LARNED — Join the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. for a presentation and book signing by Mark Eberle, Professor at Fort Hays State University. Eberle recently published his book Kansas Baseball, 1858–1941, which is an overview of people, places, and events associated with the sport during the period that baseball developed into its modern form. The program is free and open to the public.
While most books deal with major league baseball, no major league team has ever been based in Kansas, so this book focuses primarily on the history of local baseball played in hundreds of towns across the state. Nine towns still play the national pastime in the state’s oldest ballparks, constructed between 1924 and 1940. Four of these towns are in western Kansas—Larned, Kinsley, Garden City, and Hays. There were similarities among their experiences. For example, they all supported town teams that played against each other, and they all hosted a variety of barnstorming teams, such as the Kansas City Monarchs, but only Larned fielded early minor league teams.
The presentation will describe some of the teams, games, characters, and events associated with local baseball in Larned and its neighbors, along with an overview of the histories of their current ballparks.
Mark Eberle was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and grew up mostly in the eastern part of the state. He attended college in Oregon and Kansas, graduating with a Master of Science degree in biology. He now teaches biology and scientific writing at Fort Hays State University. Eberle’s biological research has focused on fishes and other aquatic life in streams of the Great Plains.
In addition to articles published in scientific journals, he has coauthored books written for broader audiences about Fishes of the Central United States (coauthored and illustrated by fellow Kansas City native Joe Tomelleri) and Kansas Fishes (with more than 40 coauthors).
His most recent book, released in April 2017, is a departure from biology but still features a subject associated with the out of doors during summertime—Kansas Baseball, 1858–1941. In August 2017, Mark completed a study about Dwight D. Eisenhower and the question of whether or not he played professional baseball before playing NCAA football for the US Military Academy at West Point.
Books will be available for purchase at the museum the day of the program. For more information, please call 620-285-2054 or email email@example.com. The Santa Fe Trail Center Museum is located 2 miles west of Larned on K156 Hwy.