The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame was about to be evicted by its home city. After a big donation, they’re now looking to new sources of funding–including "several" sports memorabilia auctions–one featuring a Babe Ruth autographed baseball.
Luckily for the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, one of its inductees is a big fan of the place.
Billionaire Bill Koch was the winning skipper in the 1992 America’s Cup race. His boat sits in Wichita these days–and so does his plaque as an enshrined member of the Hall.
When the city stopped getting rent checks and threatened to close the place by this Friday, Koch stepped up with a $100,000 donation. That’ll keep the landlord happy.
Now, Hall president and CEO Ted Hayes is turning to the sports memorabilia auction world to try and keep the money coming in. Hayes announced last week that a recent donation of 50 ‘non-Kansas’ pieces of sports memorabilia, including a Babe Ruth autographed baseball, will be sold in a fundraising auction.
A Topkeka donor who gave the items to the Hall is apparently OK with the idea of seeing them sold. The auction containing the Ruth signed ball apparently won’t be the only sale. The Hall plans "several" fund-raising auctions in the coming months.
Hall officials say they expect to draw 18,000 visitors to its location in Old Town Wichita this year. 166 Kansans–or those who attended school there– have been inducted including Walter Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, James Naismith, Gale Sayers, Barry Sanders, Dean Smith and Tom Watson.
Watch the story from KSN-TV