Baseball at The K
Bobcats, Braves to wage war at Kauffman Stadium
Four months from now, about 60 Bonner Springs and Basehor-Linwood high school baseball players will get called up to the big leagues.
No, BSHS and BLHS haven't become the newest hotbeds of big league talent, but on April 12, they will become the first two Kansas high schools to play one seven-inning regular season game at Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals.
"This is a dream come true," said Bonner Springs baseball coach Rick Moulin. "Anybody who has ever played baseball, dreams of playing at a Major League ballpark. It's something these kids will never forget."
The two teams will participate in the second annual Frank White Classic, an event that features high school baseball at The K.
But before the Braves and Bobcats are allowed to step onto the big league field, they're going to have to do some big league fund-raising.
Each school has to sell 750 tickets to a Royals game this summer. The schools were able to choose which game they wanted to sell tickets for and all 1,500 tickets have to be sold by April 5, one week before game day.
A ticket in the view level infield seats usually costs $10, but will be available for $8 for this promotion.
Both teams have already been selling tickets but now that the winter break has passed, the teams are planning to pick up the pace.
The first big attempt to sell tickets will come Friday, Jan. 10, when the Bobcats play the Braves in basketball at Bonner Springs.
Before the game, members of both baseball teams will set up a booth to sell game tickets as well as raffle tickets.
Raffle tickets will cots $1 a piece or $5 for six and the winning tickets will produce a George Brett autographed picture and a Tony Gonzalez autographed mini helmet as prizes.
All money raised by the raffle will go toward the purchase of Royals tickets.
BSHS athletic director Garold Baker said having the teams work together was an important part of the process.
"We don't want this to be a contest between Basehor and Bonner for ticket sales," Baker said. "We want both schools and communities to work together to give all of the kids a chance to play this game."
Basehor-Linwood athletic director Joe Keeler agreed with Baker and said the Bobcats plan to have a similar set up when the two schools meet on the hardwood at BLHS in February.
"We're always open to ideas where our schools and school districts can work together for kids," Keeler said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these players."
The Royals placed one stipulation on the games the schools could choose. Games against the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants were not included on the list and opening day was off limits as well.
Bonner Springs chose an Aug. 30 game against the Anaheim Angels.
"The Angels were our first choice because they're the defending world champions and it's a Saturday night," Moulin said. "We wanted it to be a night most people could go to the game and if you're a family that only gets to one or two Royals games a year, it would be great if you tried to make this the game you go to."
The Royals will declare Aug. 30 as Bonner Springs Night at the K, and the BSHS choir will sing the national anthem before the game.
Basehor-Linwood chose a July 18 game against the Seattle Mariners and that night will be known as Basehor-Linwood Night at the K, where the BLHS choir will single the national anthem as well.
Keeler said the Mariners were a good draw and that the Friday game should encourage people to get out to the ballpark.
The purchase of a ticket to the Royals game will also cover the admission of the high school game on April 12.
The game will begin at 10 a.m. and players will arrive at the park at 9.
Game two of the regularly scheduled double-header on May 8 has been moved from 4 to 5:30 to accomodate fans.