The black patch bearing the initials G.H.S in white text will be sewn on the cuff of the left sleeve of all regular team uniforms (right sleeve of umpire uniforms) throughout the 2017 campaign. Spelius served as President Emeritus and Director of Midwest League Umpire Development until his passing last September.
Spelius was a baseball lifer. Prior to his affiliation with the MWL, Spelius was a president of the Beloit Boys Baseball Association and one of the original founders of the Beloit Brewers in 1982. That club is now known as the Beloit Snappers, which continues to operate as a community-owned franchise. After serving as the league’s Vice-President in 1986, Spelius was elected President of the Midwest League in 1987, serving for 27 years and retiring after the 2014 season. He was an avid booster of high school sports and performed color commentary for high school football and basketball games on the local radio. In June 2014, he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Beloit Historical Society’s Elliott-Perring Sports Hall of Fame.
Spelius served on several committees of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Inc., one being the NA/MLB Rules and Policy Review Committee, which produced an on-field behavior policy that dramatically reduced the number of physical confrontations at the Minor League level. In 1997 and 2010 he was honored by Minor League Baseball as the recipient of the Warren Giles Award for outstanding service as a League President.
“I thank all of our teams for putting so much effort in to making sure we honor George and all he did for our League and Baseball fans everywhere,” said Midwest League President Dick Nussbaum. “This year in every inning of every game by seeing the initials GHS on the uniforms of our players we will keep him in our minds and hearts while we enjoy the game he so loved.”
Image of George Spelius courtesy of the Midwest League.
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