Midwest League President Dick Nussbaum is the 2018 recipient of Minor League Baseball’s Warren Giles Award, which honors outstanding service as a league president.
“Dick Nussbaum has led the Midwest League to new heights in his four years as league president and has proven to be an effective leader of one of Minor League Baseball’s strongest leagues,” said Minor League Baseball President and CEO Pat O’Conner. “Dick’s role with the league prior to becoming league president made for a seamless transition, and he has evolved into a tremendous league president. On behalf of Minor League Baseball, it is my pleasure to present Dick with this honor.”
The Warren Giles Award has been presented annually since 1984 and is named for the longtime baseball executive who served as the National League president from 1951 to 1969. Nussbaum is the third Midwest League president to win the award, following Bill Walters in 1985 and two-time winner George Spelius in 1997 and 2010.
“Warren Giles was known for his love of the game, and he led at a time when the inclusion and diversity found in the National League caused it to consistently be the dominant League in Major League Baseball,” Nussbaum said. “I accept this award as a challenge for me to do the same for the Midwest League while at the same time being a good partner in all the joint efforts of Minor League Baseball through my fellow presidents, the board of trustees, and the outstanding Minor League Baseball staff led by Pat O’Conner. Those efforts have and will continue to make our industry a needed and welcome respite from the challenges of modern life.
“I thank my wife, Mary Pat, for her support and encouragement, which makes me a better person and president,” he continued. “I thank the Midwest League, especially its owners and staffs, who challenge me every day by their examples of excellence. I see this award as evidence of the strength of the Midwest League with the best yet to come. Finally, I thank our God, who has blessed me way beyond what I deserve.”
During Nussbaum’s tenure as league president, the Midwest League has had two clubs win Minor League Baseball’s John H. Johnson President’s Award (the South Bend Cubs in 2015 and the Fort Wayne TinCaps in 2016), one team win a John Henry Moss Community Service Award (the Fort Wayne TinCaps in 2015), a Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year (Brandy Guinaugh of the Dayton Dragons), and the Dayton Dragons have extended their ongoing streak of consecutive games sold out (1,316 — a professional sports record).
Prior to becoming Midwest League president at the start of 2015, Nussbaum had served as the league’s general counsel since 1993. He also previously served as South Bend’s city attorney, as well as general counsel to the lieutenant governor and special counsel to the governor of Indiana while the former owner of the South Bend club, Joe Kernan, was mayor, lieutenant governor and governor. The Notre Dame graduate remains a partner at the law firm of Sopko, Nussbaum, Inabnit & Kaczmarek.
Nussbaum will receive his award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.