Wind Surge honor late owner Lou Schwechheimer
WICHITA, Kan. - The Wichita Wind Surge on Friday, Aug. 27, hosted a Celebration of Life in conjunction with their home game against the Tulsa Drillers, honoring late Managing General Partner Lou Schwechheimer, who died last year from complications of Covid-19. He died before getting the chance to see the Wind Surge take the field in their new stadium in downtown Wichita.
“Lou was so proud of what the organization was building in Wichita,” said Jane Schwechheimer, Lou’s wife and majority General Partner of the Wind Surge. “He loved the passion of this community and was so embraced by the people here. It is very fitting to celebrate his life this way, with a baseball game at Riverfront Stadium.”
Schwechheimer, a 40-year veteran of Minor League Baseball was the visionary for the Wind Surge and Riverfront Stadium, and the catalyst behind the team’s move from New Orleans to Wichita. Known for his enthusiasm and kindness, Lou loved minor league baseball and found joy in bringing the baseball experience to communities.
Prior to and during Friday night’s game, Wind Surge fans had an opportunity to hear from Lou’s colleagues, family and local dignitaries to learn more about Lou’s life and the impact he had on others. There were celebrations of Lou throughout the game and the evening concluded with a post-game fireworks show.
Lou’s presence can be seen throughout Riverfront Stadium, as the Wind Surge players wear a patch on their jersey to honor Lou. The patch, designed by Todd Radom, is also featured on the façade of the press box at Riverfront Stadium.
“Lou’s legacy is more than just this ballpark,” said Wind Surge Partner/CEO Jordan Kobritz. “It will continue for years in the work of the Schwechheimer Family Foundation, the community efforts of this team, and in all the people he touched and impacted throughout his 40 years in baseball. We are looking forward to sharing this celebration with the entire Wichita community.”
The Wind Surge are 100 games into the season and sit alone atop the Double-A-Central North Division, even after a three-game skid. Friday, the Wind Surge lost 2-1. Despite the loss, Friday night was a celebration, remembering Schwechheimer and what his leadership made possible in Wichita. The scene of fans filing into the stands is exactly what the Wind Surge’s late owner envisioned.
“I miss him intensely. As I walk around the ball park, I think of him all the. He walked around here every day during construction and would talk about how this would just light up and he talked about how great this community is and how this place would embrace the Wind Surge,” said Wind Surge Director of Broadcasting and Team Travel, Tim Grubbs.
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