“Kickapoo Kids” celebrated with WBCA award

Three state baseball appearances in 1950, 1952, and 1953. At a time when there were no divisions. Yet tiny Gays Mills High School beat the odds.

The baseball team had a script similar to the popular sports movie ‘Hoosiers’. However unlike the Hoosiers story, you won’t find many who know the story of the “Kickapoo Kids”.

Paul Lagan is on a mission to change that. One year ago his book, “The Amazing Journey of The Kickapoo Kids”, was published.

Since then the team received the very first “Memories Award” from the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association this past February. And on Wednesday at North Crawford High School (which schools current residents from Gays Mills), a ceremony and award presentation took place.

For the first time the “Kickapoo Kids” are represented inside their school’s trophy case, over a half-century after their big wins on the baseball diamond.

“The teams that played back then achieved a lot, but they didn’t get a lot of recognition. Afterwards the trophies and memorabilia and so on were destroyed,” said Lagan.

“It’s fun to get everybody back here at the school in the area we grew up in and deliver it where it should be.”

Over a dozen players from those Gays Mills baseball teams from the 1950’s attended the presentation.

“That’s a part of history that nobody in this building probably knew about especially our student body,” said North Crawford athletic director Dave Bergum. “They got to hear Mr. Lagan talk about values, commitment, and dedication and I think his messages to our student body were phenomenal.”

Lagan’s mission to spread the story of the “Kickapoo Kids” continues. He says his book and newspaper clippings from their state runs have been accepted by the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.