top of page

The Liberal Bee Jays have a long history in the National Baseball Congress. The team started in 1955 and was named after Byron Bancroft Johnson, the creator of the American Baseball League. In their nearly 70 years of existence, the Bee Jays have won five NBC World Series titles (1968, 1979, 1985, 2000 and 2010), with seven runner up finishes

The Bee Jays have sent 165 players to the major leagues, and has been managed by three major league managers, including Mike Hargrove. Hargrove played for the Bee Jays in 1972, two years before launching his 12-year MLB career.  

During his time as a player with the Bee Jays, Hargrove lived with Bob Carlile, whose family hosted Hargrove. The two formed a close connection, and Carlile eventually convinced Hargrove to come back to Liberal as a manager in 2008 and 2009, just one year removed from managing in the MLB. Both Hargrove and Carlile are in the NBC World Series hall of fame, with Carlile being one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Bee Jays in Liberal. 

Bob Cerv, another manager of the team, is also in the NBC World Series Hall of Fame. Cerv led the Bee Jays to their 1979 title, and coached Hargrove while he played with the team. Cerv was also a former MLB player for the Yankees, A’s, Astros and Angels. 

In 1976, the Jayhawk Collegiate League formed, with the Bee Jays being one of the founding teams of the league, considered at the time a Premier League of the NBC. Several former Jayhawk League players went on to play in the MLB including Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Hunter Pence. The Bee Jays have won 13 Jayhawk League titles and 13 Kansas State Tournament titles

bottom of page