One of the highlights for any ballplayer in the Ban Johnson League is getting to spend an evening playing in a big-league ballpark. Seventeen players with Johnson County ties got that opportunity.
The opportunity came to those 17 when they were selected to play for Team B and Team J in the in the Ban Johnson All-Star Game, which took place July 6 at Kauffman Stadium. Eight got to play for the J’s, who whipped the B’s 7-0 on the Kansas City Royals’ home field.
The J’s players included St. Thomas Aquinas graduate Alex Van Pelt, who went two for three at the plate. Garrett Stephens, from Shawnee Mission Northwest, drove in a run, as did Chase Redick from Shawnee Mission North. Pitchers Tanner Howe (Blue Valley Southwest) and Garrett McNally (Bishop Miege) contributed to the two-hit shutout.
Tyler Cox from Blue Valley West had one of the B’s two hits. Ryker Johnson of Spring Hill started on the mound for the B’s, who also used Grant Hoppock of Olathe East in relief.
Now in its 90th year, the Ban Johnson League is open to players 23 years of age or younger. The league, which has eight teams this season, is made up mostly of recent high school graduates or college players.