Spelius played football, baseball and tennis at Carroll College, in Waukesha, Wis., before graduating in 1956. He then served two years in the Army, in Tokyo, from 1957-58. While overseas, he played catcher the Army’s baseball team, the Camp Zama Ramblers, which won the Far East Championship in 1958.
He helped found the Beloit Brewers (now the Beloit Snappers) in 1982 and was elected as the MWL’s vice president in 1986 and then as its president a year later. He led the league until 2014, when he gave way to current president Dick Nussbaum.
Spelius also was part of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues’ rules and policy reviews committee. He was twice honored, in 1997 and 2010, by Minor League Baseball with the Warren Giles Award for outstanding service as a league president.
“George was certainly a bigger than life figure in the Midwest League and all of Professional Baseball,” Nussbaum said. “It took anyone walking with George at the Winter Meetings Trade Show hours to navigate the booths because everybody knew and loved him and for that matter Nancy and the entire Spelius family. He was a mentor to me in this business as well as many others. To say he will be missed is correct, but we need each day to remember the way George lived his life, loved his family, and the great game of baseball and follow that lead. It will make all of us better for it. Rest in peace our great friend.”