When veterans of the Civil War returned to Kansas they brought with them a passion for baseball. Love for the game spread to just about every town in the state. Businesses, churches, schools and other institutions formed teams. At a higher level, semi-pro teams toured the state battling rivals. Seemingly, every town built a stadium, statements of civic pride. The rivalries between towns were intense. In a world before mass media, huge crowds would attend local games. The home-town teams were local celebrities. It was a big deal.
Just as many small Kansas have impressive churches which seem too grand and expensive for such a small community, so too were some of the baseball stadiums. Baseball was part of the local religion. Sadly most of these historic stadiums are gone.
Historic Rathert Stadium opened its doors in 1937. It was a Depression era WPA project. The stadium is beautifully old-fashion, built with locally quarried limestone. The city of Junction City recognized the gem they had in this stadium and restored it recently. It is one of the coolest historic baseball stadiums you will ever see.
Spring training begins in just a little over 2 months from now.