Minor League history: Central Kansas League

The Central Kansas League was a class D league that saw the light in 1908. It lasted through the 1912 season before it renamed itself into Kansas State League in 1913.

Cities represented:

Abilene, KS: Abilene Red Sox 1909; Abilene Reds 1910
Beloit, KS: Beloit 1909-1910
Chapman, KS: Chapman 1910
Clay Center, KS: Clay Center Cubs 1909-1911
Concordia, KS: Concordia Travelers 1910-1911
Ellsworth, KS: Ellsworth Blues 1908-1910
Great Bend, KS: Great Bend Millers 1912, moved to Kansas State League
Junction City, KS: Junction City Soldiers 1909-1912, moved to Kansas State League
Little River, KS: Little River 1908
Lyons, KS: Lyons Lions 1912, moved to Kansas State League
Manhattan, KS: Manhattan Maroons 1909-1911; Manhattan Giants 1912, moved to Kansas State League
McPherson, KS: McPherson Merry Macks 1908
Minneapolis, KS: Minneapolis Minnies 1908-1909; Minneapolis Minnies 1912
Newton, KS: Newton Browns 1908; Newton Railroaders 1912
Salina, KS: Salina Trade Winners 1908-1910; Salina Insurgents 1912, moved to Kansas State League

None of the above mentioned cities played for the full five years. The Minneapolis Minnies won the first title in 1908 but the Ellsworth Blues won the most titles, back-to-back in 1909 and 1910.
In 1911 the league contracted from eight teams to only four. Nevertheless the league did not make it through the season as it folded on July 23.
The next year the league would return as a six team league. Despite folding in 1911, the league was rather stable as only two teams moved to another town: On July 20, 1910 the Beloit franchise moved to Chapman and on July 12, 1912 the Newton Railroaders moved to Minneapolis, where they named themselves after the first pennant winner of the league.

In 1913 the league renamed itself Kansas State League. The territory remained the same, but in the previous years there was a league named Kansas State League already. After that league folded after the 1912 season, the Central Kansas League adopted the name. The Kansas State League played for two more years and folded after the 1914 season.

In 1911 a certain Dwight D Eisenhower played a couple of games as a professional ballplayer with the Junction City Soldiers. He used an alias though as he was a student athlete and they were (and still are) not allowed to play a professional sport during their days at college. Eisenhower played under the name Wilson, to protect his amateur status in college baseball. Eisenhower played only nine games for the Soldiers and hit .355 in 31 at bats.


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