Andrew Berlin will be honored at The History Museum’s Annual Dinner on Thursday, September 24 for his game-changing entrepreneurship as owner of the South Bend Cubs. Berlin has clearly demonstrated that his creativity, keen business sense, spot-on intuition, and bold strategies are the best of the best. As the community’s purveyor of local history, The History Museum knows the significant role that entrepreneurs of the past have played in developing the community we know today.
Berlin’s lifelong love for baseball has been evident since the moment he first became owner of the South Bend team in 2011. His commitment to creating a thriving atmosphere for excellence in the sport culminated in the 2014 announcement that the club would be affiliated with the Chicago Cubs. The new Performance Center currently under construction is one of many initiatives Berlin and his management team have launched to build strong players, both for the Chicago Cubs and for the community.
For The History Museum, baseball heritage is embraced through its designation as the national repository for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, of which the South Bend Blue Sox was one of the four original teams in 1943. South Bend’s association in the national past time goes back to the 1860s with local teams that included the Hoosiers, Excelsiors, and Rough-and-Readys. The heritage carried on in 1878 with the South Bend Greenstockings. Today, South Bend’s passion for baseball continues with the Class-A Midwest League’s South Bend Cubs.
Along with his goal for outstanding baseball, Berlin wants to build thrilling memories for the fans. “We take baseball seriously, but we take your overall fan experience at Four Winds Field just as seriously,” he states. This is obvious to anyone who has enjoyed a summer afternoon of baseball since Berlin purchased the team. Every aspect of the fans’ experiences have come under scrutiny by the South Bend Cubs. From parking to concessions and a new team store, all that goes into the game has been improved, with cheers from satisfied fans. And more is on the way this year. New HD video cameras, new audio equipment, and an improved Fun Zone for kids are just some of the improvements Berlin is overseeing. His knack for tending to details that result in an overall quality experience is another facet of leadership that makes him a superb entrepreneur.
Finally, Berlin’s good-neighbor policy has been key in decisions he makes. It is evident that what is good for the South Bend Cubs and Four Winds Field is good for the South Bend community. His business decisions, sound in every way, also reflect his desire to help energize the neighborhood that surrounds the ballpark as well as the community that Berlin has come to call home. And it’s clear that Berlin wants to do all he can to make that happen. He deemed it important to restore and repurpose the 113-year-old building that served as the first synagogue in the city of South Bend. Today, South Bend’s minor league ballpark is the only professional stadium in all of America that can boast of a synagogue within its confines. He actually removed the left field fence, and pushed the stadium out and around the old synagogue so it would be embraced totally by the ballpark and the fans. South Bend will honor the synagogue forever, thanks to Berlin.
The Annual Dinner is The History Museum’s main fund raising event of the year. Monies raised are used to further the museum’s exhibits and programs. The second oldest historical society in Indiana, the Northern Indiana Historical Society, which owns and operates The History Museum, was organized in 1867 as a private, non-profit institution. Its mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, exhibit and teach the heritage of the St. Joseph River Valley Region to enrich present and future generations. The History Museum comprises the Oliver Mansion, Worker’s Home, Voyages Gallery, Ernestine M. Raclin Gallery of Notre Dame History, Kidsfirst Children’s Museum, and Polished in Public, Fierce on the Field: The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
For information, call The History Museum at (574) 235-9664.