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Meet The Founder

KC_Helmet_2Karl became a resident of Overland Park, Kansas in 1976. A graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School class of 1990, Karl was a part of West’s back-to-back state championships in baseball in 1987 & 88, and a four-year Letterman in the program.

The New York Mets drafted Karl following his senior year in the spring of 1990. However, together with his family, Karl decided to further his education at Butler County Community College. While at Butler, Karl was recognized on the All-Jayhawk League and All-Region teams in both his Freshman and Sophomore years. As a sophomore, Karl was named to the NJCAA Division I All-American team, hitting .484, third highest batting average in the nation that season. This batting average made him the winner of the Rawlings Big Stick Award.

Graduating from Butler with an Associates Degree in 1992, Karl was selected to play in the prestigious Cape Cod Summer League. He then attended North Carolina State University. In addition to graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis on Public Speaking, Karl was a two-year starter, receiving recognition for his play in the Atlantic Coast Conference as well as the NCAA Regional Championship games in both years at Raleigh.

In 1998 Karl was inducted into the Eldorado, Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame for his exemplary performances during his career at Butler County Community College.

Returning to Kansas City, Karl (in partnership with his brother, Ken) created Barnstormers Baseball in 1996. Shortly thereafter, Karl attended and graduated from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays’ Career Initiative Program. This program was designed to identify and promote talented individuals for scouting, coaching and other baseball-related occupations. As a result of this experience, Karl has been a Major League scout since his graduation. His scouting experience has at the Major League level been with Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins, Texas Ranger, Anaheim Angels, Kansas City Royals, and currently the Chicago White Sox.

With his personal playing, coaching, and educational experiences, Karl has created a solid foundation for Barnstormers Baseball. Under Karl’s direction Barnstormers Baseball and staff have helped over 1000 players obtain their dream of earning scholarships for and participating in baseball at the college level. Barnstormers Baseball has increased their influence and is primed to help over 100 more players receive scholarships to play college baseball this year alone. The program has now grown to include player development from 8 years old and up.

Stressing individual skills, personal and team development through proper training has been very important to the Barnstormers Concept. While there are Barnstormer teams at various age levels, these teams are based upon individual and team maturation and skill development rather than wins and losses. Wins and losses are rarely emphasized as the result of playing in the Barnstormers fashion. These teams have met with significant successes: especially on the National Tournament Level, winning many championships and placing in the top 10 in even more.

It has been the goal of the Barnstormers Baseball Club, from its inception, to direct all of its focus and efforts to the players. The program is structured intentionally so its young participants learn to think the game for themselves. As a staff, the Barnstormers know they could coach each and every move but prefer to allow players to become students of the game as well as train and develop the great life skills that parallel the game.

Karl has helped his instructors and coaches further develop their teaching, coaching and communication skills so that Barnstormer Baseball students and players receive a solid, easy-to-understand message that in turn helps make learning easier. This “easy” communication style is a trademark of Barnstormers Baseball.

As a result of his many relationships within the game, Karl has and continues to draw many excellent teachers and coaches for special events for the Barnstormers Baseball players, students, parents and coaches. Some of those programs have included the very popular Tom House Instructional Series and the   Barnstormers Scout Day (Annual Player Showcase) during which over 50 scouts and coaches regularly attend to watch many high school age players display their talents.

Overall, the goal of the Barnstormers’ program is player training and development, as athletes and individuals. Drawing on what he has learned from his former U.S. Marine father and his school teacher mother, as well as, his coaches and instructors from his playing days, Karl continues to succeed in helping young men advance in baseball and life.