Chipper Jones signs autographs before making his debut for the Kansas Stars during the NBC World Series on Aug. 2 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium Wednesday. Fernando Salazar File photo
Chipper Jones signs autographs before making his debut for the Kansas Stars during the NBC World Series on Aug. 2 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium Wednesday. Fernando Salazar File photo

Kirk Seminoff's Pivot Point

Community engagement editor Kirk Seminoff blogs about news and issues in Wichita and Kansas.

Pivot Point

Balancing big-league players, a casino hotel and the NBC World Series

By Kirk Seminoff

kseminoff@wichitaeagle.com

October 11, 2017 11:48 AM

UPDATED October 11, 2017 12:04 PM

It’s disappointing that the Kansas Stars won’t be back at the National Baseball Congress World Series in 2018. The former major-leaguers, including players such as Chipper Jones and Roger Clemens, were a ticket-selling gift to the summer tournament for two years.

The team’s announcement reveals a delicate dance between players, a casino hotel, a baseball tournament and dozens of summer-league teams.

Players wanted to stay at the Kansas Star hotel and casino, the team’s sponsor that gives players’ families complimentary rooms. The hotel is sold out for an annual convention during three days of the 2018 tournament’s final week. Tournament officials accommodated the Stars’ hotel predicament this year by moving the tournament ahead a week, but that didn’t work for summer teams that had to compact their schedules to reach Wichita in time for the early start.

The NBC moved the tournament back to its normal calendar for 2018. An organization built around summer collegiate baseball leagues and teams has to cater to its clientele, even if it meant the major attraction might not make it.

Never miss a local story.

Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.

All parties would be wise to get together and take one more look at having the Stars play next year. If it’s impossible, start working on 2019. The Stars and the NBC are too good for each other and for Wichita not to be aligned.

Kirk Seminoff: 316-268-6278, @kseminoff