By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
Mike Juliano has 25 years of fingerprints all over the Detroit MSBL. The league began in 1988 and Mike was elected to the post in 1993. “Way back in 1993 I went to a Managers meeting to talk about sponsorship,” says Juliano. “The league president at the time was stepping down and the first item on the agenda was to elect a new league president. I was nominated by Rick Green, I won the vote and the rest is history. I never did talk about sponsorship that night.”
Because of Mike’s dedication and the laundry list of achievements while under the MSBL banner, the Detroit MSBL has been cited by MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler as the MSBL ‘League of the Month.’
“Bill Drake was the first president in 1988 and was followed by Mike Nadeau and Jay Jahnke in 1992 and then I came along. Jay still plays a little.”
The Detroit MSBL has grown to 44 teams going into 2018 with divisions of play in 18, 35, 45, 55 and 65 divisions, including playoffs. They started with five teams back in 1988. “Well, I guess going from five teams in 1993 to 44 teams today with five age divisions shows some pretty steady growth,” explained Mike. “We’re pretty proud of that. We also have teams from our league who have won multiple championships in MSBL national tournaments, including the MSBL World Series.”
But wait, there’s more! “It was also very exciting having had many of our players being able to participate in the filming of the movie ‘61 when it was being shot at the old Tiger Stadium. That was a lot of fun and it was a pleasure being able to take part.”
One thing that Mike is very proud of is their total commitment as a serious tournament presence to go along with their status as one of the top tier leagues in the country. Every year his teams participate in Las Vegas, Florida and the World Series in Arizona. They also have players who are part of other teams throughout the country at these tourneys so there is a Motor City feel to many teams. Mike himself played on a team at the very first Fall Classic in Florida in 1991. “I have also played at the MSBL World Series in 93, 94, 95, 96, 98, 99, 01, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17,” Mike explained.
I have personally seen Mike routinely and professionally heading up his teams down there in Arizona, participating in Father and Son divisions and proudly promoting Detroit baseball to the rest of the country. This is a very special person who promotes top level baseball from a very special part of our nation.
Mike has certainly earned the status of national league president leader so what advice might you have for other presidents out there or those aspiring to take that step? “You first have to have a passion and a love for the game of baseball. Surround yourself with good people and if someone asks to help out, let them. It’s very hard to do it all by yourself.
“The league president is the glue that keeps all the strings together. Establish good relationships with all of the fields that you use and pay your bills on time so they all want you back. Respect the fields that you play on. Remember on almost every decision you make that you can’t make everyone happy.”
“Without the leadership and support from MSBL I’m sure we wouldn’t be here. Thank you!”