The Programmer

In 1997, finding someone in the Midwest to build a website was nearly impossible. Less than 10% of Americans were online, and those were dial-up customers. But when we came to Mike and his brother Brian with an idea about an online sporting goods store, they immediately saw the vision. We quickly learned that Mike’s passion for and knowledge about the emerging Internet world was something special. He could program; he could troubleshoot; he was a veritable whiz at search engine optimization. He was everything we needed. And even though he wasn’t a huge baseball fan — he once spent a conversation with George Brett talking about Apple computers — we couldn’t have built a baseball business without him.