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Midwest League 1996

South Bend Silver Hawks

Joel's Lugnut Summer


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This page profiles the 1996 South Bend Silver Hawks, a Single-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox and a member of the Midwest League.


This essay previewed the last 1996 series between the Hawks and the Lansing Lugnuts. It was intended to highlight the team's strengths, and was written from the perspective of a Lugnuts fan.



Two games at South Bend's Coveleski Stadium; this will be the last meeting between these teams this season.


The Silver Hawks are affiliated with the Chicago White Sox and are owned by a partnership named Palisades Baseball. The Chicago papers are reporting that the Sox don't intend to renew this contract, so next year will likely change this affiliation.

The National Association's page for the Hawks is the only page I can locate which is solely devoted to this team. The White Sox Minor League Report [no current equivalent page on the Chisox.com site] contains references to the Hawks. There [was] a picture of Coveleski Stadium in this collection by Kevin Marsh.

"Silver Hawks" is a reference to Studebaker, once South Bend's largest industry. The ballpark is next to what remains of the Studebaker complex; the Studebaker National Museum is beyond the right-field fence.


The manager of the Hawks is Dave Keller. Curt Hasler coaches the pitchers, and Rance Mulliniks coaches the other players.


MWL Fan's Guide

The Ballpark

Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium is a beautiful green downtown stadium. This is my favorite ballpark.

The outfield is symmetrical; 335 down the lines, 405 to center. The park has about 5,000 seats and lots of lawn; ticket sales are generally in the 3,000 range and there are usually excellent seats available at the ticket window. STATS Minor League Handbook says the Cove's a pitcher's park.

Directions: Exit the Indiana Toll Road (I 80/90) at exit 77. Go south on US 31/33 through downtown South Bend to Western Avenue. Turn right on Western to Taylor Street. If the game's not sold out, finding parking is pretty easy. Parking costs $2.00 near the park.


The Team

All-Stars: Mark Johnson (C), Steve Friedrich (2B), Jeff Liefer (3B), Mario Valdez (1B), Brian Simmons (OF), Carlos Castillo (P), Derek Hasselhoff (P).

All stats quoted are thru Thursday, August 22.

The Hawks finished third in the division for the first half with a 30-36 (.455) record, seven games behind the Whitecaps. They are now 22-38 (.367), in the division cellar, 12.5 games behind the Caps. This team had some excellent players earlier in the season, but they've all been promoted to Prince William or Birmingham; of the All-Stars listed above, only Steve Friedrich is still with the team. The replacements don't seem quite ready for MWL competition.

The low rungs of the ChiSox career ladder include teams in Sarasota (Rookie, the Gulf Coast League White Sox); the Bristol [VA] White Sox (Rookie Appalachian League), the Hickory [NC] Crawdads (Class A South Atlantic League), and the Silver Hawks. The GCL Sox finished 4th (of 16), Bristol was 7th (of 14), the Crawdads 14th (of 14), and the Hawks 9th (of 14) in 1995. This team is drawn from all of those teams, though the original position players were largely former Crawdads. The ChiSox move their minor league pitchers more than most teams; many of this team's pitchers pitched a few games in two places last season.

The White Sox have crippled this team. Only second baseman Steve Friedrich has a decent stat line (.266 BA, 2 HR, 43 RBI; 23 doubles, 6 triples, 17 steals; those numbers are generally similar to Escandon's). That's the best hitter on the team. The Hawks do run a bit.

It's pretty much the same story with the pitching. Jason Secoda has a 3.82 ERA, 6 wins (and 10 losses), a save. That's their best pitcher. There's no obvious closer. There don't seem to be any terrible pitchers on this staff, but the best that can be said about most of them is that they're untried. I'd hate to be managing this team.

Reminder: I badmouthed Fort Wayne this way once, earlier in the year. Then they beat the tar out of the Lugnuts.



South Bend
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1996
Overview
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Burlington
2000
1999
South Bend
1996
Overview


The Midwest League plays Single-A, professional baseball in America's agricultural and industrial heartland. 16 teams play a 140 game schedule which begins in early April and ends Labor Day weekend.

Disclaimers:
This website is a private project and has no official relation with or sanction from the Midwest League or Minor League Baseball.
The opinions expressed on this page are mine, and are worth about that.


Copyright © 1996-2010 Joel Dinda
Some Rights Reserved.