Wichita Wind Surge owner dies from complications of COVID-19

The Wind Surge called majority owner Schwechheimer a driving force in baseball returning to Wichita.
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 3:57 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Wichita Wind Surge announced the death of the team’s majority owner and general partner, Lou Schwechheimer, due to complications of COVID-19.

The team said Schwechheimer died Wednesday afternoon from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. He was 62.

The news comes a day after Major League Baseball suspended the Miami Marlins’ season through Sunday after a total of 15 players tested positive for the virus. The Wind Surge is a Triple-A affiliate to the Marlins. Minor League Baseball canceled its season in June due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The team said Schwechheimer was the driving force behind the return of affiliated baseball to Wichita and the construction of Riverfront Stadium.

“There are no words to express the loss of the entire Wind Surge family,” said SVP/GM Jared Forma. “Lou was truly one of a kind, someone who never met a stranger. He will be deeply missed by his family and many friends, which included an extended baseball family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lou’s wife and daughter at this difficult time.”

“The Wind Surge team will work tirelessly to fulfill Lou’s dreams and visions for the great city of Wichita, a place he was proud to call home. We will ensure his legacy lives forever at Riverfront Stadium,” Forma said.

In less than a year, Wichita city leaders say Schwechheimer made a lasting impact on the city.

“In one of his lasts interviews, I remember seeing (that) he said, ‘it’s tough, but let’s stay true and stay strong, and in 2021, we’ll be back here and hopefully enjoying what we all came to enjoy: baseball,‘” Wichita Assistant City Manager Scot Rigby said.

Schwechheimer’s death also leaves fans with a lot of questions about the team’s future. City leaders want fans to understand, Wichita is not in jeopardy of losing the team, and management will carry on Schwechheimer’s vision for Wichita for years to come.

“Lou was more than just ‘Lou,’ Rigby said. “He assembled a great team of partners, and just his team out here. We are confident, they are confident there will be a long history of the Wind Surge here in Wichita.”

Beyond the Wichita baseball community and Wind Surge family, Schwechhemier leaves behind a wife and daughter.

We were devastated to learn of the passing of Lou Schwechheimer today. Lou may have been a recent newcomer to Wichita...

Posted by City of Wichita- Government on Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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