George Spelius took over as president of the Midwest League prior to the 1987 season, making 2006 his 20th season at the helm of the MWL. Last season, under his watch, the league drew 3,486,604 in attendance, which was just short of the all-time record set in 2004.
What makes the Midwest League special?
We play all four seasons. We get the whole nine yards here in the Midwest League.
Outside of the Midwest League, what's your favorite Minor League ballpark?
I like the Class A ballparks. I like the ballparks of our teams.
Who is the best player you've seen come through the Midwest League?
In 2000, we had a player on the Peoria Chiefs in the Cardinals organization come through the Midwest League named Albert Pujols. There have been a lot of good ones, but not many that made the jump from Class A to the big leagues like Albert did.
What's the one initiative you'd like to see accomplished before your term ends in 2008?
What I'd like to see is the realignment of the Minor Leagues. I think there is a disparity of travel in some leagues. There's always been talk of realignment, and I'd like to see it addressed while I'm here, from the Triple-A on down to Class A.
Favorite offseason activity?
Baseball preoccupies so much of my time, and I'm not a golfer, so I just enjoy relaxing at home and going down to Arizona and Florida to see my kids and grandkids.
Being the league president is...
Probably the greatest honor I've ever received.
What's the best thing about Minor League Baseball?
You get to see young players -- especially at Class A -- at what I call their embryonic stage of baseball begin to climb the ladder.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.