Wichita’s League 42 can’t grow without community’s help

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita nonprofit dedicated to helping the city’s youth learn and play baseball needs the community’s support in its fundraising efforts.

“I can see it. I just hope we can make it happen,” said League 42 Executive Director Bob Lutz.

Bob Lutz founded Wichita’s League 42 in July of 2013. Since then, the league has grown to nearly 600 athletes and 42 teams.

“We have grown every year except this year. We’re not going to be able to grow,” Lutz said. “We just have three fields and last year we maximized those fields so there is no room to grow and that’s tough, but someday there will be another chance for us to grow.”

In 2015, the City of Wichita appropriated about $1.4 million in community improvement funds for McAdams park, the park League 42 calls home.

“We have been a big beneficiary of that (money) with a new turf field, a new restroom, concession facility, and some more improvements to come,” Lutz said.

However, Lutz said more improvements are needed at McAdams park in order for the league to grow and more kids to have the opportunity to participate in the league.

“Ultimately, we’d like to build a fourth field. We’d like to add some parking here. We’d like to make some other changes, a patio area next to our concession stand,” he said.

Lutz said the goal is to have a fourth field by 2019. He said the league also has a vision to build an indoor practice facility with a learning center.

“We feel like if we can have a facility where they can not only work on their baseball skills, but also work on their academic skills then we have crossed two major check marks. Baseball is the foundation. I love baseball. I love seeing kids play baseball, but our kids need to have an eye on a bigger prize,” he said.

The league has started its own fundraising efforts. Lutz expects the new field, indoor practice field and additional renovations will cost about $1.5 million. Click here if you’d like to give to the organization.

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow and like us on Facebook and Twitter.