Photo of Delhi bus crash for sensationalistic purposes only.
Road trips are huge in any sport. To have a realistic shot at a championship, a team has to be able to win on the road. Sometimes your team comes home after a few wins, riding into town like the conquering heroes. Sometimes they drop a ton of games and slink back home to the only comfort they have left – sleeping in their own beds.
But the Clarinda A’s of the National Baseball Congress may very well be taking cabs back home, or walking, after their primary mode of transportation spontaneously combusted in the wilds of Missouri:
The bus caught fire from a tire blowout on Interstate 29 near Faucett and was extensively burned, said Ryan Eberly, manager of the Clarinda A’s. There were no injuries and all 25 team members were able to safely evacuate the bus, Mr. Eberly said.
I once moved all of my possessions from Denver to Virginia, and I can say without reservation that the highways of Missouri are by far the worst I have ever driven on. I was towing my car behind a moving van, and it jounced through so many potholes that it had almost come off the trailer by the time we hit St. Louis. So it comes as no surprise that a mechanical mishap would overtake the A’s in the Show Me State.
Fortunately, everyone is safe, though they will have to replace the team’s equipment. But the burning bus has led me to discover something that was in my backyard the entire time I lived in the midwest – the National Baseball Congress. The Congress was the brainchild of Wichita, KS businessman Hap Dumont, who entertained dust-bowl era fans by bringing in Satchel Paige and his barnstorming team, and his semi-pro baseball tournament has been played continuously since 1931 in his hometown.
Best wishes to the Clarinda A’s – I hope some local Iowa businessman sees his way clear to buy some new equipment to replace what was lost.
[Hat tip: Walkoff Walk]