SOUTH BEND SILVER HAWKS HAVE SIGNED A
PLAYER DEVELOPMENT CONTRACT TO AFFILIATE WITH
THE CHICAGO CUBS
Cubs management impressed by South Bend as a whole, Silver Hawks commitment to
player development and legacy of champions throughout region
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - September 18, 2014 - The South Bend Silver HawksTM Class A minor league baseball team announced today that it has signed a player development contract to affiliate with the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball. The agreement, effective immediately, was announced by Andrew Berlin, owner of the Silver Hawks, who met with representatives of the Cubs organization in South Bend on Wednesday, September 17, 2014.
"Today is a turning point," said Berlin. "I made a promise to the local community and government officials who welcomed me with open arms three years ago. I promised that I would return the team to its former glory days. And I promised that I'd do everything I could to bring people back to South Bend and prove that this is a wonderful place to invest in."
"Now, one of the best and most beloved brands in the history of Major League Baseball is making a bold statement about this place too." added Berlin. "The Chicago Cubs are giving South Bend and this whole region a big vote of confidence."
"We are excited to partner with South Bend and look forward to a productive relationship with the team, as well as the entire South Bend community," said Jason McLeod, the Cubs Senior Vice President, Scouting and Player Development. "Making the decision to switch minor league affiliates is never an easy one, but we are confident that this agreement will further strengthen our farm system."
"It's a great day for the city and for the team," commented Joe Hart, President of the South Bend Silver Hawks. "I'm grateful to the Chicago Cubs management for believing in our commitment to player development and especially for believing in this region. This really says a lot about the whole Michiana community. The Cubs were impressed with everything that makes this such a great place."
"After setting the all-time record for attendance this year, the Silver Hawks have given fans even more reason to come out to Four Winds Field next April," commented South Bend Deputy Mayor Mark Neal. "The Chicago Cubs have a great future ahead and now local fans will get a close up view of their future stars playing right here in South Bend. This is further evidence of South Bend's comeback. An affiliation with the Cubs is perfect."
"Our aim is to thrill the fans and build a thriving beacon in the community," added Berlin. "We've proved that when you put the right people, people like Team President Joe Hart and his remarkable staff, in the right positions, great things will happen and everyone wins. It's part of what the Cubs organization saw in South Bend."
The Silver Hawks have continued to make extraordinary financial commitments to player development in each offseason since Berlin assumed ownership three years ago. This offseason will be no different as major capital investments designed to improve player development are once again underway.
"And I have to add that the Cubs management team was tremendously impressed by the rich tradition of winning demonstrated historically by area schools, colleges and universities throughout this region," said Berlin. "This is not just a sports town. It's a place made of champions."
Berlin and Hart noted that the Arizona Diamondbacks have been a wonderful partner over many years. "It's been an honor to be in the Diamondbacks system," said Hart. "It's a first class operation, and we're extremely grateful to them for all of their years of loyalty and confidence in us. We wish them the very best."
"The Diamondbacks are a great organization," added Berlin. "They understand the natural connection that our fans have with a Major League team like the Cubs when it's basically right down the street. It's simply time to turn the page, and the Diamondbacks understand."
Key Chicago Cubs management will be introduced to the media along with Andrew Berlin and Joe Hart on Thursday, September 25 during a press conference at the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce. In the interim, the South Bend Silver Hawks will be working with the Cubs and the National Association of Minor League Baseball to unveil the new name, logo and uniform during that media event, which will take place at 9 am Eastern Time in the Chamber's Briefing Room. The press conference will be streamed online for media who cannot attend in person.
About the South Bend Silver Hawks
The South Bend Silver Hawks are a Class A minor league team affiliated with the Chicago Cubs. Over the past 26 seasons, the team has won five Midwest League titles, most recently in 2005, and has captured 12 division titles. The team is owned and operated by Swing-Batter-Swing, LLC whose sole shareholder is Andrew T. Berlin of Chicago, Ill. More information is available at: www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t550.