Harold Ensley

Harold Edward Ensley, born November 11th, 1912 in Healy, KS, was a professional baseball player from 1934-1935. He briefly resided in Arkansas circa 1934-1935.


Ensley is best remembered as a longtime outdoorsman and television personality. He did, however, have a brief career in minor league baseball. In 1934, he trained with the Joplin Miners of the Western Association1 before playing with Bentonville and Fayetteville of the 1934 Arkansas State League2 . The next season, he appeared in the league again with Siloam Springs. His baseball career was cut short, however, when he broke his throwing arm in California3 .

Ensley married Oba Tennyson in Benton County, AR on September 30th, 1935. He later moved to Joplin, MO where he became a pastor and a radio personality. His success on the radio led to his long media presence that including his long-running television show, The Sportsman's Friend and many cameo appearances on primetime shows.

Ensley died on August 24th, 2005 in Overland Park, KS.


"Harold Ensley, a youngster in the outfield, hit hard at bat during the scrimmage [for Joplin] and fielded his position in an outer garden in fine shape during the contest."4

"H. E. Ensley, Bentonville outfielder, was runner-up in individual batting with an average of .305."5

"Harold Ensley, former Bentonville outfielder who is extremely popular here, continued his good work for the [Fayetteville] Educators with a homerun and a double."6

"Harold Ensley, a western kansas product who worked out as a righthand pitcher under Wally Schang (remember?) in 1934, and later who pitched for Bentonville and Fayetteville in the old Arkansas-Missouri League, now is the Rev. Harold Ensley, minister at the Church of Christ here since last February . . . How time does fly and how things do change . . . The Rev. Ensley was just getting a good start up the baseball ladder when he broke his arm -his throwing arm-in a baseball school at Los Angeles."7

"Harold Edward Ensley . . . Born November 20, 1912 to Amy and Wesley Ensley in Healy, KS, Harold grew up on their Dust Bowl cattle ranch . . . He had a .390 batting average and a fine fastball, pitching in the California Winter League, when a teammate accidentally tossed a bat that broke his arm . . . For a long while, he was a Church of Christ preacher in Joplin, MO . . . " 8


Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

1 Joplin Globe, 4/20/1934
2 Fayetteville Daily Democrat, 8/18/1934
3 Joplin Globe, 9/5/1943
4 Joplin Globe, 4/20/1934
5 Fayetteville Daily Democrat, 6/2/1934
6 Fayetteville Daily Democrat, 8/18/1934
7 Joplin Globe, 9/5/1943
8 Kansas City Star, 8/26/2005