Another milestone to note: After 28 years, George Spelius is stepping down at the end of the season as president of the Low Class A Midwest League.
“There comes a time when it’s time, and it’s time,” the 80-year-old Spelius told the Quad-City Times. “It’s been a good, long run and the league is as strong as it has ever been. I feel good about stepping away at this time.”
Spelius began his career in professional baseball in 1982 as one of the founding fathers of the Beloit Brewers, bringing a Milwaukee Brewers affiliate to Pohlman Field. That is still his home ballpark, and he can be found in his front-row season tickets at most games.
When Spelius took the Midwest League reins in 1987, the circuit was dramatically different than the Midwest League of today. Teams in Madison, Kenosha, Wausau, Waterloo and Springfield are long gone; the center of the league shifted from its Wisconsin and Iowa roots to expand eastward to Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Today, the Midwest League stretches from Appleton (WI) to the north, Burlington and Davenport (IA) to the west, Bowling Green (KY) to the south and Eastlake (OH) to the east. It’s a strong league, and among its 16 teams are some of the best-run franchises in Minor League Baseball, including the Fort Wayne TinCaps, West Michigan WhiteCaps, Quad Cities River Bandits and the Lansing Lugnuts. And, of course, the Dayton Dragons has been selling out games since dinosaurs walked the earth and recently sold for $35.6 million.
All in all, that’s a pretty strong legacy, and he steps down leaving the league in excellent shape, with strong owners and top-notch facilities.
Replacing Spelius: longtime league attorney Dick Nussbaum.
RELATED STORIES: Spelius signs on for one last term as Midwest League prez
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