2024 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Damon Grothe, Indiana Baseball League

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Damon Grothe is the 46-year-old League President of the Indiana Baseball League based out of Indianapolis, a post he assumed in January of 2021.  Just three years ago, the league had 35 teams, while they now have 57 teams in five age divisions!  The league started with nine teams back in 1989, stemming from a local story written in the newspaper that a new 30-over adult baseball league was forming.

The logo of the Indiana Baseball League“The league remains fun, but also provides a good level of friendly competition,” said Damon.  “I served as Director under the late Wayne Edwards and then as VP under John DeCosta, who served as president the 12 years before my taking over.  They provided the foundation for our growth through their integrity and hard work.”

That effort has not gone unnoticed by MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler, as he has inducted Damon into the 2024 class of the MSBL Honor Roll.

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Damon joined the league in 2000.  He is a current member of the Rangers in the 35-over division of the IBL.

“My good friend Jim Crews introduced me to the league and I have been playing ever since.  Yes, I play in the 35+ division for the Rangers but I will also play a little in our 45+ league when I have the time.  Being President of a 57-team league takes quite a bit of time, but I love every moment.”

Damon is the Director of Talent Acquisition for a large Caterpillar dealer and has been married for 20 years and has two children who cheer him on.  His baseball resume is also quite impressive.

“I received a scholarship to play at the University of Indianapolis (LHP).  I have been fortunate to have won two MSBL World Series rings in the 18+ division with the Dayton Woodpeckers and played in the Little League World Series (Senior League).  We represented USA Central, finished second in the US, and fourth in the world.”

Is there a most memorable moment from your top-notch competition throughout the years?

“There have been so many, but probably the most memorable was pitching against the Dominican team in the World Series at age 14 and only allowing one hit and 0 runs through five relief innings and even signing autographs after the game.”

When asked about a favorite player growing up, Eric Davis quickly hit the top of the list.

“Growing up, we all had favorite players and I admired the way Eric played the game.  He possessed unbelievable talent!

Do you have any advice for newly ordained League Presidents?

“Rome wasn’t built in a day and if you let it, the duties can take you by storm. I would encourage you to find a process that works best for you to stay organized and logically progress through what needs to be done.

Once you get your first season under your belt, you will have developed processes that will be easily replicated for the next season. Learn from your mistakes and adapt. It is extremely rewarding when you step back and think about the impact the league has on so many players!

I am so grateful to be able to watch new teams form in the league and know that we provide an outlet for so many players to do something they love every week! We have many players who play in multiple age divisions too!

I have been playing baseball since age five and baseball has been responsible for some of the greatest friendships a person could ask for!”