(Photo by Tom Strattman)

An 'icon' on many levels

Termed a great volunteer and great community leader, Indianapolis Indians president and board chairman Max B. Schumacher was presented The American Legion’s James V. Day Good Guy Award Aug. 27. The president of the Triple A baseball team since 1969, Schumacher was presented with the award during The American Legion's 94th Annual National Convention in Indianapolis.

“It is indeed an honor to be designated a good guy by The American Legion,” Schumacher said. “It’s humbling to receive this award that has previously been given to baseball luminaries such as Lefty Gomez, Mickey Lee Tettleton, Tommy Lasorda, Rick Monday, Sen. Jim Bunning and (MLB) Commissioner Bud Selig.”

Schumacher began his career with the Indians in 1957 as a ticket manager and was named general manager in 1961. He became team president in 1969 and was elected chairman of the board in 1997. The Indians were named Triple-A club of the decade in the 1990s, and their ballpark – Victory Field – was named the Best Minor League Ballpark in America by Baseball America. Victory Field won the same award in 2001 from Sports Illustrated and from minorleaguenews.com.

A member of American Legion Post 777 in Indianapolis, Schumacher has won several individual awards as well, including twice receiving Indiana’s Sagamore of the Wabash award – the highest honor bestowed by the governor of Indiana.

Schumacher praised the many Legionnaires who have been involved in American Legion Baseball through the years, then praised the program itself. “Young people have not only learned the fundamentals of our uniquely American game, but have developed a strong sense of team loyalty, individual discipline, character and leadership qualities,” he said.

Schumacher was presented the award during the Legion's Past Department Commander's Club Luncheon by club president Robert W. Spanogle, a past national commander of The American Legion.

“Max is an icon – a great volunteer, a great community leader in Indianapolis, Marion County, the state of Indiana and nationwide,” Spanogle said. “He’s a very humble, hard-working American who cares about community, state and nation... who epitomizes what we believe in.”

The James V. Day Good Guy Award is named after a World War II veteran and prominent Legionnaire, and is presented to individuals who show a commitment to their community, state and nation. Recent recipients include performer Dolly Parton, former MLB player Rick Monday, former NBA star and U.S. Naval Academy graduate David Robinson, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan "Bud" Selig.