Marlins fans are understandably frustrated that the team’s 2020 season has been abruptly suspended due to COVID-19, but Wednesday’s news is just the latest reminder that this pandemic must be taken with the utmost seriousness. The Wind Wind Surge announced the passing of majority owner and general partner Lou Schwechheimer, who had been infected with the virus.
Here is the full press release:
Wichita, KS – It is with the deepest sadness and sorrow that the Wichita Wind Surge organization announces the passing of the team’s majority owner and general partner, Lou Schwechheimer. Schwechheimer, 62, passed away this afternoon from complications related to Covid-19.
Schwechheimer was the driving force behind the return of affiliated baseball to Wichita and the construction of Riverfront Stadium. After spending 35 years with the Pawtucket Red Sox, helping to turn them into one of the elite minor league baseball franchises, Schwechheimer formed a group that purchased two minor league teams, the Single-A Charlotte Stone Crabs in the Florida State League and the AAA New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League, who have since moved to Wichita, KS.
“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.
The Wind Surge organization asks everyone to please respect the privacy of the Schwechheimer family during these difficult times.
It is impossible to overstate how passionate Schwechheimer was about the Wind Surge and the Marlins minor leaguers who would’ve been playing in Wichita. You could see it in his tweets (@LSchwechheimer) and in this interview he had with Fish On The Farm last offseason.
I will use the space below to share testimonies from people who can speak directly to Lou’s impact...
We are really sad to hear this- Lou was always so welcoming and sought us out anywhere we crossed paths. We were really looking forward to being in Wichita for this 2020 season and a team under his leadership. https://t.co/QwZXXA1Zwo— Jamie Lavarnway (@jamie_lavarnway) July 29, 2020
So sad to learn that longtime baseball friend Lou Schwechheimer has passed away due to complications from Covid-19. Lou was principal owner of the @WindSurgeICT, having started his career as an intern in Pawtucket. His positive attitude and optimism were infectious. RIP Lou. pic.twitter.com/WurJ4mtx09— John Traub (@TopesGM) July 29, 2020
Lou Schwechheimer is one of those guys you met once and felt like you'd known for years. I am so sorry to hear about the news of his passing. He was so excited about being a part of professional baseball in Wichita. Damn.— Bob Lutz (@boblutz) July 29, 2020
Many tough days this year, but today rose to the top. Lou took me under his wing and set me straight when I was a young "know it all" joining the @DurhamBulls and International League in '98. Has been a mentor for me ever since. Just a legend in our game. Will miss him greatly. https://t.co/AWhYZ6AZ20— Mike Birling (@DurhamBullsGM) July 29, 2020
Tragic, terrible news from Wichita. Lou always had a smile on his face and an encouraging word to say. His belief in so many, myself included, is what started our careers in MiLB. He’ll be truly missed. https://t.co/3ymR9DQNr7— David Kahn (@SportsKahn4) July 29, 2020