Wichita Baseball 2020

Courtesy of Wichita Wind Surge

Lou Schwechheimer, who brought minor league baseball back to Wichita, has died.

The owner of the Wind Surge never saw his team play in its new stadium because the 2020 season was canceled by the pandemic.

The team said in a news release Wednesday that Schwechheimer died of complications from Covid-19. He was 62.

“There are no words to express the loss of the entire Wind Surge family,” Jared Forma, the team’s senior vice president and general manager said in a statement. “Lou was truly one of a kind, someone who never met a stranger.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

If Wichita’s new baseball team can draw fans to the stadium like it did Wednesday night for the unveiling of its name and logo, it will be in good shape.

Before a packed house at Wave, the new team was officially christened the Wichita Wind Surge.

Courtesy: Wichita Baseball 2020

The process to name Wichita's new baseball team has begun.

Wichita Baseball 2020 will release seven potential team names over the next few months to gauge public reaction.

The first name, the River Riders, was shared on social media Thursday morning. There was some initial confusion over whether this was the new name, but team officials later clarified that it is the start of the process.

The names that will be released were drawn from about 3,000 suggestions submitted by fans. Team officials say an official name, logo and team colors will be revealed in November.

Pacific Coast League

Branch Rickey III is part of a legendary baseball family that has been entwined with the sport for more than 100 years.

His grandfather, Branch Rickey, is best remembered as the man who signed Jackie Robinson and broke baseball’s unwritten rule against using black players. His father, Branch Rickey Jr., spent more than 25 years working in baseball before dying at the age of 47 in 1961.

Branch Rickey III, 73, is president of the Pacific Coast League, which Wichita will join next year when the New Orleans Baby Cakes move to town.