Staff Reports for The Island Eye News
An Isle of Palms resident who made his mark in the military, education and the world of baseball passed away Sept. 8.
Dr. Gene A. Budig was the last president of the American League and later part owner of the Charleston RiverDogs. The native of McCook, Nebraska, also served as president of Illinois State University from 1973 to 1977; president of West Virginia University from 1977 to 1981; and chancellor of the University of Kansas from 1980 until 1984. In 1991, he retired from the Air National Guard after attaining the rank of major general.
Budig was appointed president of the American League in 1994, a job he held for six seasons, until 1999, when the positions of league presidents were eliminated.
He had been part owner of the RiverDogs since January 2007.
“This is truly a sad day for the RiverDogs family. Gene was not only a partner but a great friend. Gene and Gretchen have been a constant presence at the ballpark for the last 15 years, and Gene’s humor, sage advice and pure love of baseball will be sorely missed,” said Marv Goldklang, chairman and principal owner of the RiverDogs. “Our hearts go out to Gretchen and the Budig family.”
Budig, 81, is survived by his wife Gretchen, his sister, brother, three children and five grandchildren.