By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
Brian Schueller’s MSBL roots go back to 1997 when he first appeared in the Mid-Iowa Baseball League located in Des Moines, Iowa. Since 1999 he has been a continual board member, league president/commissioner and currently serves as the vice president and webmaster for the league. For his 20 years of service and attention to detail, MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler has inducted Brian into the 2017 class of the MSBL National Hall of Fame.
At 43 years of age, this Waukee, Iowa native is married to Sandy, his bride of 15 years,and they have two daughters Addisyn (9) and Alexa (7). “Sandy has been called one of the three“angels” of our league, sharing that distinction with Monica (Tim) Kirgan and Nancy (John) Linden, knowing that she has had to put up with me spending many hours away from home at the baseball field,” explained Schueller. “Sandy and I were engaged on Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona the day after our Des Moines Bruins team was eliminated from playoff contention at the World Series in 2002.”
Like many of us, high school is where Brian’s baseball career took hold. “I attended a large 4A school in Dubuque and only tried out for baseball my senior year. I was one of two players cut from the team. The day I was cut, I hit my first home run during a scrimmage. That same evening, I hit my first home run in a semi-pro game, the only time I ever hit two home runs in one day.” Thus began his love for baseball and his amateur career.
Brian currently plays for the Des Moines Bulldogs in the league’s 35+ division and the Iowa Oaks in the 25+ division. As the calendar keeps turning he is also eyeing the 45+ division in the future. “I still enjoy playing third base, left field and pitching,” said Schueller. “As long as I can stay healthy I’ll try to play in all divisions.”
Brian is also an MSBL World Series veteran, where he has been a regular since 2000, only missing the 2007, 2013, 2014 and 2015 tournaments. He also attended the Fall Classic in Florida in 2013 and 2014. In Arizona he plays for the 25+ Des Moines Bruins and has played for the Bruins in years past in the 28+, 30+ and 35+ levels. “My first trip to Arizona was in 2000 with the Des Moines Vikings in the 18+ division. I was hooked.”
Is there a special moment from the World Series or Fall Classic? “In 2002, just a short time after my dad passed away, I found myself on the mound at Tempe Diablo Stadium during a World Series All-Star Game trying to close down the exhibition game with the bases loaded,” explained Brian. “I looked up at the rocky hills overlooking the field and imagined my dad sitting there watching me. I proceeded to break off one of the best sliders I’ve ever thrown to end the game.”
Brian further explained, “A few of those players remained as we went on to capture the 2014 Central Division championship at the Fall Classic in Clearwater, Florida. In that championship, I had two RBI in the 5-2 victory and started the 6-4-3 double-play to end the game.”
As in any achievement, there are always people behind the scenes who have help get you to where you are today. “My high school coach, Dick Core. He could see the love I had for the game and the hard work I was willing to put in. Had I not been cut from the team, I don’t know which direction my career would have gone. Dan Dupont was our semi-pro team manager in Sherrill, Iowa. I learned a lot in my early years from him, especially about how to keep a team organized and on task.”
Added Schueller, “MSBL Hall-of-Famer, Tim Kirgan, was a mentor in our Mid-Iowa Baseball League. I gravitated towards his leadership skills to the point where he hand-picked me to be his successor as League President. Finally, our current League Commissioner, John Linden. John works tirelessly to ensure a good product is put on the field, whether that be his own team or the league in general.”
What does this award mean to you? “I am truly honored to join Tim Kirgan and John Linden as MSBL Hall-of-Fame members. After being recently inducted into our Mid-Iowa Baseball Hall-of-Fame, I know that my play on the field was only a minimal part of that selection.”
Schueller concluded, “Over the years there have been a lot of sleepless nights, long hours at the field or in the “boardroom” and the headaches that come with trying to keep 400+ league members enjoying their game. This award shows that my hard work has been recognized and that I have had a key role in the success of our league. To be honored for that on a national level is very much appreciated.”