The first pitch of the National Baseball Congress World Series is at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 29, at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in downtown Wichita. The tournament runs for two weeks (July 29-Aug. 13) and draws 30 teams of mostly college-age and amateur players from across the country to compete for a national championship. For the first time in tournament history, this year’s field will include a team of former Major League Baseball stars headlined by seven-time Cy Young winner and 11-time All-Star Roger Clemens. Make plans now to witness this once-in-a-lifetime squad or see the next major leaguers get their start. You can even take the Baseball ’Round the Clock challenge if you think you can handle watching up to 56 straight hours of baseball!

Rare roster of big-leaguers

For the first time in NBC World Series history, a team featuring 24 former major leaguers will be in the tourney field. Two Kansas natives and former MLB players, Nate Robertson and Adam LaRoche, reached out to former teammates and assembled an impressive roster of well-known players. The squad features 11 former MLB All-Stars, including Roger Clemens, Tim Hudson, Ben Sheets, Roy Oswald, Dan Uggla, Josh Beckett, Brad Penny, Jason Isringhausen, J.D. Drew, Jack Wilson and Brandon Inge. See the full roster here. The team is sponsored by the Kansas Star Casino and will be called the Kansas Stars. If they win the championship, they’ll donate the prize money to charity.

The Stars are scheduled to play at 9:30 p.m. Aug. 6, 7 p.m. Aug. 8 and 7 p.m. Aug. 10. They could play more games if they advance out of pool play.

82 years of hosting baseball greats

Clemens and seven of his Kansas Stars teammates are NBC alums. More than 800 NBC World Series players have gone on to play Major League Baseball. That’s an average of 10 players each summer who come through Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and eventually play on baseball’s biggest stage.

In 1934, sporting goods salesman Raymond “Hap” Dumont convinced the City of Wichita to build a new stadium in order to host a national baseball tournament. The first NBC tournament was a huge risk on his part, as similar tournaments had failed miserably on both coasts. Securing Satchel Paige – considered the greatest pitcher of the day – that first year helped make the tournament an instant success. Paige struck out 60 batters and won four games, garnering national media coverage for the tournament. Lawrence-Dumont Stadium is now named after Hap and Charles S. Lawrence, Wichita’s mayor when the stadium was built.

NBC tournament schedule

For the first time in the history of the tournament, teams will have a three-game guarantee as the 82nd NBC World Series is going from a double-elimination format to pool play. The new format puts an emphasis on strong pitching and makes the trip to Wichita more rewarding for the qualifying teams. 

For the fourth straight year, 30 teams will be playing for the coveted National Championship. The World Series will have 16 teams competing during the first week, with the top two teams qualifying for Championship Week. The format calls for four teams in four different pools with the top team from each pool advancing to a single-elimination game on Thursday, Aug. 4. Those two winners advance to Championship Week.

Championship Week will have the same structure: four teams in four pools. However, the top two teams from each pool will advance to elimination games on Thursday, Aug. 11. Semifinals will be held Friday, Aug. 12, with the two remaining winners facing each other on Saturday, Aug. 13.

56 hours of consecutive baseball

The 27th annual Baseball ’Round the Clock presented by Coleman and KWCH is Friday, Aug. 5, through Sunday, Aug. 7. A small registration fee gives you a seat at each game and enters you in giveaways to win cash and prizes if you successfully check-in for each game.

Early bird registration is $20 (upper section), $35 (lower section) or $25 and $40 the day of (Aug. 5). If you are an NBC Tournament Pass Holder the registration is $5. T-shirts will be awarded to those participants who finish successfully. Baseball 'Round the Clock participants can also participate in the Coleman Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win $500 cash.

Sign up online by going to the NBC’s Facebook event page for Baseball ’Round the Clock.

NBC tickets

Tickets for the National Baseball Congress World Series are on sale now and can be purchased here. Season tickets are $80 (upper), $140 (lower); individual session tickets are $7 and $11, respectively. A flex pack lowers ticket prices to as little as $4 per seat: a 20-pack gets you 20 tickets to any day of the tournament. You can use these tickets all at once for a group outing or any amount per day. Flex pack prices are $80 (upper) and $120 (lower) before the tournament starts and $100 (upper) and $160 (lower) during the tournament.

Watch social media for dollar day promotions when upper section seats are $2. Tickets on championship night, Aug. 13, will be $5 for any unreserved seat in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. There are promotions every night of the tournament, from family nights on Thursdays when fans receive a free hot dog and drink with regular-priced admission, to a youth jersey giveaway during the semifinals on Aug. 12.

Call 316-977-9400 with any ticket questions.

2016 Hall of Fame inductees

The National Baseball Congress Hall of Fame’s inaugural class was selected and inducted during the 1991 NBC World Series. Among the first 12 inductees was Satchel Paige, who won the first NBC title with his pitching prowess and his Bismarck, North Dakota, Corwin-Churchill barnstorming, integrated ball club. Paige still holds the NBC record with 60 strikeouts in one tournament and a 4-0 record!

This year’s inductees join a distinguished fraternity, including many household names and some known only to those who have followed the progress of the NBC.

2016 inductees are:

Augie Garrido

Clyde Girrens

Boomer Jones

Ken Marler

Taylor Thompson

And you never know when one of the former NBC greats might make an appearance in Wichita during this year’s tournament, July 29–Aug. 13!