Houston KC Baseball was formed to provide unique opportunities for outstanding high school baseball players in the Greater Houston area to develop and showcase their skills in select and highly competitive league and tournament play before college coaches and professional scouts to enhance the opportunity for those players to obtain baseball scholarships to fund their college educations. Our Houston KC Baseball program presents baseball as a means to an end and not an end in and of itself. As it is only the extraordinarily gifted player who ever has the opportunity to make a living playing professional baseball, we emphasize the importance of obtaining a college education to provide a strong foundation for each player's life when the time comes that he can no longer play the game.
Mike Rutledge organized Houston KC Baseball as Kyle Chapman Colt League, Inc., a Texas not-for-profit corporation, in the fall of 1988 in order to provide opportunities for high school baseball players to play baseball during the off-season. Our program immediately grew to providing spring, summer and fall leagues for players ages 15-18. Our program immediately attracted the attention of college coaches who were looking to maximize their recruiting efforts by scouting a league composed of highly skilled, potential college players. Recognizing the benefit to our players of this exposure to college coaches, Houston KC Baseball began focusing on recruiting 80 players each year (approximately 60 in the summer and 20 in the fall) to form a select team of players whose talents are exhibited in showcase tournaments across the State of Texas and in out-of-state tournaments as well.
In the spring, over 200 players participate in our league for players ages 15-16. In the summer, our three (3) select Houston KC teams, each composed of approximately 20 players, play a schedule of approximately 50-60 games against the best competition within and outside the State of Texas. In the fall, over 500 players participate in our leagues for 15-16 year olds and 17-18 year olds. A Houston KC allstar team is selected from that older group and showcased in tournaments played at NCAA Division I sites every weekend during October of each year.
Over the past twenty-six years, Houston KC Baseball has assisted more than 500 players in receiving baseball scholarships to attend college. A large number of our players receive scholarships at Division I schools. In fact, over the past twenty-three years, 263 Kyle Chapman players have signed with Division I schools directly out of high school. Division I schools are limited under NCAA rules to a cumulative annual award of 11.7 baseball scholarships. There is a great deal of competition for each one (or a portion thereof) of those scholarships. In many cases, it is the player who is seen the most often and in the most competitive environment that receives a scholarship offer. Our Houston KC Baseball program has provided that exposure for many of those Greater Houston area players who have obtained Division I scholarships in the last twenty years. By way of example, when the now defunct Southwest Conference played its last season of baseball, the University of Houston and Rice University co-hosted in Houston what was called the First Pitch Baseball Tournament, a round robin conference tournament involving all seven (7) Southwest Conference schools. On the rosters of those seven Southwest Conference schools were 31 players who had participated in our Houston KC program. More recently, in the 2002 Astros College Classic played at Minute Maid Park, 26 former Houston KC players were on the rosters of the eight (8) participating Division I schools. . In the 2014 Minute Maid College Classic, four (4) of the thirteen (13) players named to the All-Tournament Team (including the tournament MVP) were former Kyle Chapman players. See related link for "KC Players Signing Division I Scholarships Out of High School". Also, we are proud to announce that twelve (9) of our 2014 KC graduating players have already signed Division I scholarships.
Some of our Houston KC graduates have been highly successful in their college careers and have (or no doubt will have) the opportunity to play professional baseball. See related links for "First and Second Round KC Player Draftees" and "KC Players in the Majors". However, in our eyes, the measure of the success of our Houston KC Baseball program is not in those players who have had or will have the opportunity to play professional baseball. Rather, the measure of our success is the number of our former Houston KC players who have used their baseball skills to get their college degrees and are now beginning graduate school, law school, medical school or their business careers. We are proud of these young leaders of tomorrow, and we challenge them to "give back" to the communities in which they reside.
Houston KC Baseball enjoys the reputation of being a first-class organization which exists only to promote the players who participate in its programs. The strength of our program lies in the 10-12 volunteers who unselfishly give of their time and money each year to organize and administer our spring, summer and fall programs for the best interests of the players involved. In order to avoid the appearance of partiality, no parent is permitted to assume a role of leadership in our Houston KC program while his son is a participant in our program. However, due to the benefits bestowed upon their sons, many of our volunteers became active participants and leaders in our Houston KC program after their sons began playing baseball in college. Some of these individuals have been with our program since its inception in 1988. Others have joined in recent years and have brought new energy and vitality to the program. It is this combination of the experience of our more senior volunteers and the youth and energy of our younger volunteers that has perpetuated and enhanced the reputation of Houston KC baseball as one of the finest amateur baseball organizations in the country. As volunteers, we are proud of our program and what it stands for and are even prouder of the young men who graduate from it each year and move one more step forward in life's experiences.