The inaugural College World Series was played in 1947 in Kalamazoo, Mich., who hosted again in 1948. The tournament was then moved the following year to Wichita, Kan., and in that same year, former President George H. W. Bush was captain of the Yale baseball team that made the Series.
The College World Series was first played in Omaha in 1950 and boasted a total attendance of 17,805. Although the College World Series is now a profitable event, it lost money for 10 of the first 12 years that it was in Omaha (1950-1961). Four Omahans who maintained their faith and interest in the College World Series during those “lean” years are due much of the credit for the tournament’s continued presence in Omaha. Those supporters included the late Ed Pettis of the Brandeis Stores, the late Morris Jacobs and the late Byron Reed, both of Bozell & Jacobs and the late Johnny Rosenblatt, Mayor of Omaha and an avid baseball fan. These men, and others, formed the foundation for College World Series of Omaha, Inc.
How this community nurtured the College World Series from humble beginnings to its status as a nationally recognized event is quite a story. This is a story of how the people of Omaha, its business leaders, city officials and volunteers, embraced the Series and teamed up with the NCAA to make it grow.
Today, College World Series of Omaha, Inc., a non-profit organization, is the local organizing committee for the annual NCAA Division I Championship Baseball College World Series.
Guiding the activities of the local contributors and the many volunteers involved in the Series is the executive committee of the College World Series of Omaha, Inc., board. This group of dedicated individuals meets each month to develop policies and plans that assure the success and growth of each year’s Series.
It has been our pleasure to host the CWS since 1950, and we take great pride in hosting it. Hard work, dedication, and commitment from our many volunteers, local business contributors, and city have built the College World Series from its humble beginnings to the enjoyable event it is today.
Continued fan support of the College World Series has made the event a very special place for teams that have had the opportunity to compete for the Division I Men’s Baseball National Championship.