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Kansas A to Z: ‘N’ is for NBC World Series

WICHITA — While Wichita’s history has been hit or miss when it comes to minor league baseball, there has been one constant through the years that continues to draw crowds.

Thanks to the ingenuity of one local sporting goods salesman, Raymond “Hap” Dumont, baseball fans have been able to look forward to watching highly competitive, semi-professional baseball in the late summer for nearly a century, with Dumont helping organize the first National Baseball Congress World Series (which will crown its 85th champion later this summer) in 1935.

Back when it started, the NBC World Series attracted many barnstorming and town teams, with Dumont able to rope in future Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige for that first tournament. Now, the two-week championship series (starting the last week of July) features mainly collegiate and amateur teams from across the country, giving up-and-coming players a chance to shine in the spotlight — an opportunity not lost on them.

“It’s definitely one of the biggest stages I’ve been on,” said 2018 NBC World Series participant Jace Snodgrass, who played for the Newton Rebels. “For me at least, hearing the crowd and everything when you do anything cool is just awesome and puts a little more momentum on your side for sure. It’s just a great time all-around.”

For some of those collegiate/amateur players showcased in the NBC World Series, the tournament has proven to be a springboard into the pros — with the tournament having helped launch the careers of more than 800 Major League Baseball players. That includes the likes of current MLB superstars like Aaron Judge, Albert Pujols and Paul Goldschmidt, as well as those of years past — like Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens. The latter even put together a team of former MLB players to compete in the tournament a couple of years ago.

Having the chance to watch those future (and former) stars compete is reason enough to check out the NBC World Series, but there will be a new hook this year — as the tournament will be switching venues following the recent demolition of Lawrence-Dumont Stadium to make way for a new minor league ballpark.

Switching venues has made for one of the busiest off seasons so far, according to Tournament Director Kevin Jenks, but the tournament will not be moving to an unfamiliar site. Wichita State University’s Eck Stadium will host this year’s NBC World Series — after hosting some overflow games in the past — and organizers are looking forward to the potential that host site holds.

“It’s been a good transition and we’re excited about it. It’s a facility that just has better amenities for our players, our teams, our fans and our staff. To me, it’s one of the top five to 10 collegiate ballparks in the country,” Jenks said. “We look forward to playing there and the excitement of utilizing their amenities, that we didn’t have at Lawrence-Dumont, is a big plus for us.”

The history of Lawrence-Dumont Stadium will be heard to replace, according to Newton Rebels General Manager Mark Carvalho, but Eck Stadium is a logical alternative. No matter where it is held, he noted collegiate summer baseball — at that level — makes for a fun atmosphere.

With the host site in flux this year, Jenks admitted organizers have fielded a lot more questions than usual about the tournament. Tough as it is to have to leave the historic Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, Jenks noted the plan is to keep the tournament — one of the longest-running sporting events in the country — going strong in Wichita with hopes of attracting generations of fans to the NBC World Series for years to come.

“It’s our 85th year. Not many sporting events around the country can say that, and certainly to be able to call Wichita home since day one is important,” Jenks said. “From our research, we know that fans who come out one time or two times or three times, we typically have them hooked for life. It’s our job, it’s our duty to make sure they keep coming back, but it really has become a family tradition, I think, for a lot of our fans. That’s what’s really cool.”

“There is a lot of love out there for the NBC,” Jenks said. “When people look forward to your event on an annual basis and talk about it, whether it’s in December, January or here in April, that makes us all smile.”

Wichita Bids Adieu to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium

Wichita Bids Adieu to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium

The banging and clanging of metal tools striking against steel seats echoed throughout Lawrence-Dumont Stadium; the ping and pangs were loud enough to even disrupt the ghost of  Ray“Hap” Dumont, who convinced the City of Wichita to build the stadium to host his semi-amateur baseball in 1935. Many still claim that his presence can be felt since his death at his office in the building 46-years-ago.

On this day, fans were allowed to grab a piece of history or a slice of childhood memories with chair sale. The cash-only event allowed fans of Wichita baseball to purchase seats for as low as $5 for the red seats, $20 for the red/tan seats, and $35 for the blue seats. Fans were encouraged to dig into their toolboxes to be able to remove a seat, or even a row of four,  from its foundation on the main concourse.

A total of 250 seats were sold on Saturday according to Troy Houtman, Director of Parks and Recreation. The rest will be given donated to local universities, community colleges, and high schools in the area.  A few of the seats will be on display at various bus stops, art galleries, and trendy neighborhoods in town.

After the stadium purge of seats, the “Farewell to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium” began featuring a collection of food trucks, a celebrity softball game, movie screenings, and a firework show.  It was a proper send off to a facility that has been the catalyst of copious amounts of memories. Within a few weeks, it will be razed to make way for a new Triple-A ballpark that hopes to create a new tradition of its own beginning in the 2020 season

“Generations have come and gone with Lawrence-Dumont Stadium,” said Kevin Jenks, NBC General Manager/Tournament Director. “Members of the Lawrence and Dumont families attended and it’s hard for them. The NBC has a great relationship with both families. Charley Lawrence and Hap Dumont are responsible for the stadium being built in 1934. Its impact isn’t felt just by those families, LDS has contributed memories for thousands of fans and players over the years.”

The scoreboard will be donated to a local high school, it’s lighting possibly salvaged if it can’t find a new home, and other parts auctioned off to the highest bidder. All remnants of the stadium’s former tenant the Wichita Wingnuts were auctioned off a few weeks ago. Pretty soon there will be nothing but peanut shells that need to be swept up from the building’s main concourse.

The city will pay as much as $83 million for the redevelopment of the property that will also include a new pedestrian bridge that will cross the river, a three-tier building for retail and office space, and other infrastructure. The construction will begin in April of next year and when finish has a capacity for 10,000 fans with fixed seats and social areas.

The NBC will also utilize the stadium for one week during the summer for its amateur World Series while the yet-t0-be-named Triple-A ballclub, currently operating in New Orleans, is on the road. The new stadium will also be home to an NBC museum and office space. Next season, NBC World Series will be held at Eck Stadium on the campus of Wichita State University during the construction.

“We’re excited to play at Eck Stadium”,  added Jenks who said that more teams have inquired about participating next season in the tournament. “Its amenities are great for our fans and our teams will like the pre-game prep/practice area much more. The only challenge is going through the “get ready” process of moving a new facility for the first time in 85 years. The operations staff at WSU has been professional and accommodating to our unique needs of a two-week event.”

The city hopes to attract 888,400 visitors to the baseball facility that can also be used 10 days a year for charitable and community events. A ballpark village with an outfield entrance will be situated along the river with businesses hoping to fill in the south end of the stadium. Mayor Jeff Longwell said at the official announcement that Arkansas River has been vastly overlooked.

“We have literally turned our backs on this river for decades and decades and decades and now we are embracing the river as the great amenity it should be.”

The ballpark would be completed by March 15, 2020, while the team commits to a 20-year lease with an initial rent payment of $350,000 annually, before it is adjusted to inflation every five years.

It is indeed an end of an era in Wichita; the old ballpark was once serviceable as a home to minor league baseball, but wouldn’t be able to hack it anymore under its current conditions. Although full of nostalgia for many who remember their first time watching a game underneath its old grandstand, the city is due for a modern ballpark to satisfy the appetites and empty the pockets who now attend the game as more of a social event.

The over the eight-decade run of LDS is a strong testament to its stubbornness and unwillingness to cede to more modern ballparks, but at the dawn of the next decade, there will be a state of the art ballpark offering perhaps everything architects in the past have overlooked when designing similar facilities.

“It is a bittersweet situation,” added Houtman. The current Lawrence-Dumont Stadium is 84-years-old and it has so many memories to folks here in Wichita, but the infrastructure is so outdated and the mounting costs of repairs and upgrades have made it fiscally impossible to renovate or sustain in its current state.  It is my hope that the folks from Wichita will make many new memories and experience at the new stadium.”

That feeling is also shared by Jenks who knows that it was inevitable to build a new stadium for both a minor league team and amateur tournament.

“All that said, a new stadium is desperately needed. It should have happened 10-15 years ago. The next generation of NBC fans will grow up in a beautiful facility. Plus, the NBC museum will showcase our tradition, history, and nostalgia that so many people have helped build.”

In an age were many ballparks are being knocked down after less than 25 years, an 84-year-old ballpark is something to truly appreciate. However, it is time for a new ballpark that hopes to create as many memories as Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. If there was ever a city waiting for such a moment, it is definitely Wichita, Kansas.

by | Oct 19, 2018 |


NBC May Newsletter

May Newsletter is out!

With the 84th NBC World Series just 79 days away, we look at our long history and want everyone to know, we aren’t going anywhere and our future is in a better place than it’s been for several years. We want to thank everyone for their continued support and look forward to the many more years of the NBC World Series being played in Wichita!!

With that being said, 2018 will be an exciting year, and more importantly a year we look at the history of Hap Dumont and what he created for our community. Another year of honoring our history and those who’ve played a role in the deep tradition that is the NBC World Series. If this is the last year at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, the NBC World Series plans to play at Wichita State’s Eck Stadium, then move back to a NEW LDS, which will feature NBC offices and museum.

We have had a great April, and the upcoming months will bring more exciting and fun events that highlight our 84th NBC World Series.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat…….

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NBC April Newsletter

April Newsletter is out!

March Madness is over and baseball is finally here!! Kevin Jenks won our NCAA Tournament office pool by picking some team out of Pennsylvania. Eddie was out of the competition early due to a team from Wichita meeting up against a herd of Green.

Tickets are on sale for Season Passes, Flex Tickets and Group Events. Season Passes, First and Championship Week passes have been reduced. If you are interested, give us a call at 316-977-9400.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for exciting action going on with the NBC Staff and our affiliated teams.

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NBC March Newsletter

March Newsletter is out!

March Madness is here!!! Who is your favorite team? Laces and the staff will be competing in a Bracket Challenge, and the great thing about it, our fans can win free tickets to the 2018 NBC World Series by following us on Facebook.

For the third year, we are having our MLB Pitch, Hit and Run events, and we are partnering with local recreation centers and Baseball/Softball programs to have a fun and free competition for boys and girls between the ages of seven and fourteen. Winners get the chance to compete in the finals at the MLB All-Star Game this summer.

We will start selling our Season Passes within a couple weeks, and Individual Tickets, Flex Tickets and Parties (Skybox, Party Deck, Hardball Cafe, Field Pass) will be coming in the next two months.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for exciting action going on with the NBC Staff and our affiliated teams.

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Kansas Stars load up for The 83rd NBC World Series Powered by Westar Energy

WICHITA,KS–The Kansas Stars have a championship trophy on their minds with the roster announced by Nate Robertson and Adam LaRoche, gearing up for The 83rd NBC World Series powered by Westar Energy.

The core roster includes some of the same Kansans from a year ago, the Stars have also added to the stable with a lengthy list of accomplished pitchers. Returning from 2016 are Stars from Kansas like Robertson, LaRoche, and Wichita State alum Koyie Hill. Hurlers Tim Hudson, Jeremy Guthrie, and Heath Bell are back as well.

Joining the group is former Atlanta Braves third-basemen Chipper Jones, who becomes eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown this winter.

Coming in to bolster the pitching staff is Roy Halladay, a two time Cy Young Award winner, 8 time All-Star and World Series Champion with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Four-time All-Star Kenny Rogers will also join the pitching staff along with 3-time World Series Champion Jake Peavy.

The Stars begin play on July 29th, with games on July 31st and August 2nd as well. Advancing out of their pool would put them in a Quarterfinal matchup on August 4th. Winning the rest of the way would give them a semi-final game on August 5th, and the championship game is Sunday, August 6th.

For a complete Stars roster with links to the players careers visit the team page.


Westar Energy powers 83rd NBC World Series

WICHITA, Kan. – The 83rd National Baseball Congress World Series will be powered by Westar Energy, thanks to a contribution from Westar in support of the National Baseball Congress. The NBC World Series, which draws teams from all over the United States, is a perennial tradition in Wichita.


“If you’ve spent any time at all in or around Wichita, you know how much we value the NBC World Series in this community,” said Jeff Beasley, Westar Energy’s vice president of customer care.  “We’re excited to support this year’s Series and to help build Wichita’s reputation as a premier baseball city.”


The agreement brings together two longstanding pillars in the community of Wichita. Westar Energy, which provides safe, clean, reliable power to 700,000 customers, was founded in 1909 and invests monetary and volunteer support in the communities it serves.


The National Baseball Congress was founded in 1931 and play began with the National Baseball Congress State Tournament that same year. The roots of the current format go back to the first World Series being played four years later in 1935. Together, the two organizations have been community leaders combined for nearly 200 years.


“It’s a great partnership for both parties,” says NBC General Manager/Tournament Director Kevin Jenks. “We were looking for an organization that believes and supports the mission and values of our organization and the World Series. Westar was looking for a longstanding tradition that they could support and our priorities align. It’s a perfect marriage.”


“Westar has been an NBC World Series sponsor for many seasons and this year we wanted to step up to the plate to really drive home the importance of the Series as one of Wichita’s signature events,” said Don Sherman, Westar Energy’s vice president of community relations and strategic partnerships.


The 83rd NBC World Series powered by Westar Energy will be played July 22–August 6, with all games being played at Historical Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. To order individual game tickets go to or call 316-977-9400.


About NBC: The NBC World Series is the largest and the oldest continuous sporting event in the United States. This non-profit 501c(3) foundation operates under the supervision of a 16-member volunteer board of directors. To learn more visit


About Westar Energy: As Kansas’ largest electric company, Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) provides customers the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes. Half the electricity supplied to Westar’s 700,000 customers comes from emission-free sources – nuclear, wind and solar – with a third coming from renewables. Westar’s employees live, volunteer and work in the communities the company serves. For more information, visit us at

NBC Leagues in Colorado Elevating Play


From 1964 through 1980, liquor store owner Bauldie Moschetti ran one of the nation’s premier collegiate summer baseball programs, the Boulder Collegians. The team won four National Baseball Congress championships and attracted top-tier college players from all over the country, including future pros such as Joe Carter, Joe Madden and Tony Gwynn.

That time frame was the heyday of the state’s college summer baseball scene, with other long-defunct storied teams such as the Englewood Redbirds, Colorado Rangers and Pueblo Steelers making Colorado a breeding ground for future pro prospects for three months of the year.

Jump ahead to 2017, and while Colorado doesn’t boast nationally renowned college summer baseball as it once did — the Cape Cod League and the Alaska League lay primary claim to that — the foundation is in place for the state to return to that level.

“There’s a history of quality summer baseball here, and I think you’re starting to see that come back,” said Al Blesar, a longtime coach and professional scout who is the co-director of player personnel for the Mile High Collegiate Baseball League. “More local guys and nonlocal guys are seeing the benefits of playing in leagues here before they head back to school in the fall.”

Colorado has three summer leagues: the Rocky Mountain Baseball League (founded in 1999), the Mile High Collegiate Baseball League (2013) and the Mountain West Summer College Baseball League (2015). All three are nonprofits, with all player fees going toward operating costs. The RMBL and MHCBL have 10 teams apiece and the MWSCBL eight, and both the RMBL (two bids) and the MHCBL (one bid) are members of the NBC.

At their core, the leagues provide players with a packed summer schedule — usually 40 to 60 games — that allows players ranging from Division I to junior college to focus on development.

“Like I always tell my players, you’re going to come in and get your at-bats and get your innings on the mound,” said Steve Oram, vice president of the RMBL and a longtime summer coach. “I think a lot of the younger guys in the league, like players who just graduated from high school or redshirted in college, get an opportunity to get better over the summer so that they can make their college team or find their way on the field.”

Players such as Evan Walter are proof of the doors Colorado summer baseball can open.

Walter started at first base the past two seasons for the Colorado Cyclones, a team that earned NBC berths with consecutive MHCBL titles. The 2012 Thomas Jefferson High School graduate attends the University of Science and Arts Oklahoma, which has a top-tier NAIA program. He found a home there, thanks to the MHCBL.

“The main thing the league’s helped me with is that it’s given me opportunities,” Walter said. “Two years ago I got picked up by a junior college after the summer because I wasn’t playing at my previous school, and then last summer, I earned the opportunity to come aboard at my current four-year school.”

And while the RMBL and the MHCBL are dominated by Coloradans, the Western Slope-based MWSCBL is about 80 percent non-Coloradans — including players from nearly all 50 states as well as Mexico, Canada and Australia. The league capitalizes on Colorado’s mild summers, altitude-assisted hitting and growing status as a world-class destination.

“One of the biggest draws of our league is where it’s at,” said MWSCBL commissioner Joe LeFebre, whose league has teams in Eagle Valley, Carbondale and Steamboat Springs, among other sites. “I don’t think there’s a college summer baseball team at 9,000 feet elevation like the Summit Extreme Black Diamonds are, and I don’t think there ever has been.”

All three Colorado summer leagues have expanded since their debut, and now the RMBL is looking to widen its reach beyond the state’s borders.

“With so many summer leagues sprouting up all over the country and increasing numbers of guys who are willing to travel to play summer ball, now we’re trying to market ourselves as more of a regional league,” Oram said. “We’ve got a team in Laramie right now and we’ve got one up in Sterling, and we’re working with guys up in Casper and Cheyenne, so next year we hope to expand the league up there as well.”

But despite the proliferation of summer collegiate baseball teams in Colorado over the past two decades, the state — specifically the Denver area, where RMBL and MHCBL teams are mostly located — faces a distance disadvantage compared with other leagues within the U.S. such as the Jayhawk League (Kansas) and the Northwoods League (the Midwest) that draw top college freshmen and sophomores nationally.

“Leagues like the Jayhawk League have their own franchises, and it’s like the minor leagues in the way it’s set up,” Blesar said. “Each city is franchised and the teams play at the best college ballparks in the city, and the communities really come out and get behind the teams.”

In that way, the lure of the Denver area for players also is a drawback for the RMBL and MHCBL, because cities here don’t provide the best breeding grounds for grassroots amateur leagues. The lack of Division I programs at major universities such as DU, CU and CSU doesn’t help, either.

“I don’t know if we could ever become self-sufficient like the Northwoods or the Cape Cod, because we’re not in small towns,” RMBL president Mark Cerullo said. “There so much to do in Colorado that even if the league charged gate, as we’ve discussed in the past, it would be just friends and family paying. So while Denver is a great draw for kids to play here, it’s a tough sell in terms of sponsorships and getting people out to ballgames.”

But a state can still dream.

Many of those who have been around Colorado amateur baseball the longest — such as Cherry Creek High School’s Marc Johnson, who has coached the Bruins for 45 years — believe the infrastructure and intangibles are in place for the state to once again become a summer college baseball hotbed.

“To go back to when Colorado summer teams were truly loaded — like when I was coaching the Colorado Rangers and I had guys like (Boston Red Sox manager) John Farrell on my team — you’d have to have some big sponsors and a lot more nice college fields in the area,” Johnson said. “Right now, I think you could put together a great Colorado-based team to rival what Cape Cod offers, but you’d need an entire league so that team doesn’t have to travel the country to play. That’s the next step to elevating the college summer leagues in Colorado, and it’s going to take an influx of talent to do it.”

Full Story at Denver Post

Iowa to Represent USA at The 83rd NBC World Series

WICHITA, Kan. — The USA National Team, represented by the University of Iowa baseball team, is coming to Wichita and will compete in Championship Week of the 83rd NBC World Series, July 29–August 6. The Hawkeyes were selected by USA Baseball to represent the United States at the World University Games in Tapei, Taiwan, in August.

The Hawkeyes won 39 games during the 2017 season, claimed their first Big Ten Tournament title, and qualified for a second NCAA Regional in three seasons under Iowa head coach Rick Heller.  The team hit 71 home runs and posted a .284 team batting average.

“When we were approached by USA Baseball,” says NBC World Series General Manager/Tournament Director Kevin Jenks “The opportunity of having the USA National Team/Iowa Hawkeyes play in the premier summer showcase for college-age amateur players, we knew it was a no-brainer. We’re thrilled to have coach Heller bring the Hawkeyes to Wichita to compete against the best.”

This is the fifth time a US National Team has played in the NBC World Series. Team USA played in 1995 and 1999. The NJCAA National Team played in 2014 and 2016.

“This will be an excellent opportunity for our team to compete before we head to Taiwan for the World University Games,” said Heller. “We’re grateful that the NBC has awarded us this opportunity.”

The USA National Team will begin pool play at the 83rd NBC World Series on Sunday, July 30 and continue with games on Tuesday, August 1, and Thursday, August 3. Should the USA National Team qualify out of pool play, it could potentially play on August 4-5 and eventually in the National Championship on August 6.

The 83rd NBC World Series will be played July 22–August 6, with all games being played at Historical Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. To order individual game tickets go to or call 316-977-9400.

About NBC: The NBC World Series is the largest and the oldest continuous sporting event in the United States. This non-profit 501c(3) foundation operates under the supervision of a 16-member volunteer board of directors. To learn more visit

Contact: Tim Slack

Phone: (316) 977-9400


NBC makes payment to City of Wichita, New Stadium in the Future


Like a baseball manager getting ejected by an umpire, so the city of Wichita is ready to eject Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

“What we recognize now is there’s really nothing to save over there,” said Mayor Jeff Longwell.  He said the stadium’s infrastructure is in bad shape including the plumbing.  He says the stadium concrete is crumbling.  He wants to have a ground breaking next year.

Lawrence-Dumont was a “Works Projects Administration” project during the great depression, opening in 1934.

Longwell said, “We are in the process of putting together all of the finance packages needed to build a new Lawrence Dumont Stadium,” Longwell said.

He said Star Bonds will be used in the financing.  He said the next step is to hire an architect to move forward with plans.

NBC World Series makes impact, repays on city loan

Longwell said the city wants to build a National Baseball Congress museum to be open year-round and include a restaurant.

Longwell indicated the probability of not having professional baseball for a season.

“We don’t know yet if we’re going to lose a season in 2018 or 2019,” he said. “So we don’t have that schedule laid out for us just yet, in terms of, do we lose a baseball season?”

That’s while a stadium is under construction.

But as for the National Baseball Congress games Longwell said, “What we would do is move the NBC to another facility.  And so we would not lose a season for the NBC.   We may have to move them to another venue for one year.”

He said the most logical place for the NBC tournament games to be played is on the Wichita State University campus in Eck Stadium, while a new Lawrence-Dumont Stadium is being built.

City Council Member and NBC Board Member Lavonta Williams said, “We are looking forward to being in a new stadium.  But the thing we’ll have to look at is where we can temporarily play and right now Wichita State is a great avenue for us to look at.”

A new stadium could lead to an affiliation with a major league baseball team said Longwell.

“We believe there are multiple opportunities and we’ve already talked to multiple teams. We are just in the beginning stages of those conversations also. It’s exciting.  It’s great to see baseball at a level we haven’t been accustomed to in a while.”


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