Introducing Baseball to the Youth of Wichita
League 42, named in honor of the great Jackie Robinson, is a youth baseball league comprised primarily of inner-city players, ages 5 – 14. Many of our players have not had the opportunity to play baseball before. McAdams Park at 17th & Wabash (I-135 & 13th Street area) is home to the League and where we practice and play our games.
Registration for the league is only $30 per family, not per player; making the world of baseball affordable for all who wish to play. That fee provides each player with a full uniform (jersey, pants, belt and hat), a baseball glove and additional playing equipment such as catcher’s gear, bats and balls.
We recognize that some of our kids are at risk to choose the wrong path in life and stress to everyone in our organization to do whatever we can — big or small — to assure that our young people make the right choices at a time in their lives when so many wrong choices are available. That’s one of the reasons registered League 42 players are invited to clinics led by some of Wichita’s greatest baseball experts throughout the off-season, and off-field activities such as movie days, bowling days, a trip to a Kansas City Royals game and the Negro League Museum for our Dodger and Champions Division Players (ages 11 -12 & 13 – 14).
The History of League 42
League 42 came to be in July, 2013, when a handful of people got together at a restaurant to discuss the concept. We had been keeping an eye on youth baseball in Wichita for quite some time, and strongly believe every kid should have the opportunity to play the greatest sport ever invented.
Attendance at our first meeting was sparse, but those in attendance agreed that Wichita was lacking an inner-city, urban baseball program for kids. So we set about trying to change that, first developing our organization as a non-profit and then going about setting up a structure with a board of directors overseeing a group of volunteers.
In just nine months, we were able to organize a league and get kids on the field. Our 2014 season included nearly 220 kids and 16 teams in four age groups. We were elated since our early goal was to attempt to attract 150 kids, and even that seemed optimistic.
Through marketing efforts, word of mouth and lots of foot traffic, we were able to expand to 400 kids for the 2015 season and they played on 29 teams. This year, our league includes 39 teams and 520 kids!
We feel like we’re providing a valuable service to kids, and we’re having a blast in the process!