Top Jayhawk League teams join Kansas Collegiate League Baseball.
KCLB acquires top teams from Jayhawk League.
Wichita, KS: Kansas Collegiate League Baseball is pleased to formally welcome three established franchises from the renowned Jayhawk League. The Hays Larks, Liberal Bee Jays, and Dodge City A's.
The KCLB and former Jayhawk league leaders have come to an agreement to merge into one quality, competitive driven league. The KCLB will split into two division's hosting the Jayhawk West Division. The vision for a league with the top teams in Kansas competing all summer, has come to fruition.
The KCLB will now be composed of, The Wellington Heat, Kansas Cannons, Hays Larks, Liberal Bee Jays, Dodge City A's, Clearwater Outlaws, Park City Rangers, Valley Center Mud Daubers, McPherson Pipeliners, and Kansas Curve.
The KCLB looks to build off of last years success with this move. The KCLB posted the highest winning percentage (.778) of all leagues in Kansas in the NBC World Series, with a 7-2 record overall. With key wins over former Jayhawk league teams and current Sunflower league teams. The two KCLB teams finished 3rd and 9th last year. With this move the KCLB will now have the strength of the Jayhawk league infused into one league. Hays, Liberal and Dodge are the top three teams from the Jayhawk in the 2018 season.
The current KCLB makeup is the most competitive makeup in the state of Kansas. The Liberal Bee Jays have 5 NBC Titles, seven 2nd place finishes. The Wellington Heat, have 2 US Open world titles and one NBC title, a 2nd place finish, and have placed top 5, fourteen times. The Hays Larks have five 2nd place finishes, and fourteen top 5 finishes. The Park City Rangers have one top 10 finish, three top 15 finishes, and 2 top 20 finishes. The Kansas Cannons have three top 10 finishes, and two more in the top 15. The Dodge City A's have one top 10 finish and represented the Jayhawk last year in the NBC. The Valley Center Mud Daubers have one NBC appearance in 2017.
This decision was made unanimously with full support from current owners and umpires affiliated with the KCLB. PSA and the NBC are aware of the current league members and are excited for the future of our franchises and league.
“This is the most impactful move of this generation for Kansas summer collegiate baseball. Truly, for once in a long time, the strongest organizations from the last decade are playing in one league all summer long. This move will breed the strongest competition and demand professionalism across the board. Something I believe Kansas baseball was in desperate need of. I look forward to partnering with these prestigious organizations and continuing on the mission I set out on when taking over the KCLB. We will continue to be the highest quality league in Kansas and work towards becoming one of the most renowned in the country.”
-Sheldon Howell “Owner, League Commissioner.”
Nate Robertson issued the following statement on the future of the Kansas Stars at the NBC World Series.
"On behalf of myself, Adam LaRoche, and the rest of the Kansas Stars players and families, we would first like to thank the many individuals and companies who made the last two years such a memorable NBC World Series experience. As baseball players, we have a passion for the game and a desire to compete, in spite of our age. The World Series offered that competitive platform that allowed us to get back on the field and play meaningful games again. Playing games that matter was the driving force that brought this group of players together, providing us with the opportunity to give back to various Wichita charities through autograph signings, donations, and partnering with the Wichita Wingnuts for our first annual Hit-a-Thon.
Exhibition opportunities exist worldwide, but these players took time out of their busy schedules and chose to invest in the Wichita area to entertain the great fans of this community. It has been a highlight
for this town and has put Wichita front and center through major media outlets and nationally televised ESPN programming. We are especially thankful to our number one sponsor and home base, the Kansas Star Casino, that bent over backwards to accommodate us.
That being said, we will not be able to attend the NBC World Series in 2018 because the hotel and casino previously booked a major convention for the next several years that coincides with the dates of
the tournament. Even though the same problem occurred in 2017, the NBC moved the tournament up a week to allow for the attendance of the Stars. However, the NBC has returned the tournament back to
the original dates for 2018, which now presents the conflict. From a personal standpoint, being a Stars founder and homegrown Wichitan, this doesn’t make the decision easy. Although I would never want
this team to leave our town, going forward we will now have to explore the other options for the Stars.
Judging by the turnout of the fans at our games and the Stars interactions with the other teams, we hope we gave back in a way any ambassador of the game should. We wish the tournament well in its
years to come. Thanks again to all of those who believed in this vision; it was our “field of dreams” moment and we hope it made lifelong memories for all who witnessed it."