BY STEVE KRAH
In another move to energize the community, the South Bend (Ind.) Cubs announced Monday, Sept. 10 that the minor league baseball club will host the 2019 Midwest League All-Star Game festivities June 17-18 at Four Winds Field.
Owner Andrew T. Berlin, who became owner of the franchise on Nov. 11, 2011, expressed his enthusiasm at a press conference.
“We’re excited here for a number of reasons,” said Berlin. “We just completely our seventh year. We’ve drawn almost 1.4 million fans since becoming a (Chicago) Cubs affiliate alone (beginning with the 2015 season).”
Berlin talked about South Bend being the “hub for activity and success” in the region and that the South Bend Cubs are in the business of making memories.
“We celebrate more than just baseball,” said Berlin. “We will apply the financial resources to make sure this is the biggest and best all-star game in the history of the Midwest League.
“It will go viral.”
The last time the midseason showcase was played in South Bend was 1989 when what was then known as Coveleski Stadium was less than two years old.
Because of rotation rules for the 16-team league, it may be quite awhile before South Bend gets another chance to host all-star festivities.
Dick Nussbaum, the Midwest League commissioner who is based in South Bend, lent some perspective to the last visit of league stars to the next.
“It was a single game,” said Nussbaum of the 1989 Midwest League All-Star Game, which was postponed by a rain because of torrential rain and featured future big league pitcher and coach Scott Radinsky, who played for the South Bend White Sox in 1989 and was with the Chicago White Sox in 1990. “There was not a festival part of it.”
The 2019 event will have a fan fest and a home run derby plus an autograph session with several former Chicago Cubs players along with the 2019 Midwest League All-Star players in to other family-friendly activities like the Splash Pad, Toyota Fun Zone, catch on the field and running of the bases on June 17.
The game is slated for June 18 with East taking on the West. South Bend is in the Midwest League’s East Division.
“I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that the all-star game will be coming back here,” said Nussbaum, who will count the 2019 Midwest League All-Star Game as his 27th. “We have the opportunity to show the vision of South Bend.”
South Bend Cubs president Joe Hart is part of the team that will look to wow the community and the league.
“We want to turn this into something that is phenomenal for our city,” said Hart. “We want to blow this out.”
South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg talked about how the city has a chance to rally and give the best possible impression of South Bend.
“This is a community effort and community enterprise,” said Buttigieg. “It’s up to the people of South Bend to show how excited we are for this event. “(Four Winds Field) is a very special place for all of us.”
Naming rights for the ballpark were awarded to Four Winds five years ago and the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and Four Winds Casinos wanted to be part the a major sponsor for the 2019 Midwest League All-Star Game.
“It’s wonderful to be a part of it,” said Senior VP of Government Affairs and Community Relations for Four Winds Casinos Scott Brewer.
The Ivy at Berlin Place apartments at the ballpark are nearing completion. Berlin announced that a model will be ready for showing this week and that were is a waiting list for the 120 units.
South Bend, Ind., is to host the Midwest League All-Star Game for the first time in 30 years in 2019. (South Bend Cubs/Midwest League Image)