The bell is named in honor of Indians President and Chairman of the Board, Max Schumacher, who is in his 55th season of leading the organization. "Congratulations to Max, Judy and the entire Schumacher family on this deeply deserved recognition," said Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. "The Indians are an important part of Indianapolis and Victory Field remains the best minor league ballpark in the country. Here's to many more years of success both on and off the diamond."
Schumacher began his career with the Indians in 1957 as ticket manager. By 1961, he was general manager. Throughout his many years with the franchise, the longest-running professional sports team in Indianapolis, Schumacher has received many esteemed awards, including the John H. Johnson President's Award for being the individual most closely associated with a Minor League team.
"I join with all Indianapolis Indians fans in celebration of the tremendous efforts of Max Schumacher," said United States Senator Richard Lugar. "Max has been a cherished friend since our high school days together. His numerous contributions to the Indianapolis Indians are a testament to his dedication and love of the game. We appreciate all that Max does and will continue to do for the team and for this city."
Chosen local celebrities, season ticket holders and guests will have the opportunity to ring the Max Schumacher Victory Bell after every home game won by the Indianapolis Indians.
Mayor Greg Ballard proclaimed today "Max Schumacher Victory Bell Day" in an unveiling ceremony at the ballpark on Opening Day of the 2011 season.
"Max Schumacher's impact on the development of professional baseball in Indianapolis through his leadership and service is immeasurable and appreciated by the people of Indianapolis who enjoy attending games at Victory Field," said Mayor Greg Ballard. "I am proud to honor such a contributor to our city, to this franchise, and to the history and future of professional baseball in Indianapolis."
The bell weighs in at 990 pounds and is about 37 inches wide. The Verdin Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, created the cast with pure, new copper and block tin. The structure housing it displays a plaque indicating the bell is dedicated to Schumacher.
The Indianapolis Indians begin their 2011 baseball season today, April 7, at 7:05 p.m. at Victory Field. Tickets are on sale at IndyIndians.com or by phone at 317-269-2282.
About the Indianapolis Indians
Since 1887, professional baseball has served as an Indianapolis leisure activity. After 12 years of various franchises competing in different leagues, the current Indianapolis Indians franchise was founded in 1902. The Indianapolis Indians began playing at Victory Field in 1996. Victory Field was named the best minor league ballpark in America by Baseball America in 1999, an honor reinforced by Sports Illustrated and www.minorleaguenews.com in 2001.