By Fred Liggett
A 1996 Lee’s Summit High School grad who went on to be a pro baseball player for the local Kansas City T-Bones, Jonathan Krysa, is now a Hall of Famer.
Krysa followed his Lee’s Summit prep career with a successful collegiate stint at Rockhurst University that included playing in the 1999 NCAA Division II College World Series. The Kansas City-based Jesuit school is now inducting Krysa into the Rockhurst Athletic Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 28 between the two games of a Rockhurst baseball doubleheader against Truman State. The pair of games and ceremony are set for newly named Loyola baseball field on the Rockhurst campus.
Krysa learned of the hall of fame honor from longtime Rockhurst athletic director and baseball coach Gary Burns who gave his ex-player a phone call. Krysa is just one of five individuals set to be inducted on Saturday. The long list of accomplishments while at Rockhurst is why Krysa was selected. While playing baseball at Rockhurst the young baseball program qualified for the 1999 NCAA Division II College World Series held in Montgomery, Alabama. On that team was another Lee’s Summit grad, Mike Simpson. Simpson, a 1994 LSHS grad became a thrid base all American while at Rockhurst. Getting to the College World Series was quite an achievement as Krysa felt the team had to do better and go beyond to succeed because the team was an independent.
Krysa is expecting many familiar faces in the stands on Saturday as he blasted it out on social media upon learning of the honor. That was followed by texts and calls to his friends, family members, the baseball league he runs and those he gives baseball lessons to.
Krysa calls the Hall of Fame “a definite honor,” and “didn’t think this would ever come.” Krysa adds while working on your craft, working hard to get to the next level you are not doing it for a trophy and accolades. “If a player is successful those types of things will happen at some point.” It’s clear that Krysa’s past success continues to be remembered by both those who played with him and the school he played for.