It was an impressive start to a new era, as the South Bend Cubs (Low Class A; Midwest League) drew a sellout crowd to Four Winds Field for Opening Day with the crowd going home happy after a 2-1 win punctuated by a Cael Brockmeyer walk-off home run.
It wasn’t that long ago that the South Bend franchise was on the market and slated for a possible move. Since then, Andrew Berlin stepped up to buy the team and established a new affiliation deal with the Chicago Cubs, while team president Joe Hart and crew oversaw a makeover of Four Winds Field along with new Cubs-related branding.
All those elements played out last night. The new Cubs relationship was reinforced and reintroduced last night with an appearance by Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, who threw out the first pitch (as shown above). The sellout crowd of 7,086 fans — an Opening Day franchise record — also saw the debut of a new team mascot, Stu, and the retirement of jersey #14, in honor of late Chicago Hall of Famer Ernie Banks.
Photo courtesy of the South Bend Cubs.