The national pastime began to take root in South Bend in the 1860s when teams like the Hoosiers, Excelsiors, and Rough-and-Readys took the field to the delight of local fans. By 1878, the legendary South Bend Greenstocking had arrived on the scene, winning the mythical Indiana State Baseball Championship and establishing the nickname of choice for South Bend baseball for years to come. The following decades saw the rising popularity of not only minor league baseball but also barnstorming teams, indoor baseball, factory leagues, and men's and women's amateur leagues. This rich baseball heritage is carried on today by the South Bend SilverHawks of the Class-A Midwest League.
About the Author
John Kovach writes program articles for the South Bend SilverHawks and is currently working on the committee for a South Bend Baseball History Hall of Fame. He is a former local amateur ball player who now manages a women's amateur team in the Great Lakes Woman's Baseball League, and in 2002 he became the first male to be honored by the National Woman's Baseball Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.