Silvers Hawks sold to BerlinPublished 3:27pm Wednesday, November 23, 2011
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — On the same day that the Arizona Diamondbacks announced that Mark Haley would return for his eighth straight year as manager of the South Bend Silver Hawks, the club said it has new ownership.
Chicago-based Berlin Packaging, led by Andrew T. Berlin, chairman and chief executive officer, has agreed to purchase the ball club. The Midwest League and other entities must approve the purchase before it becomes final.
Joe Kernan, former South Bend mayor and Indiana governor, led a group of investors six years ago to buy the Silver Hawks and ensure that they would remain in South Bend.
Kernan and his co-investors did not turn a profit with the club and were unable to promote it well enough to draw fans. South Bend dropped to near the bottom in attendance in the Midwest League.
New owner Berlin plans on changing all that. He also has said that he may go to city officials to request additional funding for improvements.
The City of South Bend recently spent $8 million in overhauling Coveleski Stadium, which included a field turf playing surface.
Haley, who earned the Diamondbacks’ Joe Garagiola Jr. Award in 2010, will be joined by pitching coach Wellington Cepeda for the third straight year and hitting coach Bobby Smith, who returns for his second season.