FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 23, 2024
Overland Park, Kansas, Becomes First Home of the College Baseball Hall of Fame
(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) – The College Baseball Foundation and Visit Overland Park proudly announce that the College Baseball Hall of Fame will establish its inaugural physical location in Overland Park, Kansas. Located within the iconic Museum at Prairiefire, the College Baseball Hall of Fame will serve as a shared community asset, deepening connections to the nation's favorite pastime through a dynamic and ever-evolving space for college baseball enthusiasts to celebrate the sport's rich past, present and future.
Following an extensive search to find the permanent home for the College Baseball Hall of Fame, Overland Park and the Museum at Prairiefire emerged as ideal partners for the College Baseball Foundation through its purposeful vision and united support from the community. Visit Overland Park estimates that the College Baseball Hall of Fame will have a multi-million dollar impact on the local economy when its doors open in 2025.
“Since Governor Kelly first took office, she has been committed to making Kansas the best place in the nation to live, work and raise a family,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Bringing a cultural gem such as the College Baseball Hall of Fame to Overland Park will add to our state’s strong array of top-notch tourist attractions and will provide a solid boost to both the local and state economies.”
Established in 2004 by the College Baseball Foundation, the College Baseball Hall of Fame is dedicated to celebrating notable accomplishments in college baseball history and inspiring the next generation of players. The tradition started with the induction of the inaugural class in 2006 and continues annually, with the most recent announcement of the 16th Hall of Fame class in 2023. This prestigious institution honors individuals across diverse roles - players, coaches, umpires, and administrators - who have made exceptional contributions to college baseball history at the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA levels.
"Welcoming the College Baseball Hall of Fame to Overland Park marks a historic milestone for our community,” said Warren R. Wilkinson, President & CEO, Visit Overland Park. "This visionary endeavor goes beyond Visit Overland Park and the College Baseball Foundation; it seeks to etch a lasting legacy for our entire community. The Hall of Fame is set to become a pivotal cornerstone in Overland Park's cultural tapestry, creating a timeless connection between residents, visitors, and the cherished legacy of college baseball."
The College Baseball Foundation’s decision to make Overland Park and the Museum at Prairiefire the permanent home for the Hall of Fame is rooted in a shared commitment to the sport's history and a forward-thinking vision for the future. The College Baseball Foundation and Visit Overland Park aim to amplify the impact of the College Baseball Hall of Fame on the local community by launching educational initiatives tied to the sport, including K-12 STEM programming, and creating an interactive, continually evolving exhibit experience that encourages visitors to explore repeatedly.
“We are honored to serve as the story tellers and caretakers of college baseball history,” said Craig Ramsey, Chair of the College Baseball Foundation Board. “The sport is our national pastime, and we can’t wait to bring the stories of the college game to life in Overland Park. The stories of thousands who have had the privilege to be part of the game and the impact they have had on their teams, their schools, their families and their communities will be a tremendous draw. Prairiefire is the perfect home for visitors and fans to experience the game’s greatest legacies.”
At the heart of this collaborative endeavor stands the instrumental role of two-time Super Bowl champion, former Texas Tech baseball player and community leader, Patrick Mahomes. Beyond his financial support, Mahomes' commitment mirrors a love for the game fostered by watching his father play professional baseball, a steadfast dedication to preserving the heritage of college baseball, and a genuine enthusiasm for providing a space where budding athletes can envision a promising future.
“Baseball has been a huge part of my life and I was fortunate to play the game in college,” said Patrick Mahomes, NFL Quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. “I'm excited for the College Baseball Hall of Fame to call Overland Park home and join the community that I love so much.”
The College Baseball Foundation and Visit Overland Park are not alone in this ambitious venture. Through strategic collaboration with regional partners in the sports, education, business, and civic sectors, the organizations are poised to deliver an unparalleled experience. By engaging with these key stakeholders, their collective aim is to build support that extends far beyond the walls of the College Baseball Hall of Fame itself, through the development of an impactful national attraction driving increased visitation and enhancing the attractiveness of Overland Park as a place to visit, live and work.
The College Baseball Hall of Fame's forthcoming residence will be integrated within the existing Museum at Prairiefire, offering a digitally immersive experience for inductees, players, and fans to appreciate the history and significance of college baseball. The Museum at Prairiefire is a testament to Visit Overland Park's commitment to utilizing existing assets for maximum benefit and underscores the organization's dedication to community enrichment and the growth of the visitor economy.
Prairiefire and Visit Overland Park will host the College Baseball Foundation’s Night of Champions, the annual recognition of college baseball’s top athletes, on Feb. 15, 2024 at The Marriott Overland Park. Tickets, tables and sponsorships can be purchased here.
Visual assets can be found here.
About the College Baseball Foundation:
The College Baseball Foundation’s purpose is to preserve, elevate, and advance the game; to inspire the next generation; to teach those who love college baseball about its rich history and traditions; to celebrate those who make college baseball special; and to honor those who have come before us, and built the foundation upon which college baseball thrives today.
About the College Baseball Hall of Fame:
The CBF has inducted 15 classes into the Hall of Fame representing 152 of the college game’s greatest players, coaches, umpires, and contributors and recognizes the following award winners on an annual basis: Brooks Wallace Award (Most Outstanding Shortstop), John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, Pitcher of the Year Award, and the Skip Bertman Coach of the Year Award. Fifty-five recipients of these awards have been recognized over the past 20 years. Click here for a full list of College Baseball Hall of Fame classes.
About Visit Overland Park:
Visit Overland Park is a 501c6 Destination Marketing Organization that also serves as the official marketing organization for the city of Overland Park, Kansas. The organization is responsible for promoting the community as a vibrant and inviting place to visit and as a dynamic place to live and work. Through the impact of visitation, Visit Overland Park strengthens the community’s economic future and provides more opportunities for the people of Overland Park. The organization is primarily funded through transient guest tax of hotels and short-term rentals.