There was a terrific AAA American Legion State Baseball Tournament played in Great Bend last weekend, and in the days preceding it. At the same time in Fort Scott, the AA tournament was being played.
The Great Bend Chiefs couldn’t turn the trick as bad hosts and win the tournament, falling to McPherson in the losers bracket to end their season at 27-17. Meanwhile, one of the Chiefs regular opponents, the Larned Indians, were sweeping the field in Fort Scott, winning their third state title as they roughed up Russell 14-3 in the championship game.
I point these things out because, for the most part, these two tournaments were ignored by the Kansas media. Of course the Great Bend Tribune and the Larned Tiller and Toiler gave ample and good coverage but nothing was to be seen or heard in the rest of the state’s media, in particular the Hutchinson News, Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capital. Nothing. Nada! Not even a short score in the hidden corners of the sports page.
The two tournaments represented 16 communities in our state. Wouldn’t that warrant at least a score in what they tout as our leading newspapers in Kansas? Instead we have been treated to “canned” articles about the Olympics, the Royals’ latest losing score and whatever the NFL has released about the upcoming football season.
I realize that in this day and age, newspapers are struggling financially and don’t have the resources to send reporters to every event but, gosh, there are telephones and the internet! Stories about our youth, our local communities, are important to fans. Statewide events like the Legion state tournaments, the Shrine Bowl, and other events need to be told.
The Great Bend Chiefs, under the leadership of Roger Ward, had another successful season. The Larned Indians, playing probably the toughest AA schedule in the state, brought home the championship, their third, and will move on this week to the Mid-State Regional in Waupun, Wisc. Coach Chad Erway has deftly put together another state-quality team in what appears to be a continuation of great teams. It was Larned’s third-straight trip to the State Tournament.
If it weren’t for your local newspapers you would never hear about these stories. I know it might sound a little provincial but, aren’t these stories, these scores, worthy of at least a mention? Who knew?
CHALK TALK: You can’t accuse Bill Snyder of always scheduling softies. The Cats open the 2016 football season, on the road, playing Stanford in Palo-Alto, Calif. Win that one and they will appear in the rankings.
There have been more articles written about Big 12 expansion than Hillary has lost emails! Now, we’ve come full circle as many are speculating that former members Colorado, Nebraska and Missosuri might come back. Despite Bill Snyder’s thoughts, probably not gonna happen!
Next time you’re at Arrowhead Stadium for a Chiefs game, you’ll be watching one of the world’s wealthiest teams take the field. Forbes says the Chiefs rank at No. 43 in all sports team in the wealth department at a valuation of $1.53 billion. As I remember the price of a beer and a hot dog, I can see how they got there!
The difference between a big shot and a little shot is that a big shot is just a little shot that kept on shooting!
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.