Bee Jays Semi-Pro Baseball

Each summer, baseball fans of all ages enjoy Bee Jays baseball - Liberal's own semi-pro team. The Bee Jays have made their mark as a premier team winning the national championship 4 times, most recently in 2000.

Early History
The Bee Jays are named after baseball pioneer Byron Bancroft Johnson, the creator of the American Baseball League. After a short stint as a baseball player, "Ban" Johnson took over a struggling minor league circuit in 1893, made it a success, and changed it's name to the American League.
Bee Jay pitcher throwing pitch
Baseball Recruits
The Bee Jays tradition in Liberal spans more than 6 decades, dating back to 1955. Bee Jays' players are recruited from colleges across the nation. University of Texas at Arlington, Arizona State, Northeast Louisiana and the home town school, Seward County Community College, have all been represented on the team.

Season & Fees
The Bee Jays Season runs from June until August. During the season, players share more than a baseball diamond with the City of Liberal. Local residents volunteer as host families for players each summer, and as some host parents will tell you, letting go of their Bee Jays player is sometimes as hard as letting go of their own children.

Thanks to the sponsorship of local merchants, the public can attend the games free of charge.

Current Management
Mike Hargrove is returning to Liberal this summer to manage the Liberal Bee Jays. He played for the Bee Jays in 1972. He went on to play in the major leagues for 12 seasons with 3 different teams: Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, and Cleveland Indians. He was the Rookie of the Year in 1974.

After his playing career ended, he managed the Indians for 8 years. He took them to the World Series twice. In 1994, he was named the American League Manager of the Year. He then managed the Baltimore Orioles for 4 years and the Seattle Mariners for 4 years.