Hap Dumont

From BR Bullpen

Raymond Harry Dumont (Hap)

Biographical Information[edit]

Hap Dumont was a Wichita sporting goods salesman who founded the National Baseball Congress and its World Series in 1935. Four years earlier he started the National Semi-Pro Baseball Congress Kansas State Tournament. He was inspired by watching a game between circus clowns and local firefighters. The tournament was played for four years before a fire burned down its stadium. Dumont later convinced the city of Wichita to build a new stadium, Lawrence Stadium, for his new national semi-professional tournament.

As a hook for the first tournament Dumont offered Satchel Paige $1,000 to bring his touring team, the Bismarck Churchills to compete in the first NBC tournament. The tournament was a huge success from the start with Paige striking out 60 batters and win four games, both tournament records. The Churchills won the first tournament by beating a Duncan, Oklahoma team 5-2 in the finals.

Dumont would serve as the president of the National Baseball Congress for 40 years until his death in 1971. Lawrence Stadium was renamed Lawrence-Dumont Stadium a year after his death.