Bringing Back History

1 decade 3 months 2 weeks ago Saturday, August 25 2007 Aug 25, 2007 Saturday, August 25, 2007 5:10:04 AM CDT August 25, 2007 in News

The league's history includes some of the very first pictures taken of a 17-year old shortstop from Independence, the famous Mickey Mantle.

Members of  the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri league, or KOM league, poured over memories like that.

The Class D minor league ran from 1946-1952 in towns like Carthage, Missouri, Ponca City, Oklahoma, and Independence, Kansas - the 12th Annual Reunion is this weekend in Columbia.

The time these aging athletes share together is cherished.

"This is probably the last time that a group such as this will meet this side of the Great Beyond," said KOM Historian John Hall.

And for that reason the men enjoy this time spent together, catching up on history.

The stories are told and the memories are shared around a table of laughter and joy.

Although these champions of the greatest American pastime may be aging, the stories they share keep their rich legacies alive.

Pictures and videos are just a few ways they relive the moments.

Simply being around one another was the "highlight" for these old teammates.

"The friendships that you have, you're always glad to renew those every year and get to see the guys," said Gale Wade former KOM league player.

With more than 1,500 players passing through the league, including the great Mickey Mantle, history speaks for itself.

For these aging athletes, the good old days are not forgotten, they are simply waiting to be relived at another reunion.

The KOM gathering finishes on Sunday.

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