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www.sportseventsmagazine.com January 2017 31 SPECIAL FEATURE: Awards & Recognition Issue History and tradition are going strong in Wichita with the National Base- ball Congress' World Series. Since 1935, the summer collegiate baseball tournament has been a staple at the Lawrence–Dumont Stadium, one of the oldest ball parks in the country, which was constructed in 1934. Since the inaugural tournament — which featured Satchel Paige pitching for the Bismarck Churchills — more than 800 participants have gone on to play Major League Baseball. "We have eight athletes who have played in the World Series who are now in the National Baseball Hall of Fame," Kevin Jenks said. "There are so many notable players who have played in the NBC World Series." Last year, 30 teams from around the country made their way to Wichita to compete. A highlight of the tournament was that one team, the Kansas Stars, was composed entirely of former Major League Baseball players, including Roger Clemens, Josh Beckett, Adam LaRoche, J.D. Drew, Brad Penny, Roy Oswalt and Tim Hudson. The team also included celebrity guest managers: Toby Keith and Willy Robertson (of "Duck Dynasty"). "The Kansas Stars made it all the way to the semifinals before losing in 17 innings," Jenks said. "I know the college baseball athletes liked com- peting against ex-Major League stars." Including the Major League team last year was not only fun for the collegiate athletes but also a crowd pleaser. The team helped sell out the stadium multiple times and even helped set record attendance. "The Major League team plans to come back next year and participate again," Jenks said. "This is an event that is unlike any event in the country. There's really nothing else like it." n National Baseball Congress World Series Kevin Jenks, Tournament Director and General Manager National Baseball Congress Wichita, KS SPORTS EVENTS TO WATCH IN 2017 There are countless elements that make an event rise to the next level, but none outrank the ability to make a memorable impression. These events were voted as the best by our readers. NBC photo