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.
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.