Major League Baseball stars won't return to the NBC World Series in 2018

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The NBC World Series will lose its biggest draw for the 2018 tournament.  

The Kansas Stars, made up of former major league baseball players,  won't return to the tournament next year.  Kansas Stars founder Nate Robertson said the Kansas Star Casino and Hotel booked a major convention for the next several years that falls during the days of the NBC World Series.  

The Stars went undefeated in the 2017 World Series and drew large crowds every time they took the field.   One of the Stars' games was televised by ESPN.  Roger Clemens and Chipper Jones were among the former major league stars who took the field in Wichita. 

Statement on Kansas Stars' future:  

On behalf of myself, Adam LaRoche, and the rest of the Kansas Stars players and families, we would first like to thank the many individuals and companies who made the last two years such a memorable NBC World Series experience. As baseball players, we have a passion for the game and a desire to compete, in spite of our age. The World Series offered that competitive platform that allowed us to get back on the field and play meaningful games again. Playing games that matter was the driving force that brought this group of players together, providing us with the opportunity to give back to various Wichita charities through autograph signings, donations, and partnering with the Wichita Wingnuts for our first annual Hit-a-Thon. Exhibition opportunities exist worldwide, but these players took time out of their busy schedules and chose to invest in the Wichita area to entertain the great fans of this community. It has been a highlight for this town and has put Wichita front and center through major media outlets and nationally televised ESPN programming. We are especially thankful to our number one sponsor and home base, the Kansas Star Casino, that bent over backwards to accommodate us.

That being said, we will not be able to attend the NBC World Series in 2018 because the hotel and casino previously booked a major convention for the next several years that coincides with the dates of the tournament. Even though the same problem occurred in 2017, the NBC moved the tournament up a week to allow for the attendance of the Stars. However, the NBC has returned the tournament back to the original dates for 2018, which now presents the conflict. From a personal standpoint, being a Stars founder and homegrown Wichitan, this doesn’t make the decision easy. Although I would never want this team to leave our town, going forward we will now have to explore the other options for the Stars. Judging by the turnout of the fans at our games and the Stars interactions with the other teams, we hope we gave back in a way any ambassador of the game should.

We wish the tournament well in its years to come. Thanks again to all of those who believed in this vision; it was our “field of dreams” moment and we hope it made lifelong memories for all who witnessed it.

Nate Robertson

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