Portrait of late Wind Surge owner unveiled at Riverfront Stadium
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Representatives of the Wichita Wind Surge and Emprise Bank on Monday, May 10, gathered for the unveiling of a portrait of late owner Lou Schwechheimer, the man credited for bringing the Wind Surge to Wichita and to a new stadium in which the affiliated team will finally play after losing last season due to COVID-19.
The portrait, commissioned by Emprise Bank and painted by local artist Joe Oehm, “will hang in the Wind Surge offices as a permanent tribute to Loue and the impact he made on Wichita,” a news release from the team said.
Schwechheimer died last July from COVID-19 complications. Due to the pandemic, he wasn’t able to see his team take the field in Wichita, but he is credited for making the move possible and generating excitement about Wichita’s first MLB-affiliated club in more than a decade.
“It has been humbling to see the impact that Lou had on the community in the short time that he was in Wichita,” said Jane Schwechheimer, Lou’s wife and majority General Partner. “For those who spent even a minute with Lou, you can see how much of his positive, joyful spirit John Oehm was able to capture. I am so glad that Lou’s portrait will be here to welcome fans and partners into the Wind Surge offices.”
In November 2019, Emprise Bank was announced as the Wind Surge’s first Legacy Partner, days before the unveiling of the team’s name and logo. The Wind Surge said the friendship between Emprise CEO Matt Michaelis and Lou Schwechheimer “was sparked on Lou’s first trip to Wichita to see and experience the community where her was considering relocating his baseball team,” (from New Orleans).
“I consider myself lucky to have called Lou a friend and I am truly honored to have welcomed him to Wichita, to hear his vision and experience his enthusiasm for creating the family gathering place that is now Riverfront Stadium,” Michaelis said. “Lou’s legacy will live on for many years to come through what he accomplished and the zeal through which he approached everything he did. Our hope is that this portrait of Lou will bring a smile to those who knew him best each time they pass it in the Wind Surge offices.”
The Wind Surge, 5-1 so far in its inaugural season, plays its first home game at Riverfront Stadium Tuesday, May 11. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
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