MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler started the MSBL 37 years ago with the introduction of the Long Island MSBL. As the concept expanded across the country, some leagues were quick to come aboard and remain part of the foundation to this day.
In 2023 Steve wanted to recognize some of the original league presidents who have been a part of this remarkable journey. We have compiled a few questions for this select group and will share them with you throughout the year in a question-and-answer format. We want to thank them for their dedication and hard work through their many years of leadership!
Mike Juliano is a member of the MSBL National Hall of Fame, has been recognized as the Man of the Year in 2021, and has also received the MSBL Lifetime Achievement Award. Mike has been the president of the Detroit MSBL for an amazing 31 years and recently took the time to provide some insight into his successes.
What inspired you to become involved in MSBL at the beginning? In the summer of 1991, my good friend Joe Gorelski kind of tricked me into going to practice with the MSBL team he was playing on. After about five minutes of being on the field playing catch, I was hooked and the rest as they say is history.
What drove you to want to become League President? In January of 1993, I asked if I could attend the league meeting, as I was going to talk about league sponsorship. Once the meeting started the league president (Mike Nadeau) informed everyone that he was not able to continue as President and we needed to elect another one. I was nominated (why I do not know) by my friend Rick Green. Suddenly 10 minutes later I was selected as the new league president. I was assuming that Mike Nadeau would continue with the meeting and I would observe, but that was not the case. At that time everything was turned over to me. I never did get to talk about the league sponsorship.
What are some of the most valuable lessons you have learned through your years as League President? That you must surround yourself with good people who are willing to help. Sometimes when making new rule adjustments you must be a little autocratic and just make the change. Once you realize that you cannot make everyone happy, things will get easier.
I am blessed to be surrounded by a handful of great assistants, without whose help I don’t think the Detroit MSBL would as successful as it is. Steve Kosuda has been my go-to guy. He has been there to do whatever is asked. Riechl Mayne is my umpire chief and has scheduled all our umpires in the last 32 years.
Jeff Boats and Tony Perrault are essential in helping with the
schedule every year. The schedule is by far the most difficult thing we do. Scheduling over 650 games from May to September is a large undertaking.
Without these guys, I don’t think I would be answering these questions.
What advice can you offer first-year League Presidents? Do not be afraid to ask for help. Establish good relationships with the field supervisors and umpires and pay your bills on time. Remember that the final decision is yours and you will not be able to please everyone.
Do you have any special experiences, remarks, or fond memories? After over 30 years there are too many to list, but I will never forget my first hit (swinging bunt single off Eugene Morey) and my first home run off of Chaz Quatrine, which was part of a back-to-back-to-back!
Playing in the Father/Son World Series with my son Anthony was a great experience. I truly enjoy coming to Arizona every year for the World Series, and I especially want to acknowledge my two biggest fans, my sisters Linda and Donna.
Getting elected to the National MSBL Hall of Fame and receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from MSBL is another experience I will never forget. It was also a tremendous honor, and quite a surprise, to be named the MSBL Man of the Year in 2021. It is such an honor to be part of this organization
By far the best experiences are all the friends that I have made locally and nationally over the last 32 years. The friends made and the memories created are the best benefit of the MSBL.
At the end of each season, we have a Manager’s Party. All managers, invited guests, and new HOF members all get together for dinner and a few drinks. New HOF members are also inducted into the Detroit MSBL Hall of Fame. Many stories are shared and at the end of the night, we give away around 20 to 25 baseball bats.
How valuable to you and your league has MSBL National affiliation been? Without MSBL National we would not have a league today. From the very beginning, Steve Sigler has always been there to answer any question or to maybe give a little advice. The success of the Detroit MSBL and other MSBL leagues across the country is due to MSBL National. First class all the way!
What inspires you, today, to continue in your leadership role? Just to provide a place for all those who love the game of baseball a chance to play. Nothing is better than when a new player who has not played in over 20-plus years comes back to play and is having the time of his life.