Nick Morikis Sr. Biography

Nick grew up in a small city in northwest Indiana named East Gary, which became later known as Lake Station, IN. He was the second of five children in a family well known in the small city. His love of sports began early in his life, and continued through his education, his marriage, and the birth of his children. He was forced to quit school at the age of 16 to help support his family when his father was diagnosed with Tuberculosis. He returned to school later to finish his education. He acquired a job with E J & E Railroad where he worked for 32 years. He later advanced to the position of division engineer.

Aside from his job, he was involved with the East Gary Little League as a coach. When he was 18 years of age, he started the local little league and was voted president; the youngest man to ever hold that position, which he held for many years. At the age of 24 he married, but his absence from the league was short lived, and he returned to the Lake Station Little League to coach and again held the office of president for many more years.

Nick later fathered 5 children — three boys and 2 girls — all of whom at one time or another were involved in little league. He also was the founder of Biddy Basketball in East Gary, which all three of his boys were involved in. As president of the Little League, he instituted many changes to benefit the children involved. The number of participants increased and parents participated in many moneymaking activities that resulted in purchasing uniforms, equipment and improvements to the little league field. Girls soon played little league and Nick transformed part of the field to accommodate the girls. Nick was also instrumental in hosting the senior league world series in Merrillville, Indiana. The teams attending the series included Aruba, Taiwan, and American teams from all four corners of the country.

Nick was very involved in little league, and instituted many rules and regulations that participants were required to follow. Sportsmanship was a must and Nick accepted nothing less. The one requirement he instituted and was most proud of was that all players were required to play at least one inning in the game. That way, he knew that all players, regardless of their ability, would play. Nick later became a District Administrator for Little League for northwest Indiana, and he attended league meetings at the national level. Nick truly loved little league, and the positive influence it had on the youth. All his children participated in the league, and he coached many of the teams they were on. He instilled high standards to his children to uphold, which later in their lives resulted in all of them becoming very successful. Nick died far too young at age 47, but he influenced hundreds of kids through his time and infectious energy that he put into sports. His positive influence lives on.