil -- 2011
O’Neil played 18 years for the Kansas City Monarchs and managed the team
for seven of those seasons. He then became a scout for the Chicago Cubs
and, later, the Kansas City Royals and regularly scouted the NBC World
Series in Wichita. In 1962, the Cubs made O’Neil the first black coach in
the major leagues. He led the effort to establish the Negro Leagues
Baseball Museum in 1990. He died in 2006 at the age of 95 and was
posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Vern Orndorff -- 1998
pitched a perfect game in 1961 for Decatur, Iowa, a Detroit farm team in
the Midwest League. He signed with the Tigers after earning All-Europe MVP
honors in 1959 during military service in the Army. He had a won-lost
record of 15-1 in 1959 and the next year he was 16-1 with a 1.2 ERA. In
1962, he moved up to Duluth of the Northern League. Back home in El Dorado
he joined Wichita’s Service Auto Glass team and pitched on its 1964 NBC
National championship team.
Loren Packard -- 1986
leaving the Navy at the end of World War II, Packard played minor league
baseball with the Miami (Okla.) Owls in 1947 and Topeka of the
Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League. He won the KOM batting title in 1948 with
a .367 average. In 1949 he moved up to Topeka of the Western Association
and batted .330. He played for Topeka until 1950 when he moved the family
to Wichita, where he played first base and helped lead the Boeing Bombers
to titles in the NBC in 1954 and 1955.
Leroy "Satchel" Paige --
success of the NBC World Series was started in 1935 by Hap Dumont with a
$1000 offer to Negro Leagues and barnstorming star Satchel Paige. Paige’s
integrated Bismarck (ND) team came to Wichita and won the inaugural
tournament. In 1948, Paige became the oldest rookie to play in the majors
when he debuted with Cleveland at the age of 42. In 1971, Paige became the
first Negro Leagues player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He died
Volney Paul -- 1981
his 36-year umpiring career in Coffeyville, calling games for the Ban
Johnson League. He moved to Wichita in the 1940s to work for Boeing and
worked games in the Victory League and in the National Baseball Congress
tournaments. He was also a substitute umpire for the Triple-A American
Association. At Coffeyville Junior College he played football and
baseball. His Paul’s Café at Waterman and Main was for 16 years one of the
fans’ favorite hangouts after the games.
Red Phillips -- 1982
born in Oklahoma but spent most of his life in Wichita, where he worked
for Boeing. He was 26 when he broke into the majors with Detroit. The
Tigers called him up briefly in 1934 and sent him back to the minors. Then
they called him up again in 1936 and he appeared in 29 games and posted a
2-4 record. During World War II Phillips worked for Boeing and managed in
the minor leagues, including Paul’s Valley of the Sooner State League
which included several top Wichita players.
R. G. Pollock Sr. -- 1944
came to Wichita in 1919. He established a jewelry store on South
Woodlawn. He founded the American Legion Junior Baseball clubs in Wichita
and was involved with the program for many years. The program operated in
Kansas since its inception in 1926 and brought about a revival in interest
in baseball. Pollock died in 1963 at his jewelry store at the age of 68.
E. C. Quigley -- 1950
Also in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame
quintessential athletic arbiter, Quigley at one time was the dean of major
league umpires. He called an estimated 5,400 games, including six World
Series. He also worked some 400 football games including three Rose Bowls,
a Cotton Bowl and five Harvard-Yale games. He officiated 1,500 basketball
games, including national tournaments in New York, Denver and Kansas City.
He spent his early years in Concordia, Kan., and in 1944 became director
of athletics at the Univ. of Kansas.
Bob Randall -- 1997
Minnesota Twins infielder was born in Norton, Kan., in 1948 and played at
Kansas State. He played five season (1976-80) with the Twins, appearing in
460 games, scored 154 runs, had 341 hits and drove in 91 runs. His best
year was his rookie year when he had 127 hits and batted .267 with 34 RBI.
He set a Twins fielding record (.985) in 1977. He coached college baseball
18 years, the last seven at KU. In 2004 he returned to pro ball as a coach
for the AAA Indianapolis Indians.
Steve Renko -- 1999
City, Kan., native Renko pitched for 15 years in the majors after an
outstanding stint at the University of Kansas. His best season was 1973
when he posted a 15-11 record with a 2.81 earned-run average for Montreal.
Renko also pitched for the Cubs, White Sox, Athletics, Red Sox and Angels
and finished his career at Kansas City where he was 6-11 with a 4.30 ERA.
In 1982, his 11-6 record helped the Angels claim the Western Division
title in the American League.
Blane Rice -- 1993
known as having played in more games in the National Baseball Congress
than any other player. An outfielder and catcher who played for the Roskum
Brothers Real Estate team in the Victory League. He also played for the
Coleman Lamplighters and the Cessna Bobcats in the NBC tournaments. A
former teammate remembered him as a good hitter with a strong arm. He was
born in 1913 and worked as a supervisor at the Cudahy meat packing plant.
Paul Roberts -- 2012
Roberts began in baseball as a ten-year-old popcorn and peanut salesman
at Island Park in Wichita in 1930. When
Lawrence-Dumont Stadium opened in 1935, Paul worked the original
National Baseball Congress World Series...and continued until 2008.
During that time, he served as a chairback vendor, groundskeeper,
concession stand worker and sky box attendee. But he is best remembered
for tearing tickets for fans as they entered the front gate. Paul
"retired" from ticket taking in 2000 and moved to Arkansas. But during
his summer of retirement, Paul drove back and forth to Lawrence-Dumont
Stadium for Wichita Wranglers games and the NBC World Series. After
losing his wife, a former concessions worker, Paul returned to Wichita
and to the front gate of Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. He joined another
longtime ticket taker, Betty Abbott, until the 2008 season, after which
they both retired and got married. Paul is also an inductee in the NBC
Hall of Fame.
Wilber "Bullett" Rogan --
Rogan was born in 1893 in Oklahoma City, but his family moved to Kansas
City, Kansas where he began playing for a semipro team. Rogan served nine
years in the U.S. Army and played on infantry teams. He joined the Kansas
City Monarchs in 1920 and led them to the 1924 Black World Series
championship. It is estimated that Rogan won more Negro Leagues games than
any pitcher in history. Rogan died in 1967 and was elected to the Baseball
Hall of Fame in 1998.
Gene Rogers -- 1993
shortstop on the Boeing Bombers team that won back-to-back NBC World
Series titles in 1954 and 1955. A native of Newton, Rogers was a starter
in baseball and basketball at the University of Colorado and signed with
the Cubs in 1951. He played on the Topeka team that won the Western League
in 1951 but was forced to leave pro ball by a shoulder injury. He played
in the NBC six years, one with Cessna and five with Boeing, including the
1953 team that was national runnerup.
Bill Russell -- 1996
Pittsburg, Kan., Russell broke into the majors in 1969 and played 18
seasons with the Dodgers. He played every infield position and compiled a
.961 fielding average. He collected four World Series rings, capped in
1981 with a Series victory over the New York Yankees. The three-time
all-star also helped the Dodgers win two other National League pennants
and was manager of the Dodgers in 1996, 1997 and 1998. He appeared in
2,181 games and had a career batting average of .263.
Ray Sadecki -- 1989
Kansas City, Kan., Sadecki broke into the majors at age 19 and had an
18-season career with the Cardinals, Giants, Mets, Braves, KC Royals and
Brewers. His best season was 1964 when his 20-11 record lifted the Cards
to an NL pennant and a World Series victory over the New York Yankees in
seven games. He collected another World Series ring in 1973 pitching for
the New York Mets in a loss to the Oakland A’s in seven games.
Dick Sanders -- 1969
Also in the Wichita Sports HOF - N.B.C. HOF - Shocker
performer in the NBC tournament and the MVP in 1964, Sanders led the
Wichita Service Auto Glass to the NBC title. He led Wichita North High to
mythical state titles in baseball and football in 1949. At Wichita U. he
played football and basketball and was a slick-fielding Shocker shortstop.
He had an eight-year run in the major leagues in the Yankees and Dodgers
organizations. He was also a respected basketball and football official in
the Missouri Valley and Big Eight for 20 years.
Paul Sanagorski -- 2009
He created the baseball program at Kansas Newman in 1978. By 1983 he
had led the school to the NAIA World Series. He also developed the
baseball facilities at Newman, led the program for 23 years, notching 766
victories. In 2000 the Miami Marlins hired him as hitting coach. He
accepted and served mostly the Class AA Carolina Mudcats in the Marlins
farm system and later worked for the Washington Nationals. His drive made
Newman a highly respected program.
Paul Savage -- 2009
Paul Savage, a Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame Board of Director, founded
the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame and Museum at 4700 E. Central and provides
a home for the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame and the National Baseball
Congress Hall of Fame. In 2009, the museum was judged to be one the top 10
baseball museums in America. Savage, a Hutchinson C.C. and Baylor
University graduate, has been an official or football coach his entire
adult life and he began a sports talk radio career in 2001.
Willard Schmidt -- 1989
Kan., native broke into the majors in 1952 at age 23 and played seven
years, five of them with the St. Louis Cardinals. He won 31 games and lost
29, posting an earned-run average of 3.93. His best season was 1957 when
he won 10 and lost 3. He also pitched for the Cincinnati Reds in 1958 and
1959. He was the leading pitcher for the Omaha Cards in the American
Association in 1951. In 1955 he also led the AA in ERA and had a 12-5
record and was re-called by St. Louis.
J. D. Schneider -- 2002
erected a dynasty in the NBC tournament with his El Dorado Broncos, as
vice president and director of operations. He produced 17 top 10 finishes
in the NBC World Series. He took over what was then the Hutchinson Broncos
in 1987 and moved the team to Wichita and then to El Dorado. His teams won
73.9 percent of their games in the NBC in one stretch. They won the NBC
World Series four times – 1989, 1990, 1996 and 1998. Schneider was
inducteed into the N.B.C Hall of Fame in 2006.
Minor Scott -- 1985
Scott was another among many stars who played for the NBC National
Champion Boeing Bombers in 1954 and 1955 and are enshrined in the Kansas
Baseball Hall of Fame. He was a third baseman and an outstanding leadoff
hitter for the Bombers. He was a former three-sport star at Wichita East
High School in basketball, football and baseball. He also had a brief
stint in professional baseball in the minor leagues.
Ted Sheahon -- 1990
was a native of Salina. He was the catcher for the Boeing Bombers from
1946 to 1949. He had an outstanding career in theater management, managing
Wichita’s Orpheum and Palace theaters from 1941 to 1950. He later owned a
construction firm and sat on the Historical Committee to Restore the
Orpheum. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. WSU’s
library has a collection of Sheahon’s documents in its Special Collections
Department. He died in 1994.
Clay Smith -- 2000
appeared in only 18 games in two stints in the major leagues but the
Cambridge, Kan., native pitched in the 1940 World Series for Detroit. He
broke into the majors in 1938 with Cleveland but played in only four
games. In 1940 he was dealt to the Tigers and pitched in 14 games. In the
World Series in Game 4 he gave up one earned run and bailed out Dizzy
Trout in the fifth game. The Tigers lost in seven games to Cincinnati. He
died in 2002 in Winfield and is buried in Cambridge Cemetery.
Ira Smith -- 1951
Smith played professional baseball for 15 years, 10 of them in the Redlegs
and Cardinals systems. He began his baseball career in the Three I League
in 1925 in Decatur, Ill. He also managed professional teams in Elmira, N.
Y., Houston, Sacramento and Birmingham, Ala. He also managed and pitched
in National Baseball Congress games as a member of Boeing Bombers teams.
He was director of training at Boeing Co. from 1941 until his death in
1961 at the age of 56.
Art Solter -- 1948
was famed for catching the first legal forward pass in college football
history (December, 1905, vs. Washburn) as an end for Fairmont College (now
Wichita State). He was an all-around athlete who also played baseball and
ran track. He and his brother George organized and promoted early-day
semi-pro baseball tournaments in Wichita. He was a member of the Kansas
Old-Time Baseball Association, Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Assn., and
Downtown Quarterback Club.
Hank Souter -- 1950
Henry “Hank” Souter signed with the Cardinals at the age of 17. His
family say he played minor league baseball but have no records of the
teams he played with. He was born in Parsons, Kan., in December, 1902, and
died in March, 1983, at the age of 80. Souter worked train wrecks for the
MK&T Railway. He was a big man at 6-2 and 200 pounds and played catcher
and first base. He lived most of his life in Parsons, Kan. At the age of
65 he was still playing amateur baseball in Parsons.
Daryl Spencer -- 1971
Also in the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame - N.B.C. Hall
Wichita East High School product was a standout in three realms – the
major leagues, the Japanese professional league and the National Baseball
Congress. He was a rare shortstop who could hit with power. He hit 105
home runs and drove in 428 runs in a 10-year major-league career with the
Giants, Cards and Dodgers. He was an all-star in Japan for many years and
was an NBC all-star infielder in 1953 and 1954 for the Boeing Bombers and
again in 1963 with Grand Rapids, Mich.
Jerry Squires -- 1991
Roosevelt, Okla., Squires moved to Wichita and attended Cathedral High
School. He played semi-pro ball in the Victory League as an 11th
grader. Played in the Cubs’ system at Pampa, Texas, in 1950 and the next
year was called up by the Naval Reserve. Back home, he played semi-pro
until 1953 with Blackwell, Okla., Arkansas City and for Nick Stevens’ team
in the Victory League. He ran Squires service station near Central and
Oliver for years. Member of KBA Board of Directors.
Mark Standiford -- 2005
All-American in 1988, Standiford was a key figure in the Shockers return
to the College World Series. He batted .374, hit 28 home runs and drove in
97 runs. The Shockers avenged two earlier losses to Oklahoma State by
beating the No. 1-ranked Cowboys twice to win the regional tournament.
That was the beginning of WSU’s becoming the dominant program in the
Midwest. He also set the Shocker and Missouri Valley Conference records of
69 career home runs.
Hank Stelljes -- 1999
Girard, Kan., Stelljes played first base and outfield in the Class D KOM
League at Independence in the late 1940s. He came to Wichita in 1951 and
played semi-pro ball for teams in Newton and Derby. He became involved in
umpiring through the NBC and officiated NBC, college and high school games
for almost 30 years.
Phil Stephenson -- 2007
Shocker, Professional Standout
In 1982, Stephenson was named
Wichita State University’s second NCAA Player of the Year, one year after
teammate Joe Carter won the honor. In 1981, Stephenson hit in a record 47
consecutive games. In 1982, he batted .399 with 30 doubles and 87 stolen
bases. After a quarter of a century, many of his records still stand. He
was a key figure along with Carter in helping his brother, Gene, coach of
the Shockers, build the program to prominent national stature. He made his
major league debut with the Cubs in 1989. The Cubs traded him to San
Diego, where he played until 1992. Phil spent several years managing and
coaching in the minor leagues, including a stint with the Wichita
Wranglers and as baseball coach at Dodge City Community College.
Lee Stevens -- 2011
Stevens was drafted out of Lawrence High School by the California Angels
in the first round of the 1986 amateur draft (#22 overall). Four years
later, he debuted with the Angels. After three seasons, Stevens went to
Japan to play two seasons for the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes. Stevens
returned to the U.S. and hit 20 or more home runs for five consecutive
seasons, starting with the Texas in 1997 and ending in 2001 with Montreal.
Stevens hit 144 home runs over ten major league seasons.
Nick Stevens -- 1993
hardly a sport involving a ball that Nick Stevens was not involved in
during his 90 years. He was a star in football and basketball at Wichita
North High and an end in football at Kansas State and Wichita U in the
1930s. He was also a champion golfer and handball player and a veteran
sports referee. He and brother John formed semi-pro baseball teams
stocked with some of Wichita’s finest players representing his vending
machine company. Stevens died in Wichita in 2006.
Tom Sturdivant -- 1998
won Game 4 in the Yankees’ 4 games to 3 victory over the Dodgers in the
1956 World Series. That was also the year of Don Larsen’s perfect World
Series game. He earned another World Series ring with the Yankees in 1957
when he had his best season of 16 wins, 6 losses. He earned a total of 59
wins and lost 51 while saving 17 games. He had a strong strikeouts-to base
on balls ratio (704 to 449) and a career earned-run average of 3.74. He
was born in Gordon, Kan.
George Sweatt -- 2011
the same town as Walter Johnson, George Sweatt was the first
African-American to letter in a sport at Pittsburg State. He graduated and
taught in a segregated school in Coffeyville, while he played seven
seasons in the Negro Leagues. Sweatt played for the Kansas City Monarchs
and Chicago American Giants. He was one of only two players to appear in
all four Negro World Series. Following his death in 1983, the George A.
Sweatt Park was dedicated in Humboldt.
Bob Swift -- 1988
Salina, Kan., in 1915, Swift broke into the majors in 1940 and had a
14-year career as a catcher with the St. Louis Browns, Detroit Tigers and
Philadelphia A’s. His best year was his rookie season with the Browns when
he hit .259 and drove in 39 runs. In 4,142 chances committed only 64
errors for an amazing .985 career fielding average. Twice he was acting
manager of the Tigers when Chuck Dressen became ill. He also managed in
the minor leagues for the KC A’s, Tigers and Senators.
Luther Taylor -- 2006
Taylor overcame the handicap of being a deaf mute to become a part of
one of the greatest pitching rotations of all time. A product of the
Kansas School for the Deaf, he was part of the three-man rotation of
Christy Mathewson and Fred McGinnity for the New York Giants from 1900 to
1908. He had a 117-103 won-lost record, including 75-34 in his last five
years. He had 21 shutouts and a 2.75 ERA. He retired from pro ball in 1914
and became director of athletics at the Kansas School for the Deaf.
Floyd Temple -- 1966
University’s all-time winningest baseball coach was Floyd Temple, who ran
the program from 1954 to 1981. He amassed 437 victories, lost 396 and tied
7. A native of Coffeyville, Kan., Temple retired from the University of
Kansas in 1992. He was well known in the semi-pro circles of Western
Canada baseball where he coached and managed during the summer months. He
was also the third baseman on the 1949 Kansas U. team which won the Big
Ralph Terry -- 1994
five World Series for the Yankees and was MVP in 1962, nailing down the
title with a 1-0 shutout victory in Game 7 over the San Francisco Giants.
In 12 seasons in the majors, Terry won 107 games and lost 99 with a 3.62
ERA. He also had a better than 2-1 ratio of strikeouts (1,000) to bases on
balls (446). He was also an outstanding golfer, trying the pro tour for a
while, and became club pro at Larned Country Club. He also tried the
Senior Pro Tour.
Andy Teter -- 1979
played outfield or managed in 18 national NBC tournaments. He was a member
of the Boeing national championship teams of 1954 and 1955. He also played
for Cessna, Service Auto Glass, Weller Indians, Instant Auto Glass and Bob
Moore Oldsmobile. Teter also played four years in the Boston Red Sox
organization in the Ohio State, Piedmont and Sooner State leagues. In the
Sooner State he played at Paul’s Valley under Red Phillips, who also
managed many of the great Boeing teams.
Jug Thesenga -- 1982
“Jug” for his wicked curve ball, he had a “cup of coffee” in the majors,
playing five games for the Senators in 1944. He also had a distinguished
career with Sioux City (Western League), Waterloo (Triple I), Durham,
N.C., (Piedmont) and Texarkana (East Texas). Then he played semipro and
was player/manager of the Cessna Bobcats. With Enid, Okla., in 1941 he was
named outstanding pitcher in and set a record for most games (14) won by
a pitcher in NBC tournament action.
Glen Thomas -- 1944
born in 1889 in Waterville, Kan., and came to Wichita in 1916 after
completing his degree in architecture at the University of Illinois. He
also played infield on Wichita’s team in the Western League. He played
semi-pro ball in Wichita for a number of years. In 1919, he established an
architectural firm. One of his most notable efforts was designing the
building for North High School. He was a member of the planning
commissions of both the city and the county.
Jim Thomas -- 2004
assistant coach at Wichita State University and has been on the staff
since 1992. He helped lead the Shockers to their first College World
Series appearance in 1982 as he stole 60 bases and drove in 57 runs. He
was an All-America second baseman in 1981 and 1982. He posted a career
.351 batting average and stole 158 bases. Thomas also played
professionally nine years with the Houston Astros and California Angels
organization, rising to the triple A level with both organizations.
Bob Thurman -- 1987
native broke into the majors in 1955 at the advanced age of 38 and played
five years for the Cincinnati Reds. The left-handed outfielder was 42
years old in his final year in the majors. He had banged around in the
minors from Omaha of the American Association to San Francisco of the
Pacific Coast League. In 1957, he tied a record by hitting 16 homers with
fewer than 200 at-bats. He also had 40 runs batted in that season. He died
in Wichita in 1998 at the age of 81.
Tinker -- 1946
Muscotah, Kan., in 1880, Tinker played 15 years in the majors and was
famous as a member of the record-setting double-play trio of Tinker to
Evers to Chance. He helped the Cubs win back-to-back World Series in 1907
and 1908 after they lost to the White Sox in the 1906 Series. Tinker was
involved in 671 double plays in his major-league career. He had 1,687 hits
and drove in 782 runs while posting a .285 lifetime batting average. He
also played for the Chicago Whales and Cincinnati Reds.
Mike Torrez -- 2006
Topeka-born Mike Torrez was signed in 1964 by the St. Louis Cardinals and
had an 18-year Major-league career playing for seven different clubs. His
best year was 1975 when he went 20-9 with a 3.06 ERA and led Baltimore to
a second place finish in the AL East. He pitched two complete games and
won both games for the Yankees in the 1977 World Series. Torrez won 185
and lost 160 in the Majors. After baseball, he became head of a
Naperville, Ill., sports apparel company.
George Trombold -- 1986
hit .402 playing first base for Wichita Civic state NBC champs in 1939
and was named to all-tournament team. Started with Kansas University in
the Big Six Conference for three years and coached the freshman basketball
team at KU his senior year. Played with the Lawrence Green Brothers
semi-pro team. Also managed the Lawrence Ban Johnson team.
Jim Upchurch -- 1987
was born July, 24, 1928, in Bardstown, Ill. He died January 22, 1996, in
Wichita at age 67. In 1948 he was playing professional baseball, pitching
for Aberdeen, S. Dak. He had a record of 10-10 and an earned-run average
of 3.41. The left-hander helped the Boeing Bombers win back-to-back NBC
National championship tournaments in 1954 and 1955 and the Global
Championship in Milwaukee in 1955.
Joseph "Arky" Vaughan -- 2011
Vaughan began his professional career in Wichita at the age of 19 with the
1931 Wichita Aviators. It would be his only minor league season. The
Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Vaughan in 1932. Over the next ten years, he
was an eight-time all-star and led the majors in hitting in 1935, with a
.385 average. Vaughan also played four seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
In 1952, he drowned while fishing with a friend. In 1985, Vaughan was
elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Royce Washborn -- 1946
second baseman helped the Wichita Witches win Western League in 1921 as he
led the league with 170 runs scored. In 1924 with the Tulsa Oilers, he led
the league in home runs with 48, a rare show of power hitting for an
infielder. He also played in the Cincinnati Reds farm system at Dubuque,
Iowa, and at Tulsa in the Western and Texas leagues. He was named to the
all-time Tulsa Oilers team in 1924 as a second baseman.
Mitch Webster -- 2006
This Larned, Kan., native played for six teams during a 13-year,
major-league career. The best year at the plate for the switch-hitter was
1986 when he batted .290 for the Expos. His four most productive seasons
were with the Expos. He also played for the Blue Jays, Indians, Cubs and
Pirates and spent his last five seasons with the Dodgers. He appeared in
1,265 games and had a career batting average of .263 with 342 runs batted
Hugo Wedell -- 1960
Kansas Supreme Court Justice
highly accomplished jurist was a native of Chanute, Kan., who rose to a
position on the Kansas Supreme Court. He played in the Philadelphia
Phillies farm system and later managed several minor league and semi-pro
teams, including one in Wichita. He was born in 1890 and attended the
University of Kansas, which honored him with a Distinguished Service
Citation in 1950. He was appointed an associate justice of the Kansas
Supreme Court in 1935 and served until 1955.
John Weitzel -- 2012
Weitzel was a small business owner who sponsored Victory League teams in
the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
Originally from LaCrosse, Weitzel owned machine shops in Wichita, Attica
and LaCrosse. For more than twenty years, the John Weitzel Cowboys were
a fixture in the Victory League. Several teams advanced to the National
Baseball Congress World Series, including the 1958 Kansas State Champion
addition to offering opportunity on the field, players would often work
in Weitzel's machine shops. Weitzel also embraced diversity. His final
Cowboy team in 1971 was managed by former Negro League great Frank
died in 1973 and is buried in LaCrosse.
Bert Wells -- 1978
began scouting the NBC Tournament in 1939 when it was the state tourney.
He spent one season scouting for the St. Louis Browns. In 1940 he went to
work for the Dodgers and remained with them until his death in 1979. He
probably signed more NBC players than any other scout. Wells was the
Dodgers’ supervisor of scouts in an area of the Midwest that covered
several states. He was born in Iowa but moved to Kansas and lived many
years in Larned.
Dick Whitworth -- 2011
called the “greatest pitcher in the world” by Rube Foster, Dick Whitworth
was the idol of Chicago American Giants’ fans in the late 1910’s.
Whitworth was born in St. Louis in 1895 and began pitching for a semipro
team made mostly of teenagers in Kansas City, Kansas in 1911. The tall
righthander made his Negro Leagues debut in 1915 for the Chicago American
Giants and lasted nine years in the Negro Leagues. He died in St. Louis in
Frank Wickware -- 2011
Coffeyville in 1888, Frank Wickware was a star right-handed pitcher and
gate attraction, prompting him to move from team to team to cash in on his
success. From 1910-25, he played for 16 teams and also served in World War
I. Often called “the black Walter Johnson,” Wickware beat Johnson in two
of three exhibitions in 1913 and 1914. After leaving baseball, he lived in
Schenectady, New York where he died in 1967.
Joe Wilhoit -- 2009
Wichita outfielder Joe Wilhoit batted
safely in 69 consecutive games in 1919 in the Class AA Western League,
still an alltime record. Yes, that was 13 more games and 22 years before
Joe DiMaggio hit safely in 56 games to set the major league record in
1941. Wilhoit's feat came after four years in the big leagues where he
displayed great speed and defense. He was sent down to Wichita to cure a
hitting slump, and did he ever! He batted .515 during the streak, .442 for
Claude Willoughby -- 1943
Willie” was born in Buffalo, Kan., in 1898 and broke into the majors at
age 26 in 1925. He played seven years in the majors, six of them as a
righthanded pitcher for the Phillies. His best year was 1929 when he won
15 and lost 14. During his stint with the Phils, the team usually finished
in last place. In 1931, his last in the majors, he played for the
Pirates. After his playing days were over, he returned to Kansas. He
died in McPherson in 1973.
Duane Wilson -- 2004
Wichita in 1934, Wilson broke into pro ball in 1952 and played eight
years, including a short stint with the Red Sox as a left-handed pitcher.
He was a member of the Minneapolis Millers’ Little World Series champs in
1958. He played for seven minor league clubs, including Louisville and
Oklahoma City. In 1959 he returned to Wichita, entered the banking
business and played semi-pro ball. Then he launched a softball career and
was named to the Kansas Softball Hall of Fame in 1991.
Chris Wimmer -- 2012
One of the
top players in Greater Wichita Athletic League history, Chris Wimmer hit
.533 as a senior at East High in 1989. He led the Blue Aces to a 23-2
record and a state runner-up finish. Following his senior season, the
Boston Red Sox drafted Wimmer in the 12th round of the MLB draft. Instead
of signing with the Red Sox, Wimmer enrolled at Wichita State, where
infielders P.J. Forbes, Mike Lansing and Pat Meares forced him to the
outfield. Wimmer responded by hitting .322 with 30 stolen bases and was
named a Freshman All-American. As a
sophomore in 1991, Wimmer moved to second base and hit .401 with an
NCAA-leading 125 hits and an NCAA-leading 99 runs. He helped the
Shockers to a runner-up finish in the College World Series and was named
second team All-American.
Following the 1991 season, Wimmer was selected to play in the
Pan-American games in Havana, Cuba. He hit .385 for a USA team that won
the bronze medal. In 1992,
Wimmer hit .366 with 52 steals and was again named an All-American.
Along with teammate Darren Dreifort, Wimmer was named to Team USA and
played in the Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain. Also
during the summer of 1992, Wimmer was drafted by San Francisco in the
eighth round of the MLB Draft. He signed with the Giants and reached the
AAA level. As of
his induction, Wimmer serves as a scout for the Detroit Tigers.
Winegarner -- 1965
Benton, Kan., Winegarner had a long career in the minor leagues. He had a
four-year stint as a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians (1932-36) and made
a comeback after 13 years as a reliever for the St. Louis Browns in 1949.
He managed the Wichita Indians in 1952. He also coached in the Browns
system for four years. He appeared in 70 games and had an 8-6 won-lost
record. He died in Wichita in 1988 and is buried in Benton.
"Smoky" Joe Wood -- 1943
Joe” had a blazing fastball. He spent his early life in Ness City, Kan.,
and played his first professional ball in Hutchinson. Walter “Big Train”
Johnson once said “. . . no man alive can throw any harder than Smoky Joe
Wood.” He signed with the Red Sox in 1908 at age 19 and won a
league-leading 34 games in 1912. His lifetime figures are 116 games won,
57 lost with a brilliant earned-run average of 2.03. An injury forced him
to play in the outfield at Cleveland in his last three seasons.
Dick Young -- 1943
was born Aug. 9, 1899, in Wichita and was active in local semi-pro
baseball circles for many years. He was a prominent businessman, listed
among Wichita’s Who’s Who of 1929. He owned a sheet metal and furnace
repair company. He was a member of the Exchange Club and was a Scottish
Rite Mason. His wife VeNora taught at Allison school until 1928.
T. J. Young -- 2011
Jefferson Young was a catcher with a strong arm and powerful left-handed
bat. Born in Wichita in 1906, Young broke into professional baseball in
1924 with the Wichita Monrovians. The next season saw him join the Kansas
City Monarchs to begin a 16-year career in the Negro Leagues. Young also
played with the St. Louis Stars, Homestead Grays, Pittsburgh Crawfords,
New York Cubans and Newark Eagles, finishing his career in 1941.