1998 Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee
While playing for the El Dorado Wildcats, 1951-1954, Vernon was a four-year letterman. From 1952-53 he participated on the American Legion Kansas All-Star Team. After high school, he went on to play ball for the Boeing Bo-Jets for two years. He was honored as the 1958 Wichita State MVP and held the lowest earned run average from 1958-1982 for WSU. After college, he went into the United States Army and played baseball there as well. Honors during those years include: 1959 All-Army Europe MVP winning a trip to the 1959 World Series and compiling a record of 31 wins and 2 loses. He then signed a contract to play for the Detroit Tigers Organization. In June of 1961 he was recognized as the Topps Minor League Player of the Month.
He was distinguished as winning 4 and losing 1, which included a perfect game and a one-hitter. In 1962, he held a 1.89 ERA and earned 13 saves with a 7 and 4 record. Also, in 1962, he was named to the All-Star Team. After playing in the minors he moved back into the Wichita Victory League and played for Service Auto Glass.
During his time he was honored as Kansas' Leading Pitcher, A State and National player and the Kansas All-State Pitcher in 1962.
Finally his playing days were over and he began coaching. He was the assistant coach of the American Legion team eventually became head coach at Butler County Community College. He also organized along with Sam Leben, an El Dorado Semi-Pro team called the Indians, and served as head coach for two seasons. Recently, he became a member of the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame.