George Sallas enjoyed his day in the limelight at Kauffman Stadium last September 1.
“I was in the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat,” he said. “What made it special was one of my former students wrote the letter to the Royals. Every teacher/coach wants to feel like they made a positive impact on one of their students or athletes.”
Sallas played for the Milgram Mustangs from 1974 until he was too old to play in the league.
He enjoyed his time in the Ban Johnson League. “I was very fortunate to have Don Motley as my BJ manager,” he said. “He had a great deal of patience with me and taught me a lot. Eventually I became a decent college and BJ player and much of it was because of Don and his coaching staff.”
What did he remember about his time in the league?
“How good the players were and going all over town to play games,” he said.
His first year in BJ was the same year he got his chance to play high school baseball for Shawnee Mission North.
That was the first year that the Shawnee Mission District had baseball for all five of its high schools.
Sallas was an outfielder for the Indians’ first baseball game in the spring of 1974.
“I hit the first home run for North in the first game against SM East,” he said. “My only claim to fame.”
And Sallas spent his entire career in education at SM North.
“I was a health teacher, baseball coach, football coach, basketball coach, golf coach and athletic director” he said. “It was all North.”
It is not everyone who gets to attend a high school and then return as teacher, coach and administrator at the same high school.
Sallas got his start in baseball at the age of five.
“It was in the YMCA Hot Stove, then Cub Scout League, then 3&2 in Johnson County,” he said. “I played second base and shortstop and then outfield in high school.”
He played in the infield for Kansas State from 1975 through 1978.