Little League Baseball Museum
1408 Lincoln Ave. • Baxter Springs, KS 66713
Located at 14th and Grant Avenue
This museum displays many awards and memorabilia of local sports heroes such as Mickey Mantle and Hale Irwin in addition to other stars such as Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Bill Russell and others.
National Baseball Congress Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 1420 • Wichita, KS, 67201
The National Baseball Congress and its now well-established World Series were the brainchild of Wichita sporting goods salesman Hap Dumont in the midst of the Depression. He created the National Semi-Pro Baseball Congress Kansas State Tournament, which was played for the first time in 1931. He made a few bucks on the event and made it bigger the next several years, until a cigarette was left burning in the wooden bleachers of the old park, burning it to the ground. The city of Wichita built a new stadium on the west bank just south of the old park and named it after local pioneer, Robert Lawrence. Semi-pro national tournaments had failed on both the east and west coasts, but Dumont now had a central location and an incredible gimmick.
He offered Satchel Paige, considered the greatest pitcher of the day and perhaps the best in baseball history, an impressive sum of $1,000 to bring his touring team from Bismarck, N.D., to compete in the first NBC tournament in 1935. In that day, a lawyer made $4,000 a year and a doctor about $3,500, so $1,000 was a huge amount for two weeks of play. In fact, Dumont didn't even have the $1,000 when he made the offer. He figured he would make it at the gate. When Paige struck out 60 batters and won four games, which both still stand as tournament records, Dumont made enough money to pay his pitcher as well as all the bills, and he even had money left over. The Sporting News, baseball's bible of the day, gave the event significant coverage. Thus, the national tournament was born. Today, the tournament is comprised of amateur athletes.
Come see the site dedicated to the Hall of Fame’s nearly 50 inductees. Also of interest is a summer college leagues exhibit in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.