Indianapolis Indians Chairman Max Schumacher will be the first person associated with baseball to receive a Thomas A. Brady M.D. Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors individuals with Indiana ties who have made outstanding contributions in athletics.
Former Indiana University football coach Bill Mallory also will receive the award, which will be handed out Thursday night during ceremonies at the Indiana Roof Ballroom.
The annual awards began eight years ago. Their namesake, Brady, widely regarded as the father of sports medicine in central Indiana, established a walk-in clinic in the basement of Methodist Hospital that ultimately became Methodist Sports Medicine/The Orthopedic Specialists.
Recipients usually have been from the worlds of basketball or football. Golf course designers Alice and Pete Dye and former IU soccer coach Jerry Yeagley are the only previous honorees not from those sports.
Schumacher, 80, has been a fixture of the Indianapolis Indians AAA minor-league baseball franchise for more than half a century. Starting as ticket manager in 1957, the graduate of Shortridge High School (class of 1950) and Butler University (class of 1954) began moving up the ranks almost immediately. He was general manager of the club from 1961 to 1997, and today continues full time as chairman and president.
Schumacher has shepherded the Indians through 37 consecutive years of profitability and was instrumental in luring the Major League Baseball winter meetings to Indianapolis in 2009. Fans who attend Indians games at Victory Field have probably seen Schumacher, as he regularly makes the rounds talking to visitors, vendors and others to make sure everything is operating properly.
Schumacher is quick to pass credit for the award to others.
“I look at this as an award for the Indianapolis Indians more so than for me,” Schumacher said. “We’ve had great shareholders and a hundred different staff members over the years that have contributed to the success of the franchise. I accept the award on behalf of all those people.”
Schumacher added that he is amazed to see his name alongside the others who have won this award.
“It’s a true honor to be included in a group of such people,” he said. It’s especially a great honor to be the first baseball person on this list.”
Mallory, 77, took Indiana to six bowl games during his 13 years as head coach. He is a member of the Athletic Halls of Fame at Miami University and Indiana Univeristy as well as the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.
Heartwarming stories of trials and triumph are expected to fill the air at Thursday night’s ceremonies.
The keynote speaker is Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano. Pagano’s recent three-month leave of absence from the NFL sidelines while battling leukemia received national attention and generated a massive outpouring of support from across the country.
The ceremony also will honor four Indiana high school and college student-athletes who have overcome injury or hardship. The 2013 recipients are Andrea “Drey” Mingo (Purdue University), Derek Drouin (Indiana University), Shanna Deane Kelley (Alexandria Monroe High School), and Noah James (Booneville High School).
Schumacher and Mallory join a distinguished list of Brady Lifetime Achievement Award winners. They are:
Alice and Pete Dye
Bobby “Slick” Leonard