CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Appalachian League officials honored former president Lee Landers after he passed away of natural causes Monday at the age of 83.
Anyone wishing to honor Lee’s impact on their life is encouraged to make a donation to Baseball Chapel, P.O. Box 10102 Largo, FL 33773.
“Lee transformed the Appalachian League and really took the league to new heights in his 23 years at the helm. Lee was a tremendous leader, a mentor to so many and a friend to everyone he met in his 60 years in professional baseball. He was truly beloved by all.”
- Dan Moushon, Appalachian League President
“Lee was one of the old-timers that grew up in baseball. Having had the opportunity to get to know Lee over the years, I was always amazed at the wonderful stories of his career. Most people remember Lee as the Appalachian League President, which he served for over 20 years. What they may not realize is Lee had a career that spanned over 60 years! Lee, first and foremost, was a wonderful person who never met a stranger. Lee was also an icon in our industry and a true ambassador for professional baseball. RIP old friend!”
- Chris Allen, Boyd Sports, LLC President/COO
"I cannot think of someone who has directly impacted more thriving, young baseball executives than Lee Landers. Both personally and professionally, Lee always took the time to check-in and genuinely care about your progress and how your entire team was doing. As the King of Baseball, he has molded many people and executives throughout the sport that will carry on with the same level of professionalism, compassion and sense of community that Lee instilled within us."
- Ryan Keur, Owner & Team President for the Burlington Sock Puppets and the Danville Otterbots
“The truest gentleman that you would ever meet. Mr. Landers touched the lives of so many people in the sport of baseball. There was not a person that he would not walk up to or sit by that when he left, you felt like a friend. Rest In Peace my friend, our thoughts and prayers to the entire family.”
- Mahlon Luttrell, Bristol State Liners General Manager
During the 2017 Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando, Landers was named the 2017 King of Baseball, an honor that recognizes a veteran of professional baseball for longtime dedication and service.
Landers’ career in professional baseball began in 1959 in Fresno, and included stops in Modesto, Twin Falls, Little Rock, Tulsa, New Orleans and Springfield, Ill., where he was named general manager of the Springfield Cardinals after the 1981 season. During his 12-year tenure with Springfield, he received Executive of the Year honors and the Promotional Award of Excellence, and was a nine-time winner of the Midwest League’s Gold Award for excellence in operations. Landers was named vice president of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1986.
After taking the reins of the Appalachian League in 1996, Landers was honored with the Warren Giles Award for outstanding service as a Minor League President in 2001, was presented the first annual Bowie Kuhn Award from Baseball Chapel in 2008 and had four of his Appalachian League teams (Bluefield, Burlington, Greeneville and Pulaski) honored with the Bob Freitas Award for the Short Season classification. Landers also served on Minor League Baseball’s Game Operations and Umpire Development committees. He was inducted into the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Appalachian League Hall of Fame in 2019.