Episode 154 — Katie Woods: Baseball Nomadism, A Rich History of Champions, & 90 Years of the NBC World Series

Katie Woods is a life-long Dodgers fan currently living in Wichita, Kansas. She has worked in baseball her entire career and is currently the tournament director of the National Baseball Congress World Series. The NBC World Series is a national amateur baseball tournament for summer collegiate baseball, where champions of their respective leagues duke it out for a national title. 

The 2024 NBC World Series runs from July 25 – August 3. 

Katie and Anna discuss the rich history behind the NBC World Series, the lore of Baseball ‘Round the Clock, and an awesome collaboration with Old Fort Baseball Co., honoring top past champions in NBC World Series history.

Find The NBC Online:
T-Shirts:  Old Fort Baseball Co X NBC 90 Years of Champions Collection
Twitter: @NBCBaseball
Instagram: @nbcbaseball
Facebook: @nbcbaseball

Find Baseball Bucket List Online:
: @BaseballBucket
Facebook: @BaseballBucketList
Instagram: @Baseball.Bucket.List
Website: baseballbucketlist.com

This podcast is part of the Curved Brim Media Network:
Website: curvedbrimmedia.com

Read the full transcript

[00:00:00] Katie: So 1935 before Jackie Robinson before Major League Baseball was integrated.

[00:00:04] Katie: You had an integrated team that came down to play in the NBC with Satchel page as the highlight He won all four games that he pitched. They won that first championship and it really kind of blew up. And I think the count is a little over 900 players have gone through the NBC and gone on to the major leagues. So there’s been these players who were in these collegiate parts of their lives where. Kinda these formative years and then went on like Barry Bonds, Albert Puljos Ozzie Smith, all those guys played in the NBC, uh, you know, before they were the top prospects that went on to have Hall of fame careers. 

[00:00:42] Anna: What’s up. I get. Thanks for tuning in and welcome to episode number 154 of the baseball bucket list podcast. I’m your host Anna DiTommaso, and each week on the show, I speak with a different baseball fan about their favorite memories what’s left on their baseball bucket list and what the game of baseball means to them. This week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Katie woods from Wichita, Kansas. Katie is a lifelong Dodgers’ fan who has worked in baseball, her entire career, and is currently the tournament director of the National Baseball Congress World Series. 

[00:01:10] Anna: The NBC world series is a national amateur baseball tournament for summer collegiate baseball. Where champions of their respective leagues, duke it out for a national title. Katie. And I discussed the rich history behind the NBC World Series, the lore of baseball ’round the clock and an awesome collaboration with Old Fort Baseball Co. honoring top past champions and NBC World Series history. 

[00:01:34] Anna: This episode was a ton of fun. I really learned a lot about NBC baseball and Wichita. And I know that this episode is going to have a lot of you guys adding a different kind of World Series to your baseball bucket list. So let’s get right into it. Now without further ado, sit back, relax and enjoy some baseball banter with Katie Woods. 

[00:01:53] Anna: Katie, thank you so much for joining us today on the Baseball Bucket List. How are things in Wichita?

[00:01:58] Katie: Things are great in Wichita. We are, um, enjoying a little bit of that spring weather where you never know what to expect, but, uh, it makes it for interesting, interesting times in Kansas, but we’re doing great.

[00:02:10] Anna: Yeah, you guys get a little bit of that same storm weather that we do down here in Texas, I presume.

[00:02:16] Katie: Yes, a little bit of, uh, I think the saying I learned when I moved here was if you don’t like the weather in Wichita, wait 15 minutes and there was one day when I was working at a ballpark and it was snowing in the morning. I got a picture of the field and then by the afternoon it was melted. Got a picture of the field.

[00:02:32] Katie: So it’s true.

[00:02:34] Anna: Wild swings. Yeah. Man, that’s crazy. I can relate. I can relate for sure. So I know we’ve got a lot to talk about. But before we jump into the topics at hand, I always get started with the same question and that is, how is it that you personally became a fan of baseball?

[00:02:52] Katie: You know, it’s, uh, I grew up around sports, so my dad’s a basketball coach, but I also have an uncle who’s a football coach, and I have an uncle who’s a baseball coach, and so I just grew up around ballparks and stadiums, and so I think sports has always been in my blood, and then baseball really is a family thing for me, you know, I just remember spending a lot of time with family at the ballpark, my cousins at the ballpark, um, and going to see Dodger games as a kid, flying down to see my grandparents and going to Dodger games, that really became The love of it for me.

[00:03:23] Anna: Nice. So it sounds like a family affair, sports, and then, you know, a little more specifically, baseball. If you grew up going to Dodgers games, do you have a favorite major league team currently?

[00:03:35] Katie: I’m still a Dodger fan. It’s funny. I’m from Washington state originally, but you know, baseball has that way. I think of really, um, like they, they, it gets in you when you’re young, whatever your team is. And then you just stick with it. And so I am from Washington, but my grandparents were down in LA and my cousins every year would fly out to LA when we were kids, you know, all the family would come together for one week and every time we would, you know, just kind of band together and convince the grandparents and aunts and uncles that we had to go to a Dodger game in Disneyland.

[00:04:07] Katie: So that was every time, you know, when Disneyland was a lot cheaper, we’d all go to Dodger game in Disneyland. And so that’s where it really kind of started for me. And I still, to this day, follow the, follow the Dodgers, but I love just good baseball. So I really love following everything that’s happening.

[00:04:21] Anna: Yeah, Dodgers and Disneyland sounds like the perfect summer for any kid and, you know, some adults too, so. Um, have you been back to Dodgers Stadium recently ever since they did those, that major renovation and kind of, I mean, I guess growing up as a kid you probably kind of saw it when it was a little less than what it is today.

[00:04:40] Katie: Yeah, I went last year, but I didn’t get a chance to go see everything new they have in the outfield since they’ve done the renovations, but yet I love that old ballpark feel. I know it’s tough with everything modern ballparks have to not have all those amenities, but there’s just something about, you know, Dodger Stadium and Wrigley and Fenway.

[00:04:58] Katie: There’s just something about that classic ballpark that I love.

[00:05:01] Anna: Definitely. I caught myself watching just a portion of the Dodger game not, not too long ago. you know, I wanted to see Ohtani hit, which is pretty typical of any fan, I think, but I just, it caught me off guard, the scenic. Shot from the camera like I’ve been there a couple of times but like I still just even on TV like it still just kind of catches my breath a little bit seeing the outfield with the palm trees and the sunset was rolling in and You’d be hard pressed to find a better place to be around that time of evening.

[00:05:35] Anna: I think

[00:05:36] Katie: Yeah, I think that’s, you know, part of the reason I ended up going to school down and her college down in Los Angeles. And I think that was part of it is just, you know, you think of it, you think of LA and that kind of picture perfect. And so when I was in college down there, it was the time of like, Nomar Garciapara and Eric Gagne and Brad Penny and Derek Lowe.

[00:05:55] Katie: And so I spent a lot of time at the ballpark. Dodger stadium is a pretty perfect place to be.

[00:05:59] Anna: Definitely, definitely is. Um, alright, so you spent a lot of time on the West Coast, but now you find yourself up in Wichita. How did you get down there? Was this, was this job related or was the job something that came later?

[00:06:13] Katie: Yeah. So my whole career has been in minor league baseball. So I actually interned for the Astros in college that I interned for the Frisco Rough Riders. So that was my first kind of foray into minor league baseball. And then much to my mom’s delight, I ended up with a job in Washington State. So back in my home state.

[00:06:31] Katie: So I was at the Everett Aqua Sox, who are a Mariners affiliate for seven years and then now to California. Um, and I was with the Lancaster Jet Hawks when contraction happened. And so, uh, I like to say that the Jet Hawks were team 121. You know, they kept 120 teams, but when they announced it, it was 119.

[00:06:48] Katie: And it was either Fresno or Lancaster who was going to be that last Cal League spot. Um, so Fresno ended up moving into that California league spot, and, um, I was looking for a new baseball job. So I moved out and worked the first season of the Wichita Wind Surge, which is the double A affiliate of the Twins, uh, brand new ballpark, brand new team.

[00:07:08] Katie: And I had never been to Wichita, Kansas until the day before I rolled into work. And I just, you know, it’s a great. It’s a great city. It was, I didn’t have no idea what to expect, but it’s a great city. Um, and then I really started to learn about the NBC and the national baseball Congress, and that’s what kind of transitioned me out of affiliated ball into summer collegiate ball.

[00:07:29] Anna: Okay. Yeah, so it sounds like you’ve had quite the career. I mean, Frisco is just a stone’s throw for me, about a 45 minute car ride from where I sit right now. Uh, a great place to catch a game and then I haven’t made it up to Riverfront yet in Wichita, but I’ve heard nothing but good things supposed to be a triple a park originally, right?

[00:07:46] Anna: Which is why it is as grandiose and beautiful as it is but It’s pretty brave to make a commitment to to pick up and move to a new city without even, you know, stepping foot there But I guess you got to do what you do when you uh, love the game as much as as people like you and me do

[00:08:04] Katie: Yeah. When you work in baseball, you know, there’s only so many teams and so many opportunities and, You just find the right one and every community is, it’s just so unique. And that’s what I love about minor league baseball. And what I also love about summer collegiate baseball and local community baseball.

[00:08:20] Katie: It just has such an impact in a community. Uh, major league is awesome, but there’s just something special about all of those. Small town. Um, by any means, Wichita not a small town. It’s like the 49th largest city in the country, but there’s just something about the impact that minor league baseball and, um, community baseball can have in those areas.

[00:08:39] Anna: totally okay. So then let’s talk a little bit about first of all question for you. Did you study? Something in particular in college with the idea of getting into baseball or was that something that was just kind of you know You did this internship for the Astros. You were like, hey, I kind of like this.

[00:08:58] Katie: I loved. I was really into sports, but I didn’t play, and I didn’t I mean, I played in the high school, but I you know, I wasn’t really an athlete, and I wasn’t going to coach and so it was kind of before sports management was a thing, and so I thought this is probably it. I have to get a real world job.

[00:09:12] Katie: And then when I was in college I started to work events and I ended up with a PR degree so public relations and journalism. And as I was going through that being in LA you get to work a lot of events, there’s just great internship opportunities and. And then I. Found out about teamwork online. So teamworkonline.

[00:09:28] Katie: com where they have internships and jobs for all kinds of sports. And honestly, I was applying for any sports job that I was remotely interested in, like basketball, football didn’t matter. and the Astros were the one that hit and same thing. I’d never been to Houston before I went. And that was a smaller commitment.

[00:09:42] Katie: That was like a 4 month internship. but I’d never been to Houston, but I was like, yeah, let’s do it. Let’s go find out and Frisco. I’d never been to Frisco before. I took that internship either. So it’s just kind of, evolved the way it was supposed to evolve, I guess.

[00:09:56] Anna: I love that. I think that’s so fun It’s like such an adventure Just like to the nth degree, I think. Um, but so now you’re currently in Wichita, you’re working for the National Baseball Congress. This is something that I had not heard about until a couple of years ago when, uh, my friend Eric Proffitt, who lives in Wichita, was kind of giving me the rundown on it.

[00:10:17] Anna: So for folks who don’t know about what NBC is, can you give Give them the, the spiel.

[00:10:25] Katie: Give them the spiel. Yeah, it’s funny. I also I knew a little bit about the NBC going in, but not a lot. And then now in my role, I I’m constantly like every day. I’m like, and did you know, like, I could do a whole I could do an hour on. Did you know about the NBC? But, um, the NBC is a national amateur baseball tournament.

[00:10:43] Katie: So it’s summer collegiate baseball. We currently have 16 teams from across the country who come and play for a national championship. So they either are the champions in their league. Um, like the California Collegiate League or the PIL, the Jayhawk League, those leagues all feed into the NBC. So you win your league, then you come play for a national championship.

[00:11:04] Katie: But the NBC has been around since 1935. So this is going to be the 90th of the National Baseball Congress Invitational Tournaments. And the very first one, the story behind it was Satchel Paige. Brought his barnstorming team from Bismarck to play in the NBC. So 1935 before Jackie Robinson before Major League Baseball was integrated.

[00:11:26] Katie: You had an integrated team that came down to play in the NBC with Satchel page as the highlight and, um, He won all four games that he pitched. They won that first championship and it really kind of blew up. And so the NBC started that way. And then it went through eras of military teams and community teams and, uh, semi pro teams and company teams.

[00:11:49] Katie: And I think the count is a little over 900 players have gone through the NBC and gone on to the major leagues. So there’s been these players who were in these college collegiate parts of their lives where. Kinda these formative years and then went on like Barry Bonds, Albert Puljos, Ozzie Smith, all those guys played in the NBC, uh, you know, before they were the top prospects that went on to have Hall of fame careers.

[00:12:13] Anna: So it sounds almost like a March Madness type scenario, right? Where you have like the, the best of the best coming to, to duke it out for the, the top spot.

[00:12:23] Katie: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s a lot of baseball all in a row. We currently are at a 16 team field. Um, they’ve had years that they’ve been in the, you know, 32 team field. But even with 16 teams, we play 35 baseball games in 10 days. So it’s kind of that March madness just. Baseball after baseball.

[00:12:40] Anna: One of the things Eric talked about, which I know is not the way that things are anymore, was this thing. I don’t even, the structure, the way it was, like, several years ago, he talked about something called baseball around the clock,

[00:12:54] Katie: Yeah.

[00:12:54] Anna: which was 24 hours of baseball and, uh, I guess, like, you could check in and, you know, if you were there every hour on the hour, you got rewarded somehow, or, or, obviously 16 teams, it doesn’t really give you enough time to do something like that, but can you maybe do a little better job than I did just kind of explaining what that was?

[00:13:15] Katie: Yeah. Baseball round the clock is something that so many people associate with the NBC. It was 17 games in 56 hours. So they would do you starting on Friday night going into Sunday night, just baseball. Um, and so you have guys tell stories about, you know, guys on the field had telling stories about.

[00:13:34] Katie: Starting a game with the lights on and then having the lights go off because the sun was rising and so they didn’t need the lights anymore, you know, just that reverse of what you would normally see and from a fan perspective, you could sign up for, uh, based one o’clock for the check ins and every, Game there would be a check in so they would basically have a cuckoo clock that would sound You don’t know if it’s the first inning the fourth inning wherever it is But then you had 10 minutes to run and go get your card stamped essentially There’d be prizes for some of those and it might be a little thing like literally a pencil And then if you get all the stamps, uh at the end if you made it all the way you survived based around the clock You would get a t shirt that basically said And some of them literally say, I survived baseball around the clock.

[00:14:15] Katie: And they have the best graphics. There’s one that’s a guy that just looks like bruised and bandaged and whatever. And that’s the whole tagline. I survived baseball around the clock.

[00:14:24] Anna: It sounds like such a fun thing. I mean, I, I hope that that’s something that, that can come back, you know, eventually, because I’m, that’s something that I would like to participate in. I, I feel like everyone is kind of a sucker for a free t shirt, especially if you have to quote unquote earn it. but what do we have to look forward to this year?

[00:14:42] Anna: Any like big, exciting names or teams or teams coming from various parts of the country?

[00:14:49] Katie: Yeah, so this year is going to be the 90th NBC. And so with that, uh, one of the things we’re doing is celebrating Satchel Paige. So on opening night, we’re going to do a Satchel Paige bobblehead giveaway, which we’re really excited about and on the box, you know, it tells the story of Satchel Paige and the Bismarck Churchills and his family, his daughter and grandson are going to come down for that day.

[00:15:11] Katie: We’re partnering with the Kansas African American Museum to be able to showcase some of that baseball history so that, you know, people can can see the baseball side of it and the history side of it and the impact that Satchel had. So that’s one of the things that we’re really excited about. And then we also have women in baseball night.

[00:15:30] Katie: So we’re bringing back some of the silver bullets So for those who might not know about the Silver Bullets, they were a professional baseball professional women’s baseball team based in Colorado, sponsored by Coors Light and the Silver, you know, Silver Bullets in the 90s.

[00:15:46] Katie: So their first year was 94. So this is the 30th anniversary of the Silver Bullets. They traveled around the country playing independent league teams, military teams, you know, all sorts of things to show women can play baseball. And a lot of those women have gone on to be on coaching staffs and in front offices.

[00:16:03] Katie: And so we’re really excited to get some of those players back together to tell their stories.

[00:16:08] Katie: So we’re gonna do that. And then we’ve got a few more kind of fun tricks up our sleeve for fans that will be releasing as we get closer on the baseball side of it. for this year’s tournament. We’ve got teams coming from we don’t have the whole field announced yet, but we’ll have teams coming from Washington State, California, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, all coming to the NBC. The Santa Barbara Foresters are always the team to beat or to keep your eye on.

[00:16:38] Katie: They are 10 time champions and they had won three years in a row. Going into 23, they were looking to be the first team to win four championships in a row, and they lost to the Hutchinson Monarchs, which is a team here outside of Wichita. So that was very much the the upset. So they’ll be back kind of looking for their next shot.

[00:16:59] Katie: The Seattle Studs always come out. We’ve got teams from the Jayhawk League, the Rocky Mountain League. It’s going to be really fun baseball.

[00:17:06] Anna: It sounds like it. It sounds like there’s, there’s going to be a lot going on. Does, where do the games happen? Where do they play?

[00:17:14] Katie: we play at Wichita State University. So X field or X stadium at Wichita State, they have a fantastic stadium there. It’s all turf, which is a really important part of us playing 35 games in 10 days. So they, You know, had that real legacy with Jean Stevenson and the teams, Nate Robertson, the teams that they had, um, and built a beautiful ballpark there that we get to take advantage of.

[00:17:40] Anna: Yeah, that sounds awesome. It sounds like, uh, like a really fun and exciting time. Will the city do anything kind of in conjunction with this? Like, what do you recommend people do if they’re listening and they’re like, this sounds pretty cool, maybe I want to go check out some games. What else is there? to kind of look forward to.

[00:17:56] Katie: I would tell anybody to go check out, visit wichita. com. They have a great website and there’s so much to do in Wichita. Um, again, I moved out here, no idea what there was to do, but then I got out here and now I feel like I’m the salesperson on Wichita, Kansas. I’m going. It’s the 7th largest zoo in the country is in Wichita, awesome restaurants and coffee shops and breweries.

[00:18:18] Katie: So I would say there’s tons of things to do for families, especially if you’re a drive away. we actually just had USA baseball. A few members of their women’s national team here recently and one of their players came from Corpus Christi and she said she’d never been here and by the last day she’s like, do you think my, I think my family would like to come back here.

[00:18:36] Katie: I think we need to plan a trip. I said, you just, Wichita is kind of a hidden gem, I think.

[00:18:42] Anna: Yeah, it sounds like, uh, one of the better kept secrets, I, I need to get back up there. It’s been quite some time, so maybe this is a good excuse. does the tournament take place?

[00:18:53] Katie: So the tournament is July 25th to August 3rd. we play that Kind of sweet spot right as summer collegiate baseball is finishing but before college guys have to report back to school. So July 25th to August 3rd are the dates for 2024.

[00:19:08] Anna: Awesome. And then I know you guys are working up some really fun stuff with, uh, another one of my good friends, Logan, who runs Old Fort Baseball Co. Do you kind of want to tell us what this collaboration y’all have put together is all about?

[00:19:26] Katie: Yeah, it is really one of my favorite things I think I’ve ever been a part of. So I got connected with Logan last year, I think maybe right before the tournament, because I was on Twitter and I saw old Fort baseball co talking about the, the Fort Wayne Boltman who won back to back to back NBC world series.

[00:19:46] Katie: They were the first team to do that. And so just to see the NBC mentioned in that history going back, you know, this is 75, 80 years ago, I was like, this is really cool. And I reached out and just kind of connected and said, after the tournament’s over, let’s reconnect. And as we started talking about it, you know, Logan and what he does at Old Fort, he just has such a passion for the history of baseball and community baseball and supporting local baseball, which is all awesome.

[00:20:12] Katie: So we started talking about ways to. Collaborate to celebrate the 90th NBC World Series. And so what we’ve come up with is a 90 years of champions apparel collection. And one of the things that I think is so special about it is that we have nine of the former champions. We’ve already had people start kind of fighting in the Facebook comments about what teams got left off and who really deserved to be in there.

[00:20:38] Katie: Um, which is great, but we have nine of the champions from the last 89 years going on 90. Um, that there’s going to be a limited edition t shirt designed with their logo, but it also has all the years that they won NBC champions on there. So Logan designed custom shirts for each, um, some of the older teams didn’t really have logos.

[00:20:57] Katie: And so he went back and created logos with his vision. Uh, one of my favorite parts about it too, is the history piece of it. And so with each of those. Teams. We also have an article about the team and the history of it and the championship and some of their stories that will also share on social media.

[00:21:15] Katie: So it’s been this really fun opportunity to kind of bring some of these teams that people may not know very much about some that may not exist anymore, kind of bring those back to life and share their stories.

[00:21:27] Anna: That sounds awesome. Logan has such a knack for doing that. I think, uh, you know, I’ve, I have to stop following him on social media, maybe because I think, like, half of my wardrobe is beginning to become only Old Fort shirts, because every time he drops something, I’m like, oh, that’s really cool. And then I order it.

[00:21:43] Anna: So, um, but I love, I love the, the Kind of the spirit behind this of trying to tie in some of the history and educate people as to what these teams are all about because It’s like something like the Alaska Midnight Sun game where it’s like a very hardcore baseball fan knows what it is and wants to go But then all of the sudden You And you start to realize how accessible it really is, how easy it really would be to just, you know, plan a trip to Wichita and make it a priority.

[00:22:17] Anna: So I think it’s really cool. I’m excited. Ninety years going strong. I think it’s going to be a big year for the tournament.

[00:22:24] Katie: It’s really exciting. It does have that tie with the people, you know, even before when I was just starting with the NBC, I was actually at a wedding in Mexico and some of the table goes, you know, where are you from? What do you do kind of thing? And I said, oh, I’m in Wichita, Kansas. I work with the NBC.

[00:22:40] Katie: World Series, and I was ready to go into my whole spiel about what it is, you know, given the elevator pitch because I played in that because I played for a team in Alaska and I played in Wichita. Do you guys still do baseball around the clock? You know, I mean, everywhere you go, especially in the baseball world.

[00:22:56] Katie: People know about the NBC and they know about Wichita. And then when you start being able to kind of celebrate those individual teams and cities and the communities, which this collection with Old Fort, uh, co gives us the opportunity to do, it’s just so fun to see the roots of it and to see it expand and to see people kind of develop that new love for their team, for the NBC and for community baseball.

[00:23:20] Anna: Yeah, 

[00:23:21] Anna: definitely. One of the things you had touched on, you know, earlier in the conversation was how integral a collegiate team, a minor league team, amateur team could be to a community. And that’s something that I’ve found to be so true, especially traveling and visiting some of these cities that aren’t near Big league ball clubs, right?

[00:23:42] Anna: Like the, the collegiate team is what they’ve got, the summer collegiate wood bat league, that period of like two or three months in the summertime when those kids are at home is like the best time all year for them. And everybody knows every kid by name. And of course they’re like host families. And I mean, they, they really are just.

[00:24:02] Anna: prideful of their team. So I can imagine that when these, these kids get an opportunity to travel and play for a national championship, you probably get, uh, a good, decent following for, for each of the teams.

[00:24:17] Katie: we get a good following for the teams. Um, we have a great video broadcast too, which is great to make it for people who aren’t able to be there. Um, and then we partner with track man. We partner this year with, um, prep baseball report, you know, those opportunities for people to start to, to see the level of talent that’s here.

[00:24:36] Katie: Because sometimes Wichita, like you said, is a little bit of a hidden gem and people don’t know it’s there. And then you start talking to people and they’ll be like, Oh, I remember You know, shagging balls when Barry Bonds was playing or I met Roger Clemens because Roger Clemens played here, you know, you just and people go really in Wichita and they don’t know.

[00:24:55] Katie: And so I think especially with social media. Now we have this opportunity to really kind of showcase everything there is here.

[00:25:00] Anna: Yeah. I love it. I can’t wait to, to see what, uh, what, what comes this summer. So, What comes to mind if I ask you about your favorite baseball memory?

[00:25:12] Katie: You know, I’ve been really fortunate to have a lot of great baseball memories. I think that there’s some as a fan, you know, I remember, like I said, going with my cousins to Dodger games, and then I actually had the opportunity, um, to take my one month old to go see the Dodgers in the World Series. Uh, it was not how I expected my first World Series to go with a one month old.

[00:25:33] Katie: It was not quite as, Quite the same. that was great. I think one thing that’s been so special for me is the opportunity to create a lot of those baseball memories for people. I think working all star games and putting together events and then being able to just It’s been really special and one of them recently I mentioned we had the USA baseball women’s national team. We partnered with them and we had three of their national team players come out and do a girls baseball clinic in Wichita for League 42 and we had almost 40 girls that came out that got to play Learn from these women who represent the USA playing baseball not softball and to know that that’s an opportunity for them Um, it was really special because you just got to see so many kind of light bulbs clicking and at the end They were asking questions and one of the girls literally said So you’re saying girls can play baseball and they’re like, yeah, absolutely.

[00:26:31] Katie: Like this is what I do and I ask them One of them, I said, tell them what countries you’ve been to play baseball. And Anna Kimbrell, who’s the USA’s, uh, national team’s catcher. She was like, well, I’ve been to, um, Japan. I’m headed to Australia next, Canada, Mexico. And, you know, just started listing all the countries that baseball has taken her to.

[00:26:49] Katie: So that was one where I, it’s one of my favorite baseball memories, because we got to create that opportunity for those girls to know that, they can play baseball and if nothing else, that you’ve got a whole new generation of baseball fans.

[00:27:02] Anna: I love that so

[00:27:03] Anna: much. I was, you know, as a kid, I played baseball. I was adamant, like, I did not want to play softball, and I played up until fifth grade. I retired a Yankee, as most greats do, but, um, just, um, You know, I, I fizzled out. There were, there were no more opportunities to play for girls at that time.

[00:27:22] Anna: So it’s really exciting to kind of see what’s happening in the way that the trends are moving towards giving girls and women an opportunity to play a game. Because it’s, it’s a totally different game. Like it really is and, and you know, some people just cannot develop that same love for softball. So, um, that’s a really cool experience that you were able to kind of help facilitate for, for 40 plus, you know, little girls trying to dream big. What’s left at the top of the baseball bucket list? I mean, is there like one thing that you want to do or a person you want to meet or place you got to go?

[00:27:58] Katie: Oh, it’s so I love that question because it’s so specific to the person. You know, I have a friend who their answer to that was the home run derby, major league baseball home run derby, not the all star game, but the home run derby, you know that that specific part of it. mine’s changed over the years recently, and just in the last couple of years, the Alaska, the Midnight Sun game has turned into mine, because I think there’s just so much history.

[00:28:21] Katie: It’s just so cool that you’re watching. Midnight baseball under natural light. So I think that’s top of it for me. Um, yeah, because there’s just so many, right? I love every ballpark. I make it a point wherever I am. I’m like looking to see if there’s a ball game, minor league, independent, you name it. Um, but I think the midnight sun game has to be it.

[00:28:43] Anna: That’s a good answer. It really is. And I think it’s wise to kind of also talk about, Think about things that are within your control. Right. And so a lot of people, myself included, would say like, well, it’d be great if I could see a no hitter, but you know, that’s not up to me. So, uh, but Alaska is very doable.

[00:29:00] Anna: very, very doable and very fun. So a great answer there, Katie, I’ve so enjoyed this. This has been a blast. Uh, I’ve learned a lot today. And, before I let you go, where do we send folks if they want to learn more about the tournament and about, uh, this collaboration with Old Fort?

[00:29:18] Katie: Yeah. If you go to NBC baseball. com, you can get all the information and, you know, on our hall of fame on this year’s tournament, on our collaboration with old Fort, and we have lots of exciting things in the works. The NBC is a five Oh one C three nonprofit. And as we look to build on 90 years of history and how do we digitize all of that and how do we bring that?

[00:29:39] Katie: we have people all the time who tell us, you know, my dad played in 1957 for some team, do you have his pictures? Do you have his CD? Stats. Um, so that’s one of our long-term goals is to, to build all of that out. So for all of that and then for this year’s tournament and our collaboration with Old for it, you wanna go to nbc baseball.com?

[00:29:58] Katie: you can find the NBC at NBC Baseball on, uh, Instagram, Facebook, and x slash Twitter as well.

[00:30:06] Anna: Oh, that’s still such a hard transition to make, right?

[00:30:09] Katie: I know. It’s Twitter forever, I think, but yes, NBC Baseball. That’s the place to go.

[00:30:14] Anna: Yeah. Awesome. Katie, I’ve enjoyed this so much. Can’t thank you enough for your time and, uh, look forward to seeing how much fun y’all are going to have up there this summer.

[00:30:22] Katie: Thanks so much for having me, I really appreciate it.

[00:30:24] Anna: And that will wrap up this episode of the baseball bucket list podcast. Special, thanks to Katie woods for joining us today and sharing those stories and memories. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, if you think you might like to be a guest on the show, head to baseball bucket list.com/podcast and fill out an application. I’d absolutely love to hear from you.

[00:30:43] Anna: While you’re there, make sure to spend some time on the site. Sign up for a free membership, build your own baseball bucket list, and track your ballpark visits. And most importantly, connect with other fans. If you find yourself enjoying the show each week, please take a moment to rate and review it in the podcast app of your choice. 

[00:30:58] Anna: It goes such a long way, and I would really appreciate it. That’s it. for this week. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see you. Next episode.

More Episodes:


Leave a Reply