In 1934, NBC founder Raymond “Hap” Dumont convinced the City of Wichita to build Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in order to host a national baseball tournament. In 1935, he held the first National Baseball Congress tournament, which was a huge risk on his part (similar tournaments had failed miserably on both coasts).
He offered the legendary Satchel Paige $1,000 to bring his barnstorming team from Bismarck, ND. Paige and support from the local media & national publication, The Sporting News, helped make the tournament an instant homerun. Hap didn’t have much money, but was able to pay Paige & the other players due to its success.