Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis provides a history of the National Baseball Congress (NBC) tournament in Wichita, Kansas, from its founding in 1935 to 2005. The NBC tournament, since its inception, has had an impact culturally, economically, and socially on the city of Wichita, and to a lesser degree, an impact on Major League Baseball and other facets of organized baseball. By using a decade-by-decade over view of the history of the NBC tournament, one finds how social and cultural events have played a role in the success of the NBC tournament, and how the tournament influenced the baseball world. Raymond "Hap” Dumont, the founder and master promoter of the NBC tournament, created an environment that would push his tournament to the forefront of the minds of Americans. He did this by using the mass media and by instituting unique promotions to enhance the game of baseball. Dumont also created opportunities for minorities, military baseball teams, and eventually college baseball players to participate in his semipro tournament. This thesis, based on newspaper articles, Raymond Dumont's biography, and other assorted histories of baseball in the twentieth century, argues that the success of the NBC tournament was due to Dumont's ingenuity and desire to succeed. When Dumont passed away, the tournament went through a series of ownership changes that initially weakened the overall economic effectiveness of the tournament. However, the originality and tradition of the tournament endured because of the dedicated employees that Dumont hired to help run the event. When the Rich family from Buffalo, New York, bought the National Baseball Congress in 1985, they also purchased a Wichita institution, a tradition that has endured into the twenty-first century.
Copyright 2006 Travis Larsen
Larsen, Travis M., "Ahead of the Curve : A History of the National Baseball Congress Tournament in Wichita, Kansas,1935-2005" (2006). Master's Theses. 2208.