Created By: Wichita History Walk
(Look south, along the west bank of the river for this site.)
During the Great Depression, many Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects were created in Kansas. One of them was the Lawrence Athletic Field, built in 1934 as a local WPA project. It was named after Mayor Charles Lawrence, who died in 1934 after championing the project. At the time, baseball was prohibited in the city limits and games were played on Ackerman Island to skirt the rules. Later, Ray “Hap” Dumont, a local sports writer and well-known baseball promoter, brought semi-pro games to the park. He founded the National Baseball Congress Tournament in 1935, and paid Satchel Paige $1,000 to bring his Bismarck Churchills semi-pro team from North Dakota to play in the first NBC Championship. Paige struck out 60 batters and won four of the games. The NBC tournament is still held here each summer, and many former and future major league players have played in the tournament. The stadium was renamed Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in 1978.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Wild West Delano