Mike Veeck, in his role as Fort Myers Miracle exec, and Ron Myers from the Lakeland Flying Tigers lead the nine inductees in the 2013 High Class A Florida State League Hall of Fame class.
Players set for induction include players Al Nipper, Ramon Martinez, Jimmy Rollins and David Wright; current Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Detroit Tigers Minor League field coordinator Bill Dancy along with MLB umpire Jerry Layne will also be part of the ceremonies as inductees.
Veeck joined the Goldklang Group in November 1989 and immediately energized the Florida State League. Creating numerous promotions meant to entertain fans and enhance the ballpark experience, Veeck joined the Miracle as the team’s president in 1990. Then located in Pompano Beach, Veeck was intimately involved in the transition to Fort Myers prior to the 1992 season.
With a vision for fun at Hammond Stadium and a mission to take care of every fan, Veeck’s legacy remains a strong part of the Miracle operating philosophy. In 2005, Veeck was recognized as one of the 25 most influential people in baseball over the last quarter century. He has advised several companies and has been profiled in stories on “60 Minutes” and in magazines.
A third-generation baseball executive and team owner, Veeck was the innovator behind the infamous Disco Demolition Night while working for his father, Bill Veeck, and the Chicago White Sox in 1979. Veeck has also worked in marketing positions with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers.
Veeck joins principal owner of the Fort Myers Miracle, Marv Goldklang, in the Florida State League Hall of Fame. Goldklang was inducted in 2010 and serves as the chairman of the Goldklang Group. The Goldklang Group owns and operates four Minor League Baseball franchises: the Fort Myers Miracle, Charleston RiverDogs, St. Paul Saints, Hudson Valley Renegades, as well as the Futures Collegiate Baseball League Pittsfield Suns.
According to Goldklang, “Mike has been my partner and friend for nearly 25 years and deserves the credit for much, if not most, of what we’ve been fortunate enough to achieve in Fort Myers over the years. He is most deserving of this very special honor.”
Myers is director of Florida operations for the Detroit Tigers. This year marks his 22nd year in the Florida State League. Myers began his baseball career with the Lakeland Tigers in 1980 as an intern and moved up the ladder through the years and was named Vice President and General Manger of the team in 1993. That same year he accepted a newly created position with Minor League Baseball and was given the responsibility to create and pioneer the first in-house Marketing Department. Myers has also worked for the Tampa Bay Storm, the Verizon Classic, the NBA and the Tampa Bay Rays. He returned to the Tigers organization in November of 2003 as director of Florida Operations. Myers was the main catalyst in founding the Florida State League Hall of Fame. In 1987, he was elected as the Florida State League Co-Executive of the Year.
The induction is set for November 12, 2013 at the Plaza Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach. The ceremony is open to the public and tickets are $75. Dress is cocktail attire. For more information, call the Florida State League offices at (386) 252-7479 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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