INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Indians announced today that Chairman Emeritus Max Schumacher will be enshrined in the International League Hall of Fame. An Indianapolis native, Schumacher has been with the Tribe since 1957, serving as president from 1969 until the end of last season.
"Since most of my career in Baseball occurred when the Indians competed in the American Association, I am particularly proud that my recent-year associates of the International League have conveyed the honor of including me in their Hall of Fame," Schumacher said. "It is a superb League with quality management in every city led by President Randy Mobley.
"This honor is bestowed on me largely as a reflection of the skilled Indians staff that has made possible the consistently strong operation of the Tribe in recent years and record attendance by our loyal fans," Schumacher added.
Last November after 47 seasons at the helm, Max turned over his day-to-day responsibilities and transitioned to a new role of chairman emeritus. His son Bruce is now chairman of the board and chief executive officer, and Randy Lewandowski is president and general manager. In this altered role, Max provides mentorship for the Indians leadership.
"Indianapolis Indians baseball has been a big part of my life since I was kid and that wouldn't have been possible without my dad," Bruce said. "His hard work, honesty and vision have defined his success for more than 60 years."
"Max spent his entire career focused on the success of the Indianapolis Indians, while simultaneously making a positive impact on the Indianapolis community," Lewandowski said. "Every day we try to follow the path that he set for this organization. His hall-of-fame induction is a fitting tribute to the success he's achieved and the impact he's made."
Schumacher joined the Indians organization in 1957 as a ticket manager after playing baseball at Butler University and serving a two-year stint in the U.S. Army. In 1961, he was promoted to general manager. In 1969, he was named president and helped the Indians become one of the predominant faces of minor league baseball.
Under Schumacher's leadership, the Indians have been recognized twice as Triple-A Bob Freitas Award winners, Baseball America's Triple-A team of the decade for the 1990's, and the 2005 At the Yard Magazine Minor League Team of the Year. In 1996, Schumacher was also one of the key overseers in guiding the Indians' move to Victory Field in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The American Association recognized him that year as its Executive of the Year. One year later, he earned the prestigious honor of being named the "King of Baseball" for his outstanding service to the game.
Schumacher has also been honored for his involvement in the Indianapolis community after serving as president of the Indianapolis Downtown Kiwanis Club, the American Business Club and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis. In 2006, Max was recognized with the Thomas W. Moses Good Scout Award for his dedication to community service, social responsibility and having a true "scout spirit."
Schumacher is joined in the International League Hall of Fame Class of 2017 by former Triple-A all-star closer Lee Gardner. A ceremony honoring Schumacher will be announced later this season.
About the Indianapolis Indians
The Indianapolis Indians are the professional Triple-A baseball club affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The organization's mission is to provide Indians baseball at Victory Field as affordable and memorable family fun. The Indians play their home games at Victory Field, located in downtown Indianapolis and White River State Park, a 14,200-seat ballpark opened in 1996 that has received numerous national accolades as one of the best minor league ballparks in the United States. In 2013 and 2016, the Indians led all of Minor League Baseball in overall attendance, while in 2014 and 2015 set Victory Field single-season attendance records. The Indians' front office was named one of The Best Places to Work in Indiana by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce in 2014 and 2015. The team has been in continuous operation since 1902.