In the spring of 1945, Ed Ash, Kansas City, Kansas Recreation Director, called a meeting of former semi-pro and professional ball players for the purpose of forming baseball leagues for the youths of Kansas City, Kansas. About twenty men attended this meeting. Some of the men present were Bob Carleton, Frank Mapes, Everett Hester, Art McDonald, Luke Lucero, Sam Mendenhall, Shorty Morris, Lloyd Swoboda, Bob Bukaty, Ed Smith, and Ernie Lovich, President of the Kansas City, Missouri 3&2 Club. We were given permission by the 3&2 League of K.C. Mo to use the name 3&2 for our leagues, and play under the rules and regulations of the Missouri league. An election was held and Shorty Morris was elected President; Everett Hester, Secretary; and Sam Mendenhall, Treasurer. Leagues for three age groups were formed, 9 to 11, 12 and 13, and 14 to 16.
The first year all boys were issued caps and T-shirts supplied by sponsors of the teams. The second year two teams came out in complete baseball uniforms, and by 1949 all teams were sponsored and had complete baseball uniforms. Thanks to Miss Norma Braly we were granted a charter from the state of Kansas under the name of "The 3&2 Club of Kansas,Inc." An election was held and Frank Mapes was elected the first President of the new club. Frank must be given a lot of credit for his work in getting the 3&2 of Kansas off to a fine start. In 1949 and 1950 a series was played with the Champions of Denver, Colorado. In 1951 play-offs were started with the champions of the K.C. Mo. 3&2 leagues. In 1955 the first 3&2 annual was published. And also in 1955 Johnson County was given permission to play under the name of The 3&2 of Kansas,Inc. Today, due to the hard work of its present officers, managers, and coaches, the 3&2 of Kansas City, Kansas has its own ball park with lights for night baseball. Eighty-three fully uniformed teams are now playing in Kansas City, Kansas. And well over one hundred teams in Johnson County.
The information above was taken from a 1967 yearbook written by Frank Swoboda.
FAST FORWARD TO THE PRESENT...
The ball parks located at 5325 Parallel Parkway better known as Wyandotte County 3&2 sat dormant for almost 10 years until 2008, when Success Achieved In Future Environments (herein referred to as S.A.F.E.), a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization, gained ownership of the complex. WyCo 3 & 2 was once a long standing fixture of the Kansas City, Kansas community and served as the cornerstone facility for baseball in the inner city. The stadium is centrally-located along a major thoroughfare within the city – at 5325 Parallel Pkwy – and for nearly 50 years it was a gathering place for the community with daily baseball practices and games, including hosting tournaments for teams from across the Midwest. There have been seven players that progressed from the Wyco 3 & 2 fields to play Major League baseball. They are: Neil Allen, Larry Drew, David Segui, Ray Sadecki, Steve Renko, Jr, Kevin Young and Damian Rolls. Sadecki, Renko, Young and Rolls all had the privilege of playing for our own Kansas City Royals organization. There were also multiple players that went on to play Division I or Junior College baseball. Unfortunately, a decade of vacancy took its toll on the fields, and as the crime and the rust and the weeds moved in, baseball moved out.
On May 30th, 2009 S.A.F.E held its first registration for the newly formed S.T.I.C.K.S (Support Towards Inner City Kids) Little League Baseball program. Over 150 metro area youth registered to play summer baseball, the age groups ranged from 3-18. The S.T.I.C.K.S Little League program became the only baseball program within Kansas City Kansas to offer summer baseball to players ages 14-18.
In December of 2009, Major League baseball granted Success Achieved in Future Environments a RBI Chapter under the jurisdiction of KCK RBI Executive Director Cle Ross. In December of 2015, KCK RBI was renamed Kansas RBI.
FORMER WYCO 3&2 PLAYERS WHO PLAYED ON THE PROFESSIONAL LEVEL:
RAY SADECKI - Cardinals, Giants, Mets, Braves, Royals, Brewers
STEVE RENKO, JR - Expos, Cubs, White Sox, A's, Red Sox, Angels, Royals
NEIL ALLEN - Mets, Cardinals, Yankees, White Sox, Indians
LARRY DREW - Pistons, Kansas City/Sacramento Kings, Clippers, Lakers, Scavolini
DAVID SEGUI - Orioles, Expos, Mariners, Mets, Rangers
KEVIN YOUNG - Pirates, Royals
DAMIAN ROLLS - Dodgers, Royals, Devil Rays, Yankees, White Sox, Ducks, T-Bones
MIKE HINKLE - Cardinals
MIKE BIRMINGHAM - T-Bones
ERIC VEGA - T-Bones
THROUGH THE YEARS: PAST WYCO 3&2 PRESIDENTS
|1949- FRANK MAPES
||1957- BILL RILEY
||1965- BOB VEST
|1950- SAM MENDENHALL
||1958- PF HUGHLEY
||1966-67- BOB HIATT
|1951- BEN WALLACE
||1959- DICK KELLY
||1968- ELMER FRANKLIN
|1952- BOB CARLETON
||1960- FRED EILS
||1696-70- BOB CARR
|1953-54- JIM GRAY
||1961-62- DEAN GARRISON
||1971- CHUCK SIMPSON
|1955- LLOYD SWOBODA
||1972- SW McCUTCHEON
|1956- PAUL GUNDERMAN
||1973-74- GERALD TUSH