Good news and bad news.
The good news is that the old KOM League will have another reunion, this one scheduled for Sept. 7-9, 2006, in Carthage. The bad news is, according to John Hall's latest KOM update, it will be the last one.
Hall said 50 rooms have been reserved at the Best Western Precious Moments Motel in Carthage. Part of the event will also be held at Carl Lewton Stadium. "For the last time," Hall wrote, "the KOM Leaguers will take the field and be introduced and then a tribute to all our 'fallen comrades' will follow. For any of you who ever loved a deceased former KOM Leaguer you will want to take in this time of honoring their memory."
In addition to members of the old KOM minor league baseball teams, who played in the 1940s and early 1950s (the KOM stands for Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri), Hall said he is extending a special invitation to "the former Joplin Miners and Baxter Springs Whiz Kids."
Hall has done a remarkable job of organizing previous reunions, including one which I had the pleasure of covering in the summer of 1998. That one featured an oldtimers' baseball game. Of course, the youngest of the KOM League players would now be at least in their early 70s.
Hall is also the author of the KOM League history, as well as the recent well-received biography of another former area minor league baseball player, Mickey Mantle, "Mickey Mantle: Before the Glory."