Official Game Day Program
Week of June 9, 2014
Vol 1., Issue 3
More than a year ago Jim Eder decided to make Whiting a permanent home for a Beggars Pizza location. PAGE 6 Matt Pobereyko joins the NWI Oilmen for a second season and plans to pick up where he left off. PAGE 23
Photo by Jazmyn Becerra
Science Olympiads successfully raise funds with the Oilmen to help fund trip to The National Championships. PAGE 5
A fun filled weekend at Oil City Stadium includes striking out ALS, having a zombie apocalypse, being a superhero, and hanging out with Dad. PAGE 25
AMERICAN ENGLISH A Tribute to the Beatles coming to OIL CITY STADIUM WHITING, IN this August
Come celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to the U.S.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Letter from the President Week Recap Partner Spotlight: Beggars Pizza Weekend Events at Oil City Stadium 2014 Team Overview Team History Player Bios Roster Player Spotlight: Matt Pobereyko Meet the Coaches Records Oilman Stanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 3rd Birthday Recap Strike Out ALS Partner Spotlight: Certified Electrician Meet the Owners MCL Players Advance to Professional Baseball WJOB Broadcast Partner Meet the Staff Around the Region Game Calendar Daily Promos Special Events Oil City Stadium Whiting, Indiana Latinos & Baseball
4 5 6 9 11 12 14 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 30 32 37 38 39 40 41 42 44 45 47
May 27, 2014 Dear Oilmen Fans, Since we announced the creation of the Oilmen back in February of 2012 we have received a very warm welcome from everyone here in town as well as across the Region and we are very appreciative of it! It is hard to believe, but this year marks the 3rd season for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen and we are proud to call Oil City Stadium and Whiting, Indiana our home! Our staff has been working hard to make this season exciting and memorable for all of our fans. One of the key initiatives that we are undertaking this year is to work with our local and regional non-profits to help them achieve their fund raising goals. Our “Opening Night” is a salute to our Whiting High School’s Science Olympiads. Their team of bright science minded students qualified for a trip to the national competition in Florida after finishing 2nd in the State of Indiana competition, so to help them make this trip we partnered with them to fund raise; the students sold tickets and earned 50% of the sales for their cause. We have partnered with other similar organizations as well. On June 12th we will help raise funds for the ALS Chapter of Chicago to “Strike Out ALS” and on June 17th we have partnered with the students of Nathan Hale on their Green Initiative to help raise monies for the Whiting Education Fund. On Wednesday, May 28th we host our first “Paint The Game Pink” event that coincides with the month long “Paint the Town Pink” efforts to raise money for Breast Cancer Research. We will be raffling our “Pink Jerseys and Bats” toward the cause as well. Additionally we are contributing a portion of ticket sales and the entire proceeds from split the pot for the night. This is an important cause our organization and a personal one for my family and we are very proud to be a part of the city’s efforts. We have lots of fun planned for Oil City this summer. Some of the highlights include celebrating Oilman Stan’s 3rd birthday on June 6th, which is also the very first “Friday Family Night” sponsored by BP. All kids under 12 years old get free admission to the game every Friday we play at home. This is our way of creating an affordable fun destination for your family budget. Make sure you plan to bring your children to the game that night to sing happy birthday to our beloved mascot Oilman Stan. Other events include a Friday the 13th Zombie Apocalypse and Salute to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. “Super Hero Night” is planned for June 14th, our annual “Bark In The Park” night is taking place on Saturday June 21st, so bring your pooch to the park and help Whiting’s “Gimme Shelter” raise money for our four legged friends. It will certainly be a “Howling” good night! Make sure you check out our section on “Special Events.” In closing, let me say on behalf of our entire staff and ownership thank you for your continued support. Now for the best words to be heard in any sport; it’s time to “Play Ball” Oilmen fans. Sincerely, Don Popravak President
WEEK OF JUNE 1, 2014
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen, who were 2-2 heading into the week, had a slumping offense outside of the 13 run outburst against the Admirals. For the first game of the week, the Oilmen traveled to Homewood-Flossmoor High School to take on the Southland Vikings. The Oilmen did not have much offense in the game, scoring two runs in the game. However, that was all the Oilmen needed as former Lake Central pitcher Jimmy McNamara went six innings giving up four hits without allowing a run while striking out seven. The Oilmen offense struck in the top of the second inning with two outs when Anthony Colosimo and Ryan Burvan had RBI hits. The bullpen would do the rest for the Oilmen. Garrett Sherrell threw two strong innings in relief and Matt Pobereyko came in and picked up his second save as the Oilmen defeated the Vikings 2-0. The Oilmen were rained out on Wednesday, and were getting ready to take on the 4-0 DuPage Couny Hounds on Thursday night at Oil City Stadium. The Oilmen scored three runs in the game and left 10 on base. “It’s situational hitting. You can go up there without a plan,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said on the approach of the offense. The Oilmen scored first on an error and a wild pitch by the By David Bork
Kelly Kertis and Michael Kolavo pose with Anthony Colosimo after throwing the cermonial first pitch. Both students are national Science Olympiads champions.
Hounds, going ahead 2-0. However, the Hounds did not go down that easily. The Hounds scored three runs in the second inning while scoring two in the third inning off Oilmen Starter Danny Pobereyko. The Oilmen had runners on second and third with one out in the third and fifth innings, but were not able to score any runs. Hounds starter Tomas Michelson was able to get out of many jams he faced throughout the game despite the shaky first inning. The Oilmen tried to rally in the ninth inning, but it was a little too late for the Oilmen as the Hounds defeated them 6-3. The Oilmen looked for some confidence in their offense on Friday by playing the Michigan City Lakers, a nonleague opponent. Once again the Oilmen offense struggled, only scoring one run as Lakers starter Dan Snyder went seven strong innings. The Oilmen starting pitcher Keith Mahler was in a jam in the first allowing the first run of the game on a bases loaded walk to Laker Nick Latham. The Lakers scored again in the top of the seventh inning with help from an Oilmen error. The Oilmen scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning as Kevin DeFilippis and Jason Gasser both singled in the frame. Those would only be two of three hits for the Oilmen in the game. The Lakers held on and won 3-1. The Oilmen had a quick turnaround Saturday afternoon as the team had to travel to Michigan City and faced the Lakers at Marquette Athletic Complex. The Oilmen power came to life Saturday afternoon as Akron’s James Meeker hit the first home run of the season for the Oilmen. In the sixth inning, Andrew Ray hit the second home run of the season for the Oilmen. Cameron Linck was the starting pitcher for the Oilmen, as he improved to 2-0 on the season while throwing five strong innings and giving up two runs. The win versus the Lakers on Saturday afternoon puts the Oilmen at a 4-4 record overall, 3-3 in Midwest Collegiate League games. The Oilmen have four home games next week, and have a slew of special events lined up next week. Thursday is Strikeout ALS night at the ballpark. Friday is Zombie Apocalypse, Saturday is Super Heroes Night and Sunday is Father’s Day, where kids can play catch with dad on the field following the game.
PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: Owner: Jim Eder Address: 1326 119th St Whiting, IN 46394 Phone: (219) 659-4555
Hours: M-Th 11am - 11pm F-Sa: 11am - 12am Su: 12pm - 10pm
Amenities: Catering, Dining Room, Bar, Buffet, Free Wi-Fi, Party/ Banquet Room(s), Delivery
BEGGARS PIZZA By Brandon Vickrey Jm Eder knew he wanted to purchase a second Beggars Pizza location in Northwest Indiana to add to his Dyer business, but the exact whereabouts of the new Beggars had not yet been determined. One visit to 119th Street was all it took to sway Eder, luring him to downtown Whiting. “We were actually going to go to Valparaiso,” Eder said. “I was very tempted to go to Valpo, but I told the boys, you know, let’s check this Whiting out. When we were looking at this location, Carol from the Chamber of Commerce saw our Beggars shirts and she came running across the street. She was so friendly, just really friendly.” That initial impression was indicative of how people in Whiting continued to treat Eder during his time visiting the city. Consequently, he decided to make it a permanent home for the Beggars Pizza location that opened its doors in March 2013. “Norb Dudzik was here working and we talked to Norb, and he took us over to City Hall,” Eder said. “Things just kind of started snowballing. Mayor Joe (Stahura) is just fantastic. With his vision, his incentive and his ambition with the town, I was sold.” Eder’s sons Ryan and Jon were also vital in helping him make the decision to choose Whiting. Jon previously worked with Eder in the refrigeration business, while Ryan was serving in Iraq at the time. Both wanted to take part in a family business in Whiting. “They kind of pushed me in this direction,” Eder said. “They said, ‘Dad, let’s go for it. What have we got to lose?’ They’re very active in the business; I couldn’t do it without those guys. My wife Janine is the real boss. We all have our own little part and we work well together, which is important.” Whiting is filled with friendly people that can walk anywhere in town, another fact that played a role in Eder’s decision to choose Whiting. “I’m a bicyclist, so I brought both my bikes here,” Eder said. “The lake is a block down the street. I cycle to the lakefront three times per week. It’s an awesome, awesome bike trail. Business-wise, maybe I would have done better in Valpo, but am I comfortable there? I’m more comfortable right here with my family.” Although the word pizza is included in the name of the restaurant,
Eder said his menu includes a wide variety of food options. “I don’t like the connotation of a pizza place because I’m not just a pizza place, although we have the best pizza on the south side of Chicago,” Eder said. “We also have lasagna, spaghetti, mostaccioli, my marinated grilled chicken sandwiches are awesome, not to mention that I have fried chicken that is doing amazingly well here.” Much like his decision to come to Whiting, Eder’s move to partner with the Northwest Indiana Oilmen is influenced by his relationships with others, in this case Oilmen President Don Popravak. “Donny’s a great guy,” Eder said. “When I met Don, right away he and I got along pretty well. We’re both short guys, we see eye-to-eye. He’s got a nice stadium down there. I’m not a big baseball fan or a sports fan, but I mean if the Blackhawks or Sox are winning, I’m all for it because I sell more pizza. I like his ideas about downtown.” Eder believes that the Oilmen and Beggars Pizza are both essential pieces to the downtown Whiting landscape. “I love Kevin (Clark’s) microbrewery down the street,” Eder said. “I think that ties in really well with our pizza. A south side brewery, south side pizza and a south side baseball team. It all combines and correlates together, it’s a good fit. I just love the excitement of an eclectic town. It’s like New Buffalo on steroids.”
Owner Jim Eder poses outside Beggars Pizza near the patio that faces 119th St. in downtown Whiting.
THE OFFICIAL PIZZA OF THE NWI OILMEN
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OILMEN PREPARE FOR A FUN FILLED WEEKEND By Tate Hickey
JUNE 12 - 7:10 PM STRIKE OUT ALS
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease is a progressive disease that causes muscle weakness, difficulty speaking and swallowing and generally, completes paralysis. In most cases, while the body continues to deteriorate, the mind remains unaffected. The disease does not discriminate, striking any age, gender and race. In the United States, someone is diagnosed every 90 minutes, and approximately 35,000 people are living with ALS at any given time. There is no known cure for ALS and once diagnosed, patients typically live only three to five years. The NWI Oilmen want to help fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Half of ticket sales benefit the ALS Chicago Chapter.
JUNE 14 - 7:10 PM SUPERHERO NIGHT
It’s a bird, it’s a plane... It is Superhero Night at Oil City Stadium. On Saturday, June 4 bring the entire family to Superhero Night. Dress up like your favorite superhero. We hope to see plenty of Superman, Batman, or even the Incredible Hulk around the stadium. Free admission to the game will be given to all who take part! Get your family and friends out to save the night and watch our very own NWI Oilmen take on the Chicago Zephyrs.
JUNE 13 - 7:10 PM ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singersongwriter, actor, musician, dancer, businessman, and philanthropist. Called the King of Pop, his contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. Michael Jackson is especially notorious around NWI since he was born in Gary, Indiana. The NWI Oilmen Baseball Club wants to honor his life and accomplishments. What better way to spend Friday the 13th than with a Zombie Apocalypse, salute to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
JUNE 15 - 4:10 PM FATHER’S DAY
NWI Oilmen will honor Father’s Day on the diamond. A great baseball game is one of the best ways to incorporate family fun into Father’s Day. Take Dad to one! There’s nothing like hearing the crack of the bat on a warm, sunny day. After the game, play catch with Dad on the field.
ALS CHICAGO CHAPTER TO BENEFIT FROM EVENT By Joey Gelman This year marks the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s retirement from Baseball due to his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The Oilmen will honor Lou Gehrig’s fight by hosting “Strike Out ALS” night at the ballpark on June 12, where the proceeds will go to the ALS Chicago Chapter to continue their research to find a cure for this devastating disease. While a cure does not exist yet, the fight that Gehrig fought must continue today for what he meant for baseball and what he still means for those who must stay strong during this difficult time in their lives. Gehrig was born on June 19, 1903 in New York to German immigrant parents. His strong fight began at the start, as he was only one out of four children to survive childhood and lead a successful life in his family. Gehrig attended Columbia University to study engineering and play football. His mother insisted the he receive a quality education. While studying at the university, he played summer professional baseball, illegal if you were also a collegiate athlete, and was banned from Columbia athletics during his freshman year. Gehrig found his niche in baseball and was signed by an impressed New York Yankees staff in 1923 and the legend grew from there. Gehrig hit for a lifetime .340 batting average and totaled 493 home runs and 1,995 RBIs in his career. His most important streak, broken by Cal Ripken, Jr. in 1995, was his consecutive games played streak of 2,130 games. Gehrig won MVP in both 1927 and 1936, won the Triple Crown in 1934 and was a six-time World Series Champion. Gehrig was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in December of 1939. Gehrig always fought extremely hard and embodied what it takes to battle
this disease head on both on and off the field. On the field, Gehrig played his entire career in the shadow of one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Babe Ruth. By doing so, it made Gehrig work even harder to be recognized as one of the best players in the history of baseball, alongside Ruth. The commitment and powerful effort of Gehrig to cement himself among baseball immortality encompasses the commitment and passion he needed to continue to fight the disease. That same commitment and passion is dedicated to continuing to find a cure for the disease. Gehrig played with the odds against him his entire career, being in the shadow of one of baseball’s greats, but that did not slow down his battle through thick and thin until he finally lost his fight on June 2, 1941. Gehrig embodied what it means to be a New York Yankee, an ALS fighter and a community leader. Toward the end of his life, when his health was deteriorating, he did not quit as he was asked to join the Parole Board by New York Mayor Fiorelli LaGuardia to help troubled youth and did so until ALS prevented him from finishing his 10-year term. While Gehrig could not win his battle with ALS, it is fitting that the disease is now known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” as his life and fight clearly represent what is needed in order to find a cure for this debilitating disease. The Oilmen stand hand in hand with this effort and the June 12 event is just one of the many efforts both baseball and the nation are doing to help cure this disease. Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day occurred on July 4, 1939, in recognition of his outstanding Yankee career. While Gehrig had a tremendous amount of tragedy and struggle in his life, he always carried positivity and strength with him, which those suffering ALS today need to continue to do in hopes of finding a cure. Gehrig’s most famous words were that he considered himself, “the luckiest man, on the face of the Earth” and even through difficult times, Gehrig lived life to the fullest and embodied the strength of a nation not just for his fight, but also for those around the country who face his same struggles.
DID YOU KNOW?
ALS is not contagious, but anyone can get it. ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries. It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually. Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time. Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more. More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis. About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed. The onset of ALS is insidious with muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms. Progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and later breathing generally follows.
GATORADE IS A PROUD PARTNER OF THE NWI OILMEN
2014 TEAM OVERVIEW By Brandon Vickrey The last two summers, Northwest Indiana Oilmen fans have grown accustomed to seeing local talent and a winning baseball team whenever they attend a game at Oil City Stadium. This year, the Oilmen hope to provide even more of both. The Oilmen, who will vie for their third trip to the Midwest Collegiate League championship series in just their third year in existence, will showcase a roster comprised of mostly players who live in Northwest Indiana or Illinois. Nearly every prominent Indiana Division-I baseball program (Purdue, Butler, Notre Dame, Indiana, Ball State and Valparaiso) will have at least one representative on the roster, something Oilmen manager Justin Huisman believes will help draw fans to the ballpark. “If they’ve heard of them in high school or if they’re going to schools that are close by that are their favorite teams, it definitely helps get people in the seats,” Huisman said. “Then, on top of that, if they’re winning and they’re doing it in a fun fashion, people are going to hear about it and want to come out.” In addition to the aforementioned in-state schools, Division-I programs Akron, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois University, Cincinnati, Ohio, Dayton and Central Michigan will be represented on the Oil City Stadium diamond. The Oilmen posted a 2013 regular season record of 27-15, good enough for second place in the MCL standings. After recording two consecutive first-round victories over Lexington, the Oilmen dropped back-to-back games to Southland in the league finals. “I would say this year’s roster is similar to last year’s, but even better as far as getting some of the top Division-I local talent,” Huisman said. “I’m kind of coming into it just like everybody else, not knowing what to expect out of them, but knowing that they had great high school careers and coaches are saying good things about them at good programs.” There are four returnees, four of which are pitchers, from last year’s roster. Brothers Danny and Matt Pobereyko, who are Bishop Noll graduates, are joined by Lake Central alum Jimmy McNamara and Munster product Scott Jerge. McNamara, a left-hander from Central Michigan University, led the 2013 Oilmen starting staff with a 1.18 earned run average to go along with a 4-0 record in the regular season. McNamara also issued just seven walks against 35 strikeouts in seven starts and one relief appearance. Matt Pobereyko established the Midwest Collegiate League saves record with five while compiling a 2.25 ERA.
Jason Gasser rounds first base after stroking a single up the middle in a game against the DuPage County Hounds.
Jason Gasser tosses a ball to the cut-off man after making a catch in the outfield at Oil City Stadium. “Those guys did a great job last year,” Huisman said. “More than that, they’re just great guys. They’re good teammates and fun to be around. They love baseball and have a passion for it.” The four returners will be joined on the pitching staff by three other locals in Ball State left-hander Anthony Gomez (Munster), NIU commit Kevin Jones (Portage) and UW-Whitewater hurler Andrew Lowe (Whiting), Heartland’s Keith Mahler (Highland), Wabash’s Andrew Jackson (Kankakee Valley), Ohio’s Nick Nauracy (Crown Point), Dayton’s Aaron Glatt (Lake Central), Hill College’s Cameron Linck, and Arkansas Pine Bluff’s Garrett Sherrell. Two Indiana Hoosiers will roam the Oilmen outfield as Munster graduate and IU freshman Craig Dedelow teams up with Bishop Noll High School senior and Indiana commit Larry Crisler. Dedelow led the Hoosiers, who went to the College World Series for the first time in school history a year ago, in batting average during the fall season. Rob Blissitt of Cincinnati and Jason Gasser of NIU round out the Oilmen outfield. The infield will feature a pair of Western Michigan Broncos in Nick Vogelmeier and Nate Schneider, who will be joined by Brodie Meyer (Butler), Anthony Colosimo (Purdue Calumet), James Meeker (Akron) and former Lake Central High School star Ryan Burvan (Purdue). The catching core is comprised of McNamara’s Central Michigan battery mate Alec Ornelas, Michigan City High School grad Andrew Ray (NIU) and Trinity Christian College’s Zack Jones. “I’ll be kind of feeling them out the first few weeks to see what type of ball we can play,” Huisman said. “Are we a small-ball type team or are we a power-type team? Once you get them all together and you see what they’re capable of, you can kind of map out what the season’s going to look like and how you want to approach it.” Oil City Stadium will host the Midwest Collegiate League All-Star game for the second season in a row and the third time in the last four years. The Rockford Foresters, who played all road games last season, have rebranded as the Joliet Admirals and will play their home games at Joliet Junior College. “Every year, it seems like the talent in the league has gotten better and better,” Huisman said. “Last year, for the most part the main four or five teams were pretty even competition wise and were battling with each other. I expect it to be the same this year, where the talent level is going to be more evened out, and hopefully we can rise above it.”
LOOKING BACK BEFORE MOVING FORWARD
TEAM HISTORY OF THE NORTHWEST INDIANA OILMEN By Brandon Vickrey A new energy was brought to the City of Whiting on Feb. 28, 2012, when the Northwest Indiana Oilmen baseball team was officially born. The club held a press conference at Whiting City Hall as owner Don Popravak, former White Sox star and co-owner Ron Kittle and Mayor Joe Stahura announced that the Oilmen would join the Midwest Collegiate League and play their home games at Oil City Stadium, a 1,500-seat venue in downtown Whiting. “We came up with a club name that exemplified the essence of both the community and the region as well as the hard-working people of this area over the last century,” Popravak said at the press conference. Since then, the Oilmen have done just that, finding tremendous success in each of their first two seasons and providing Northwest Indiana baseball fans with a great product on the field. The Oilmen wasted no time in hoisting their first trophy, winning the Midwest Collegiate League in their inaugural 2012 season by sweeping through the MCL postseason with four straight wins over DuPage and DeKalb. The Oilmen clinched the title with a 6-2 victory over DeKalb on August 5, 2012. A year later, the Oilmen returned to the MCL Championship Series and finished as the league runner-up. The Midwest Collegiate League rosters are comprised of college-level baseball players, who compete in the league during the summer months while school is out of session. Since day one, the Oilmen organization has made a commitment to representing Northwest Indiana. The team gives fans a chance to see many local high school products that have gone on to find success in the college ranks. Each season, the Oilmen roster has featured a combination of local and non-local players. Manager Justin Huisman has been at the helm for every game the team has played, guiding the NWI Oilmen to an all-time record of 62-32 through the end of the 2013 season. The Oilmen have been very difficult to beat at Oil City Stadium, recording a 41-16 mark at home through two seasons. Huisman had a successful professional baseball career in the Rockies, Royals, Mariners and Astros organizations that included a stint in the big leagues with Kansas City in 2004. Each summer, there is one unique day where fans at Oil City Stadium may find themselves rooting against their beloved Oilmen. The United States Military All-Star team came to Northwest Indiana on July 1, 2012 and exactly a year later on July 1, 2013. In both cases, a capacity crowd was on-hand for a moving pregame ceremony to honor America’s heroes, followed by the game between the Oilmen and U.S. Military team.
FEBRUARY 28, 2012 Oilmen announced formation of team
JUNE 3, 2012 Oilmen played first home game
MARCH 8, 2012 Justin Huisman named manager
During the summer of 2013, the league’s brightest stars made their way to Whiting for the annual Midwest Collegiate League All-Star Game. Scouts from the White Sox, Phillies, Yankees and Rangers looked on as the South (Oilmen, South Vikings and Lexington Snipes) bested the North (Rockford Foresters, Chicago Zephyrs and DuPage County Hounds) 12-4. Ten different Oilmen saw action in the game. The list of colleges whose players have worn an Oilman uniform include Purdue, Butler, Notre Dame, Akron, Cincinnati, Indiana, Northern Illinois, Ball State, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Illinois, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Western Kentucky, Toledo, Valparaiso and the University of Illinois-Chicago, among others. With a winning tradition already established through the team’s first two seasons, expectations, excitement and energy are at an all-time high as the Oilmen compete in the 2014 campaign.
The Oilmen pose with the Midwest Collegiate League Championship trophy after winning the title in 2012, the team’s inaugural season. The Oilmen swept the DeKalb County Liners two games to none, winning the clinching game at Oil City Stadium.
JULY 11, 2012 JULY 9, 2013 Six Oilmen played in Midwest Collegiate league Allthe Midwest Collegiate Star game was held at Oil City league All-Star game Stadium & included 10 Oilmen
JUNE 12, 2012 First home run hit for team by Billy Miller
AUGSUT 5, 2012 Oilmen won Midwest Collegiate League Championship
AUGUST 4, 2013 Oilmen lost championship 4-1 to Southland Vikings
JULY 31, 2013 Oilmen clinched a spot in the Midwest Collegiate League Championship
MAY 28, 2014 Oilmen won first game of third season against Lexington Snipes
THE OFFICIAL BEER OF THE NWI OILMEN
PORTAGE, IN 0 KEVIN JONES NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY P Kevin Jones was one of the top pitchers in Northwest Indiana while playing at Portage this season. The 2014 Portage graduate has played at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Target Field in Minnesota, Busch Stadium in St. Louis and U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.
4 ANDREW JACKSON WHEATFIELD, IN WABASH COLLEGE P
Andrew Jackson is one of three players on this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Oilmen team to play for the club directly after their senior season of high school. The summer will serve as a chance for Jackson to get a taste of facing college hitters before moving on to Wabash College next year. The left-handed pitcher recently completed his senior year at Kankakee Valley High School.
HIGHLAND, IN 10 KEITH MAHLER HEARTLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE P Highland graduate Keith Mahler throws a changeup, slider and fastball, topping out at 92 miles per hour. He battled through shoulder issues this winter, but has now reached full health. While playing at Highland, Mahler posted a perfect 10-0 record and a sparkling 1.79 earned run average as a senior in 2011.
19 DANNY POBEREYKO MUNSTER, IN BUTLER UNIVERSITY P Danny Pobereyko is back for his second summer with the Oilmen after earning a spot in the Midwest Collegiate League All-Star game a season ago. He recorded a 5.02 earned run average and struck out 14 while getting his first test of college competition after graduating from Bishop Noll in 2013.
21 NICK NAURACY P
CROWN POINT, IN
Nick Nauracy joins the Oilmen after completing his junior season at Ohio University. The right-handed pitcher was cut from the Crown Point baseball team as a freshman, sophomore and junior. The persistent Nauracy made the team as a senior and pitched the Bulldogs to a regional championship. He eventually earned his way on to a Division-I roster at Ohio after two years at Vincennes.
DYER, IN 25 JIMMY McNAMARA CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY P Jimmy McNamara is back a familiar territory this summer, now in his second year as the ace of the Oilmen pitching staff. The Lake Central alum posted a 1.18 earned run average in eight games last year. He led the Oilmen starting pitchers in ERA in addition to holding a 4-0 record.
WHITING, IN 27 ANDREW LOWE P UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN- WHITEWATER Andrew Lowe is sure to be a fan favorite this summer as he becomes the second Whiting High School graduate to play for the Oilmen in team history. Lowe never got the chance to play at Oil City Stadium in high school, as his senior season (2010) was the final year the Oilers played at Lakefront Park. He pitched at Oil City Stadium last summer as a visiting player with the Chicago Zephyrs.
BALL STATE UNIVERSITY
Left-hander Anthony Gomez joined Ball Stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pitching staff as a walk-on this year. The Munster graduate attended several games at Oil City Stadium as a fan in seasons past while watching relative Jim Hinkleman.
UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON
Aaron Glatt is eager to finally put on the uniform and take the field in a game situation again after redshirting as a freshman at the University of Dayton. This summer, Glatt is reunited with former Lake Central High School teammates Jimmy McNamara and Ryan Burvan. Glattâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s repertoire features a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, changeup and occasional curveball.
35 GARRETT SHERRELL NEW ALBANY, IN UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS LITTLE ROCK P University of Arkansas Little Rock right-handed pitcher Garrett Sherrell was looking for a place to pitch significant innings over the summer following his freshman season with the Trojans. Sherrell was able to find that summer destination by signing with the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. Sherrell, a graduate of New Albany High School in New Albany, Ind., throws a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball and curveball. He plans to work on improving his mechanics this summer.
MUNSTER, IN 36 SCOTT JERGE VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY P
Scott Jerge is no stranger to baseball in Northwest Indiana. After a strong high school career at Munster that culminated with a Second-Team All-Conference distinction his senior season, Jerge moved on to Valparaiso, where he is a sophomore relief pitcher for the Crusaders. For the second straight year, Jerge is also spending his summer in Northwest Indiana as a member of the Oilmen.
MUNSTER, IN 42 MATT POBEREYKO KENTUCKY WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY P
Matt Pobereyko joins brother Danny as members of the Oilmen for the second consecutive year. The reigning MCL All-Star settled into a late-inning role as the Oilmen closer in 2013. He posted a 2.25 ERA while establishing a new Midwest Collegiate League record with five saves.
Pepsi is a proud partner of the NWI Oilmen
43 CAMERON LINCK P
Cameron Linck started the year weighing 150 pounds, throwing 84 miles per hour and ranking 18th on the Hill College pitching depth chart. He has since bulked up to 175 pounds, increased his velocity to 89 mph and leapfrogged to the No. 3 spot in the Rebelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; rotation. Hill College coach Chris Rateike described him as a real competitor who works extremely hard.
2 RYAN BURVAN 2B
Ryan Burvan is reunited with former Lake Central High School teammate Jimmy McNamara. Burvan scored the only run of the game in a 1-0 victory over Indianapolis Roncalli in the 2012 Class 4A Indiana High School Athletic Association State Championship. During his senior season at Lake Central, Burvan hit a robust .491 while shattering the school record for runs scored (51) and hits (57).
HOMER GLEN, IL 3 KEVN DeFILIPPIS UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME SS
The highlight of Kevin DeFilippisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s college career came on March 10, 2013 when he stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter in the 11th inning of a tied game between No. 25 Notre Dame and No. 10 Oklahoma. With runners at first and third and one out, DeFilippis delivered a walk-off single, jumping on the first pitch in his first at-bat of the year. DeFilippis graduated from Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Ill., where he batted .475 with a .603 on-base percentage as a senior.
13 NICK VOGELMEIER LAKE ORION, MI WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY SS Freshman Nick Vogelmeier was a member of back-to-back district championship teams while attending Lake Orion High School in Michigan. His arm strength and speed have both improved drastically since he joined the Broncos.
WEXFORD, PA 14 JAMES MEEKER UNIVERSITY OF AKRON 3B Although he just completed his freshman season, James Meeker immediately found regular playing time with the Akron Zips this year. Meeker, a native of Wexford, Penn., turned in the only perfect game in North Allegheny High School history on April 6, 2013.
15 ANTHONY COLOSIMO LAKE FOREST, IL PURDUE UNIVERSITY CALUMET 1B While playing for the DeKalb County Liners in 2012, Purdue Calumet infielder Anthony Colosimo recognized the high caliber of play across the Midwest Collegiate League. Colosimo returns to the MCL this summer, now sporting an Oilmen uniform. The Liners lost to the Oilmen in the Midwest Collegiate League Championship Series when Colosimo played for DeKalb.
PORTAGE, IN 22 NATE SCHNEIDER WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY 3B Freshman Nate Schneider joined his brother Derek at Western Michigan this season after the two played together in high school with father Paul Schneider serving as their head coach. Schneiderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s athleticism and versatility are two of his strongest attributes on the playing field.
24 BRODIE MEYER PALOS HEIGHTS, IL BUTLER UNIVERSITY 2B Brodie Meyer posted a .527 on-base percentage as a senior at Chicago Christian. He played second base as a junior before shifting to the left side of the infield for his senior season. Since joining the Bulldogs, Meyer has focused on improving his arm strength by playing long toss and lifting in the weight room.
GARY, IN 0 LARRY CRISLER INDIANA UNIVERSITY OF
Larry Crisler was named to the Times of Northwest Indiana and Post-Tribune all-area teams as a junior in high school. He just completed his senior season at Bishop Noll, where he was a standout in both baseball and basketball.
MUNSTER, IN 0 CRAIG DEDELOW INDIANA UNIVERSITY OF
Munster graduate Craig Dedelow immediately opened eyes during his freshman campaign at Indiana University, a team that was coming off its first College World Series appearance in school history. He posted the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s highest batting average during its fall season.
The Official Hot Dog of the NWI Oilmen
MARKHAM, IL 9 ROB BLISSITT, JR. UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI OF Rob Blissitt Jr. was a second-team all-area selection as a senior at Thornwood High School in Illinois. He compiled a .354 batting average and drove in 19 runs as a senior. Cincinnati coach Ty Neal describes Blissitt as a high-energy guy who plays with a lot of heart and passion.
DYER, IN 17 JASON GASSER NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY OF Jason Gasser is no stranger to participating in a winning baseball program after helping Mount Carmel to a state championship as a senior in high school. Gasser earned the 2013 Chicago Sun-Times Baseball Player of the Year and 2013 Times Illinois Player of the Year distinctions. Oilmen manager Justin Huisman is also a former Times Illinois Player of the Year, having won the award in 1997 during his high school days at Thornwood.
MOKENA, IL 19 ZACK JONES TRINITY CHRISTIAN COLLEGE C
After playing his freshman season at Harper College, catcher Zack Jones has committed to continue his collegiate career at Trinity Christian College beginning with the 2015 season. Jones will play for Oilmen manager Justin Huisman this summer before joining Huismanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Trinity roster next season. Jones led the nation in runners caught stealing among all junior college players this season. As a senior in high school, Jones helped Main South to a sectional championship.
23 ANDREW RAY MICHIGAN CITY, IN NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY C Michigan City graduate Andrew Ray joins Northern Illinois roommate Jason Gasser on the Oilmen roster this summer. In high school, Ray was named to the 2013 All Duneland Athletic Conference team as a utility player. He listed victories over LaPorte his junior and senior seasons as the highlights of his prep career.
MOKENA, IL 33 ALEC ORNELAS CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY C
Alec Ornelas is making his return to the Midwest Collegiate League after playing with the Southland Vikings in 2012. The Lincoln Way East graduate posted a .358 average and was named to the All-Southwest Suburban Conference team his senior year of high school. Ornelas is back to full health after undergoing hamate surgery last summer.
2014 NWI OILMEN ROSTER
COLLEGE (HIGH SCHOOL)
Catchers 19 Zack Jones 23 Andrew Ray 33 Alec Ornelas
5’11” 6' 1" 6’ 1”
190 lbs 195 lbs 197 lbs
R R R
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Trinity Christian College (Main South) Northern Illinois University (Michigan City) Central Michigan University (Lincoln Way East)
Infielders 2 Ryan Burvan 3 Kevin DeFilippis 13 Nick Vogelmeier 15 Anthony Colosimo 22 Nate Schneider 24 Brodie Meyer 45 James Meeker
5' 11" 6’ 0” 5’ 11” 6’0” 6' 2" 6’ 0” 6’ 4”
165 lbs 170 lbs 165 lbs 185 lbs 210 lbs 180 lbs 180 lbs
R R R R R R L
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Purdue University (Lake Central) Notre Dame (Providence Catholic) Western Michigan (Lake Orion) Purdue University Calumet (Loyola Academy) Western Michigan (Portage Central) Butler University (Chicago Christian) Akron (North Allegheny)
Outfielders 9 Rob Blissitt, Jr. 17 Jason Gasser Larry Crisler Craig Dedelow
6’ 3” 6' 0" 6’ 4” 6’ 4”
165 lbs 195 lbs 190 lbs 190 lbs
R L R L
R R R R
Cincinnati (Thornwood) Northern Illinois University (Mount Carmel) Indiana University (Bishop Noll) Indiana University (Munster)
210 lbs 185 lbs 200 lbs 185 lbs 175 lbs 220 lbs 200 lbs 190 lbs 185 lbs 185 lbs 239 lbs 175 lbs 180 lbs
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Wabash College (Kankakee Valley) Heartland Community College (Highland) Butler University (Bishop Noll) Ohio University (Crown Point) Central Michigan University (Lake Central) UW-Whitewater (Whiting) Ball State (Munster) University of Dayton (Lake Central) University of Arkansas Little Rock (New Albany) Valparaiso University (Munster) Kentucky Wesleyan University (Bishop Noll) Hill College (Kingwood) Northern Illinois University (Portage)
Pitchers 4 Andrew Jackson 6’5” 10 Keith Mahler 6’ 6” 19 Danny Pobereyko 6' 5" 21 Nick Nauracy 6’1” 25 Jimmy McNamara 6’ 2” 27 Andrew Lowe 6’ 2” 29 Anthony Gomez 6’ 0” 30 Aaron Glatt 6’2” 35 Garrett Sherrell 6’4” 36 Scott Jerge 6' 0" 42 Matt Pobereyko 6' 1" 43 Cameron Linck 6’ 2” Kevin Jones 5’ 11”
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Matt Pobereyko looks to rebound from second elbow surgery during second season with Oilmen
By David Bork Bishop Noll graduate Matt Pobereyko is in his second season with the Northwest Indiana Oilmen, looking to pick up where he left off last season after posting a 2.25 earned run average and recording five saves after Tommy John surgery. “Baseball is a lifestyle to me now. Every day it is part of my life,” Pobereyko said. Pobereyko has played baseball since he was five years old and was inspired by his father to play the game. Before entering college baseball, Pobereyko pitched four years at Bishop Noll as a starter and a reliever for the Warriors. Pobereyko and his brother Danny are the first pair of brothers to play on the Oilmen. “I really like coming home to play baseball for the Oilmen,” Pobereyko said. “My teammates are very nice and are good players. I have a good relationship with them.” Pobereyko just finished off his junior season at Kentucky Wesleyan University where he made three appearances for the Panthers, as he was limited this past season after having to undergo his second elbow surgery. Pobereyko made the 2013 Midwest Collegiate League All-Star Game in his first season as an Oilman. Pobereyko hopes to improve from where he set the Midwest Collegiate League record for saves in a season (5), and Pobereyko so far has three saves through the first two weeks. Pobereyko is on pace to break the record that he set a year ago. “Oil City Stadium feels like an actual stadium and has the real baseball feel,” Pobereyko said. “It is close to home and it is nice that we have the stadium right near home.” Pobereyko is hoping he can get more innings this season with the Oilmen after his junior season with the Panthers was cut short after the injury. “It takes time. I have to rehab and take it one game at a time,” Pobereyko said. “I have to be patient after coming back from a second major elbow surgery.”
Matt Pobereyko College: Kentucky Wesleyan University Class: Senior Hometown: Munster, IN DOB: 12/24/1991 Position: P Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 239 lbs Bats: R Throws:R
MEET THE COACHES JUSTIN HUISMAN MANAGER
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen welcome Justin Huisman back as the team’s manager for the 2014 season. Huisman, who is entering his third season with the Oilmen, has led the team to back-toback Midwest Collegiate League Championship Series appearances. “It will be very exciting,” Huisman said. “We’ve had two very successful seasons, coming up a tad short last year, but winning the championship the first year. Any time you’ve only had two seasons and you’ve made the championship both seasons, you can’t be too upset about that.” Huisman, who has managed every game in Oilmen history, holds a 61-33 record over his first two years in Northwest Indiana. Huisman also serves as the head coach of the Trinity Christian College Trolls baseball program. During his playing career, the right-handed reliever posted a 3.13 ERA and compiled 90 saves over eight minor-league seasons. Huisman reached the big leagues in 2004, appearing in 14 games for the Kansas City Royals. “The Oilmen are excited about the return of Justin as our field manager for the 2014 season,” Team President Don Popravak said. “His wealth of baseball knowledge and experience coupled with his ability to get the very best out of his players each and every night is why we are successful on the field. We can’t wait until opening day is here to see the talented players that he is recruiting take to the field.” The Oilmen, members of the Midwest Collegiate League, feature Division-I baseball players from across the country. “It’s been fun,” Huisman said. “You mix a lot of personalities, but we’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of good groups of guys that got along great together. I’m sure they’ve made some lifelong friendships along the way, but also just coaching a team with high-caliber talent in a laid-back atmosphere has been great.” In addition to managing the team during the season, Huisman’s duties include compiling the team’s roster during the offseason. “First and foremost, we really try to get as much top-caliber, local talent as we can,” he said. “We want the people of Whiting to recognize a few names of people they grew up with who are off to quality programs. From that point on, we’re just going after as many top-caliber, Division-I players as we can. We’re going after guys who are really going to strive toward the goals that we have as a team and as individuals who are good-character guys that have futures in their programs.”
Who has played appeared in more career games than any other player in Oilmen history? TWEET US YOUR ANSWER TO @NWIOILMEN
ADAM ENRIGHT ASSISTANT COACH
Adam Enright has spent two summers as an assistant coach for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. In the spring of 2014, he joined Oilmen manager Justin Huisman’s coaching staff at Trinity Christian College. In 2012, Adam Enright made the transition from player to coach at Chicago State University after finishing his career as a collegiate player from 2008 to 2011. In his first season as a volunteer assistant coach at Chicago State he served as the hitting coach and assisted with the infielders. In his first year as hitting coach, the Chicago State Cougars improved their team batting average from .258 to .296, which ranked among the top 50 team batting averages in NCAA Division I Baseball. Also, the cougars improved in every offensive category including 47 more doubles, 11 more home runs and 75 more RBI. Before joining the coaching staff at Chicago State, Enright was a Division II standout for the University of Southern Indiana baseball team, starting every game during Southern Indiana’s national championship season in 2010. He also played first base for Southern Indiana in 2011, when the Screaming Eagles won their fourth consecutive regular season Great Lakes Valley Conference championship. Enright left USI with single season records for putouts, at bats, and runs scored. Prior to his two years at Southern Indiana, Enright played at South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois. There he was selected as an NJCAA All-American and also the NJCAA Region IV Player of the Year in 2009. Adam graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a B.S. degree in Exercise Science in 2011 and currently resides in Hammond, Ind. Enright is a graduate of Munster High School.
MIKE COLES ASSISTANT COACH
Mike Coles is a local product who starred at Hammond High School. He has a host of baseball knowledge he can impart onto the Oilmen after his time at Parkland College and Purdue University. Coles has experienced success on the diamond throughout his career. As a junior at Purdue, he batted over .300 while leading the team in hits, doubles, runs and stolen bases. During his time at Hammond High School, Coles was an all-conference performer all three years while hitting over .400 each year. He helped contribute to his team’s sectional championship in 1999. Coles gives head coach Justin Huisman another voice that can share their experiences on what it takes to become a professional baseball player. In 2001, Coles was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 34th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. He has spent eight seasons playing in the professional ranks, most recently appearing in five games this season with the York Revolution of the Atlantic League. He broke into professional baseball in 2006 with the Gary SouthShore RailCats and has seen time with the Windy City Thunderbolts, Joliet JackHammers, Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and Winnipeg Goldeyes. He has compiled a .301 batting average in 622 career games, all in independent baseball.
CAREER RECORDS Games Played – Craig Austgen, 57 Hits – Austgen, 60 RBIs – Nick Bartolone, 37 Home Runs – Billy Miller, 3 Runs Scored – Leiff Clarkson, 34 Starts – Tait Rauen, 9 Games Pitched – Aveeno Nasiloski, 17 Wins – Danny Britt, 7 Strikeouts – Andy Wellwerts, 48
SINGLE GAME RECORDS
Most Runs Batted In by a Player in a Single Game… 7 by Nick Bartolone on June 30, 2013 Most Hits by a Player in a Single Game… 5 by Nick Bartolone on June 30, 2013 (15-inning game vs. DuP) & Jack Czeszewski on July 31, 2013 (a 17-9 victory over Lexington in the opening round of the playoffs game two) Most Strikeouts for a pitcher in a game… 10 by Josh Negele on July 31, 2013 vs. DuPage Home Runs… 2 by Billy Miller on July 16, 2012, an 11-5 loss to Southland Stolen Bases… 3 on July 26, 2012 by Elliot Bajda & June 21, 2012 by Brandon Krieg
SINGLE SEASON FRANCHISE RECORDS Single Season Franchise Records Batting Average- John Loeffler, .387 in 2012 Home Runs- Billy Miller, 3 in 2012 Runs Batted In- Nick Bartolone, 37 in 2013 Base on Balls- Jack Czeszewski, 30 in 2013 Hit By Pitchs- Elliot Bajda, 9 in 2012 Stolen Bases- Jack Czeszewski, 22 in 2013 Triples- Craig Austgen, 4 in 2012 Earned Run Average- Aveeno Nasiloski, 0.84 ERA in 2013 Strikeouts- Michael Steensen, 43 in 2013 Wins- Danny Britt, 7 in 2012 Saves- Matt Pobereyko, 5 in 2013 Innings Pitched- Steensen, 53.1 IP in 2013 Complete Games- Steensen, 3 in 2013 Defensive Assists- Leiff Clarkson, 107 in 2013 Errors- Bennett Oliver, 16 in 2012 Sac Flies- Nick Bartolone, 6 in 2013 Runs- Leiff Clarkson, 34 in 2013 Hits- Leiff Clarkson, 50 in 2013 Doubles- Bennett Oliver, 13 in 2012
The Official Beef of the NWI Oilmen
Founded/First Season… 2012 Home Field (Capacity)… Oil City Stadium (1,300) Manager… Justin Huisman (62-32 overall, 56-30 in league games) All-Time Team Record… 66-36, 59-33 in MCL Games over two seasons Home Record… 42-18 (39-16 in MCL) Road Record… 24-19 Playoff Appearances… 2012, 2013 Playoff Record… 6-2 Playoff Home Record… 3-1 Playoff Road Record… 3-1 MCL Championship Appearances… 2012, 2013 Midwest Collegiate League Titles… 2012
OUR FAVORITE MASCOT
CELEBRATES HIS THIRD BIRTHDAY By Joey Gelman Oilman Stan celebrated his much-anticipated third birthday on Friday, June 6 on the Oilmen’s weekly BP Family Friday Night. While the game ended in a 3-1 loss at the hands of the Michigan City Lakers, the outcome did not dampen the birthday celebration. Oilman Stan was introduced to the crowd at the beginning of the game of what was a beautiful evening at Oil City Stadium. The bottom of the third inning marked the Mascot Race and while Stan could not beat out his fierce competition, he was able to put a smile on his opponent’s face, a young Oilmen fan, as he crossed home plate, just as he has done for the past three years. Oilman Stan is there for the fans, especially the kids. Whenever he is able to make them smile, the Oilmen smile. He has embodied what it means to be an Oilman for the last three seasons. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Oilmen family welcomed Oilman Stan back to the field to receive his larger than life birthday card and a stadium-wide rendition of singing “Happy Birthday.” A song that is always known to be out of tune was not, as the stadium sang in unison to their beloved mascot. After the song was over, Oilman Stan went back to the concourse to spend time with fans, have his card signed and most importantly, tried to finish his delicious birthday cake, with the help of his favorite fans. Throughout the entire evening, Oilman Stan took pictures with fans, players and the entire Oilmen staff and there were nothing but smiles on all of their faces. While baseball can be a competitive game, it is also a great pastime and companion sport to many who watch; it is always there. The celebration of Oilman’s Stan’s birthday mirrors this idea, as he goes hand in hand with the Oilmen, through thick and thin, and always brings a sense of happiness to the Oilmen and Whiting community. Just like baseball is at our side, Oilman Stan is at our side, continuing to represent the Oil Refinery and hard workers within the community that serve as the backdrop and backbone of Oil City Stadium, the Oilmen and Whiting, Indiana. While he may be the only three year-old that is six-feet tall and has a full-grown moustache, he is still the best mascot in all of sports and the Oilmen family wishes him a very Happy Birthday and cannot wait to do it all again on June 6, 2015.
Sebastian, a young Oilmen fan, finishes ahead of Oilman Stan in the mascot race between innings and celebrates his victory. Sebastian won tickets for him and his family to attend another Northwest Indiana Oilmen game at Oil City Stadium.
Oilman Stan was happy to celebrate his birthday with all of his fans. Below he poses with three fans that came to wish him a happy birthday before the game.
Oilman Stan cuts his birthday cake on the concourse during his birthday celebration on June 6, 2014.
Proudly wired Oil City Stadium
Certified Electrician’s apprenticeship program accepts applications the second Wednesday of every month. Gaining admittance to the program is no simple task because of the high level of math and education that it takes to be successful as an electrical contractor.
Just under a year ago, a group of electrical contractors in Northwest By Brandon Vickrey Indiana saw a need for a simplification and rebranding of their union. At the time, MECA was a management group and IBEW-697 was a group of unionized electricians. However, the letters and acronyms made it difficult for the public to understand exactly what each group did. That’s when Certified Electrician was born. A combination of MECA and IBEW, Certified Electrician was formed to show the partnership between the two groups and to decrease confusion. “I think it’s been going over really well,” Director of Business Development Cassie Ayling said. “We are doing radio ads now, we’re doing sponsorships and we’re giving back to the community through charity events. We’re saturating the market right now to get people familiar with Certified Electrician.” When a customer calls upon a Certified Electrician contractor, they will receive the services of someone who is highly trained, well-educated and trustworthy. All contractors have been background checked and gone through a rigorous apprenticeship program, which includes on-the-job training. “We’re always recruiting electricians that are out there that aren’t in the union quite yet,” Ayling said. “When we bring them into our classes, it’s amazing that they say, ‘I’ve been through college, I’ve got my degree and I’ve been an electrician for 10 years, but I’ve never seen this before.’ That’s just the level of training we offer.” Certified Electrician’s apprenticeship program accepts applications the second Wednesday of every month. Gaining admittance to the program is no simple task because of the high level of math and education that it takes to be successful as an electrical contractor. “A lot of it is on the actual job sites, so they get exposed to a little bit of everything and kind of figure out what interests them and what their niche is,” Ayling said. “When they come out of the program, they have earned their associate’s degree as well. We’re not your typical college, but you are still earning your degree and on top of it being tuition-free schooling, you’re getting paid while working on the job.” For Ayling, the marketing position that opened up six months ago at Certified Electrician was a perfect opportunity. She has always had ties to the union and previously worked closely with a union in a role with a local nonprofit organization. “I just took a shot and applied for it and here I am,” she said. “Now, it’s kind of developed into something a little bit bigger than what we originally thought, but it’s a new position, so there’s really no limit to what it can be.” Certified Electrician played a significant role in the construction of Oil City Stadium. Several of its contractors helped wire the ballpark that the Oilmen call home, making the partnership between Certified Electrician and the Northwest Indiana Oilmen even more appropriate. “We are trying to take the unionized electrician industry to the next level, finding jobs and making sure they go union versus non-union,” Ayling said. “We are trying to keep our communities going because that money is being paid by commercial buildings and the industrial work that is going on basically turns around and comes back through the local men that spend money within the area. It’s kind of all one big circle and I think it’s a great thing to keep money in our area.”
MEET THE OWNERS DON POPRAVAK Don was born in Chicago and was raised on the city’s industrial East side just a mile from Downtown Whiting. His working class family taught him the values of hard work and commitment to the community. His grandfather worked for U.S. Steel for 45 years, and his father was a Chicago police officer for 23 years who also played in the minor league system for the New York Giants baseball club. He attended St. George grammar school and St. Francis de Sales high school. Afterwards, Don attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. While at DePauw Universtiy, he majored in Communications. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1981. While attending DePauw University: he was a member of the baseball and football teams for four years and won varsity letters in both sports three times. After his graduation, he began a 30-year career in advertising sales and marketing that took him from Leo Burnett Advertising Agency to the NBC Network News Division. Previous to the Northwest Indiana Oilmen Don founded the Chicago Clippers baseball club in 1979 which continued to be a successful program into the 1990’s. Don is married to Kimberly Payne and has four sons.
KIM PAYNE Kim was born in Olathe, Kansas and attended the University of Kansas, where she graduated with distinction and was selected to Phi Beta Kappa. She thereafter graduated from Vanderbilt School of Law, where she was a member of the law review for two years. After law school Kim’s legal career took her to Atlanta, Kansas City, Los Angeles then Chicago. While in Los Angeles she worked for the Creative Artist Agency one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies. Kim left CAA to take a position with Richard Donner Productions, one of the top movie production companies in the entertainment industry. While there she worked on a wide range of creative movie projects including Lethal Weapon III with Mel Gibson, Danny Glover and Joe Pesci. In the early 1990’s Kim relocated to Chicago, where she began practicing law again. Her primary practice areas are labor and employment law and state appellate court practice, representing private entities, public educational employers and municipalities. Ms. Payne joined Scariano, Himes and Petrarca in 2001 after serving as corporate counsel for nearly a decade to the parent company of a number of affiliated law firms and title companies. In 2012 she retired to concentrate on her Kimberly Payne custom designed jewelry company specializing in creating unique designs in silver and copper. She is a passionate gardener, who loves the outdoors and fly fishing. She has been married to Don Popravak since 2007.
RON KITTLE Natives of Northwest Indiana always take a special pride in the careers of Region athletes who go on to thrive at the professional level. When listing successful athletes from Northwest Indiana, Chicago White Sox legend Ron Kittle is near the top of the list. As a team working to develop future professional players located in Northwest Indiana, it only makes sense that Kittle is involved with the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. He has served as a co-owner with Oilmen President Don Popravak since the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inception. Kittle was born in Gary, where he enjoyed a successful prep career at William A. Wirt High School. He was determined to prove those wrong who told him that he could never play baseball because he wore glasses. Kittle did just that, signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers at a tryout camp that took place at Ken Schrieber Field in LaPorte in 1976. After six years in the minors, he broke through by making his big league debut with the White Sox on Sept. 2, 1982. Kittle was a former steelworker who broke through and made it to the majors at the age of 25. Kittle made an immediate impact in his first full season with the White Sox, helping the team to 99 wins and their first playoff appearance since 1959 during the 1983 campaign. He batted .254, launched 35 home runs and drove in 100 runs, earning his way onto the American League All-Star team and capturing the 1983 AL Rookie of the Year Award. Kittle made three separate stints with the White Sox, playing for the team from 1982-1986, 1989-1990 and again in 1991. He also spent time with the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles. He returned to the White Sox for the final 17 games of his 10-year playing career in 1991. Since his retirement, Kittle has remained around the game of baseball. Kittle managed the Merrillville Muddogs of the Mid-American League in 1995 and the Schaumburg Flyers of the Northern League. He has since settled into a role in the White Sox front office as a team ambassador. Kittle splits his summers between U.S. Cellular Field and Oil City Stadium, often sitting in the stands and mingling with fans when he attends Oilmen games.
Ron Kittle speaks during a press conference announcing the formation of the pre-minor league baseball team Northwest Indiana Oilmen at City Hall in Whiting, Indiana in February 2012.
Kittle throws out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the inaugural game between the Northwest Indiana Oilmen and the Southland Vikings at Oil City Stadium on Sunday, June 3, 2012.
CURRENT AND FORMER MCL PLAYERS SELECTED IN 2014 MLB DRAFT By Brandon Vickrey When the Midwest Collegiate League was founded in 2010, one of the goals of the league was to help players in their quest to be drafted into a major league organization. This past weekend’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft was proof that the league has been successful in accomplishing that goal as 10 current and former MCL players were selected. Lexington Snipes catcher Simeon Lucas was the first Midwest Collegiate League player off the board when he was picked by the Cleveland Indians in the seventh round of the First-Year Player Draft. He is a current member of the Snipes roster and was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the seventh round with the 218th overall selection. Pitcher Matt Borens, who was an MCL AllStar with the Will County CrackerJacks in 2012, was selected by the New York Yankees in round No. 11. Borens just completed his junior season at Eastern Illinois University. Catcher Mike Hollenbeck, who played for the Illinois Lincolns in 2012, was drafted by the White Sox in the 23rd round following his senior season at Illinois State. In round No. 36, the name of a Northwest Indiana Oilman was called in the big league draft for the first time in the three-year history of the team. Outfielder Larry Crisler, who is listed on the Northwest Indiana Oilmen roster and just completed his senior year of high school, was picked by the Atlanta Braves out of Bishop Noll High School. In addition to current Snipe Simeon Lucas, the Lexington club saw several former players taken in this year’s draft. Pitcher Dan Savas of Illinois State was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 19th round. He turned in a 3.92 ERA while pitching for the Snipes in 2011. Ben Brewster, who pitched with the Snipes in 2013, landed in the White Sox organization as a 15th round pick. Another former Snipe whose name was called this past weekend was RHP Brock Stewart, who was taken by the Dodgers in the sixth round out of Illinois State. Current DuPage County Hounds pitcher Tomas Michelson of UIC was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 29th round. The Hounds were also represented by Illinois State’s Paul DeJong, who was taken by the Pirates in the 38th round. DeJong spent two seasons in the MCL, playing with the Illinois Lincolns in 2012 and the Hounds in 2013. Jameson Henning, who made the MCL All-Star Game while playing for the Rockford Foresters in 2012, was picked by the San Francisco Giants in the 12th round. This year’s class of MCL draftees will join a group of former players already competing in major league organizations, including former Illinois Jayhawks pitcher Tony Cingrani, who is a member of the Cincinnati Reds pitching rotation.
Tony Cingrani, former Illinois Jayhawks player in the MCL, debuted with the Cincinnati Reds in 2012 and has made 32 career appearances.
Former Southland Viking Justin Ringo played in 53 games with the Cardinals Rookie League in 2013.
www.nwioilmen.com STADIUM: Oil City Stadium HEAD COACH: Justin Huisman FIRST SEASON: 2012 www.zephyrs-baseball.net STADIUM: Waubonsee Community College MANAGER: Marco Fajardo FIRST SEASON: 1999
STADIUM: Joliet Junior College HEAD COACH: Jorge Garza FIRST SEASON: 2014
www.dupagehounds.com STADIUM: Benedictine University GENERAL MANAGER: Thomas Delves MANAGER: Sean Osborne FIRST SEASON: 2012
www.lexingtonsnipes.com STADIUM: Jack Horenberger Field GENERAL MANAGER: Billy DuBois MANAGER: Tyler Cook FIRST SEASON: 2001 www.southlandvikings.com STADIUM: Homewood Flossmoor High School MANAGER: Chris Cunningham FIRST SEASON: 2000
THE OFFICIAL BBQ SAUCE OF THE OILMEN
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WJOB PARTNERS WITH THE OILMEN FOR THIRD YEAR 2014 NWI Oilmen WJOB Broadcast Schedule Tuesday, May 27 vs. Southland, 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 28 vs. Lexington, 7 p.m. Saturday, May 31 at DuPage County, 6 p.m. Sunday, June 1 at Lexington, 1 p.m. Friday, June 6 vs. Michigan City, 7 p.m. Friday, June 13 vs. Joliet, 7 p.m. Saturday, June 15 vs. Lexington, 4 p.m. Friday, June 20 vs. Joliet, 7 p.m. Saturday, June 22 at DuPage County, 6 p.m. Friday, June 27 vs. DuPage, 7 p.m. Saturday June 28 at Zephyrs, Noon Sunday, June 29 at Joliet, Noon Tuesday, July 1 vs. Military All-Stars, 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 4 vs. Southland, 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 5 vs. Southland, 7 p.m. Sunday, July 6 at Zephyrs, Noon Wednesday, July 9 MCL All-Star Game, 7 p.m. Friday, July 11 vs. Lexington, 7 p.m. Saturday, July 12 vs. DuPage, 7 p.m. Sunday, July 13 at DuPage, 6 p.m. Friday, July 18 vs. Lexington, 7 p.m. Saturday July 19 vs. DuPage, 7 p.m. Sunday, July 20 vs. Chicago, 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 23 vs. Southland 7 p.m. Friday July 25 at Joliet, 5 p.m. Saturday, July 26 at Lexington, 1 p.m. Saturday, August 2 MCL Playoffs, 7 p.m.
By Brandon Vickrey The Northwest Indiana Oilmen are in their third year of a radio partnership with AM 1230 WJOB in Hammond. WJOB, the Voice of the Region, is the perfect match for the blue-collar attitude that the Oilmen personify. WJOB is a heritage radio station that started in 1924. The station has live local talk with 30 different shows per week, including the popular morning show “JED in the Region” from 5-9 a.m. Sports are also an important component of the WJOB lineup. In addition to serving as the home of the Oilmen, WJOB broadcasts Purdue, Indiana University, Valparaiso and South Suburban College athletics. Local high school athletic events are also broadcast live on WJOB over the course of the prep season. This summer, Brandon Vickrey will provide play-byplay for every Oilmen game. Vickrey is back for third season with the Oilmen and his first as the team’s lead broadcaster. Vickrey will be joined by Joey Gelman for all home games, while David Bork will handle color commentary for road broadcasts. All games will be available online via Ustream with select games also on the flagship station, AM 1230 WJOB. To listen online, visit NWIOilmen.com and click the “Listen Live” tab at the top of the home page.
Voice of the Region
Kids 12 and under receive FREE admission to any home Friday Night Oilmen game
bp is a proud partner of the NWI Oilmen
MEET THE STAFF
Chris Doherty Assistant General Manager
Chris Doherty is back for his second season as a member of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen front office. Doherty is currently pursuing a degree in sports management at the University of Kansas. He has a love of baseball that dates back over 17 years and enjoys being around the sport on a daily basis with the Oilmen. Doherty’s role with the team makes him responsible for overseeing all stadium operations.
Vincent Medina, Marketing Coordinator Intern
A proud third generation East Chicago native, Vincent Medina is the Marketing Coordinator intern. He is concentrating on marketing the NWI Oilmen to the Latino community. Vincent is a junior studying at Indiana UniversityPurdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in Informatics and Computer Information Technology, minoring in Spanish. Vincent is a freelance graphic artist as well as a beginning web developer.
Brandon Vickrey, Director of Communications
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen named Brandon Vickrey their Director of Communications on August 14, 2013. Vickrey’s role includes play-by-play broadcasting and public relations. Vickrey has been a part of the Oilmen organization since the team’s inaugural season, serving as a broadcasting and media relations intern in 2012 and 2013. Vickrey is a graduate of Portage High School and a Valparaiso University digital media major. He previously served as the coverage team coordinator for Ideas in Motion Media and is currently a radio producer for 89.1 FM The Lakeshore and a free-lance writer for the Post-Tribune newspaper.
Tate Hickey, Community Relations Intern
Tate Hickey is studying sociology and psychology at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana. She also plays on the tennis team at Saint Joseph’s. Originally from Dyer, Indiana, Tate is happy to be spending her time back in the region for this summer internship. She has experience as a tennis instructor and a camp counselor and loves working with kids.
Elizabeth Biancardi, Graphics & Publications Intern
Joey Gelman, Radio Broadcasting Intern
Elizabeth Biancardi creates most design material for the Oilmen, such as this game day program and enjoys design very much. She has previous experience from working on her high school newspaper. Currently, she works parttime at the Griffith YMCA in the Wellness Center and attends Purdue Calumet. She will be graduating in Spring 2015 with a BA in Visual Communication and Graphic Arts and a minor in Advertising.
Joey Gelman is a current junior at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and is majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Spanish. At U-of- I Joey works with the student newspaper and radio station through the Daily Illini and WPGU Radio as a sports reporter, update anchor and host. Joey has covered Illini men’s basketball, tennis and baseball as well as has covered women’s basketball, volleyball and women’s tennis. Joey also works with the Big Ten Network “Student U” program in which students broadcast Big Ten sporting events; doing both production and announcing.
David Bork, Sports Information Intern
Jazmyn Becerra, Photographer Intern
David Bork is a native of East Chicago, Indiana, and is serving as a sports information intern for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. Bork currently attends Purdue University, majoring in General Communication. Bork is currently the sports editor for The Chronicle student newspaper.
Jazmyn Becerra, a graduate of East Chicago Central, will be attending Purdue Calumet to major in Education and become a teacher. She plays volleyball and was the first girl on an all boys baseball team at her high school, where she played varsity as a right fielder. She was also secretary for National Honor Society. Jazmyn is also a member of and the photographer for The Circle, where she attends different events and volunteers her time to help her home city of East Chicago.
AROUND THE REGION UPCOMING EVENTS, JUNE 2014 Cruise Night
Hot Rod Power Tour
Gibson Woods Wildflower Walk
Get Outdoors Picnic
Wednesday June 18 6 PM-9 PM 119th St. Whiting, IN
Friday June 20 10 AM- 3 PM White Oak Ave Whiting, IN
Friday June 13 9:30 AM Gibson Woods Nature Preserve Hammond, IN
Summer Concert Series Tonal Attitude (Rock, Pop, Funk, & Blues)
Wednesday June 11 Noon- 7 PM Lake County Fairground Crown Point, IN
Friday June 13- Saturday June 14 Friday 4 PM- 11 PM Saturday Noon- 11 PM Downtown Crown Point Crown Point, IN
Saturday June 14 11 AM- 4PM Dunes Learning Center Chesterton, IN
OILMAN STAN WILL MAKE AN APPEARANCE!
Thursday June 12 7 PM- 9 PM Main Square Highland, IN
DON’T MISS THE ACTION, FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
FOR TICKETS & INFORMATION NWIOILMEN.C M
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PLAYOFFS PLAYOFFS PLAYOFFS PLAYOFFS PLAYOFFS PLAYOFFS
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DHDuPage County Hounds
WE BELIEVE IN AFFORDABLE FAMILY FUN!
DON’T MISS OUR
DAILY PROMOS! Tasty Tuesday $2 hot dogs & drink specials
Way Back Wednesday Half off any game ticket
Thirsty Thursday $2 draft beer, soda, & water
BP’s Family Friday Kids 12 & under get in free
Super Saturday Footlong Sausage & drink for $5
Senior Sunday Seniors get in half price
(60 & older)
YOU’RE INVITED TO OUR
SPECIAL EVENTS Tue May 27 OPENING NIGHT
Come support your Northwest Indiana Oilmen in their first home game against the Southland Vikings. Half of our ticket sales are going to the Whiting High School Science Olympiads to help fund their trip to Nationals.
Sat June 14 SUPER HEROES NIGHT
Wed May 28 PAINT THE GAME PINK
Fri June 6 STAN’S BIRTHDAY
Thu June 12 STRIKE OUT ALS
Fri June 13 ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
Winning is everything when fighting for Breast Cancer, so join us to fight for the cure. Special auctions and 10% of all ticket sales will be donated for the cause. Come to show your support!
It’s Oilman Stan’s third birthday! Help us sing happy birthday and blow out his candles. It’s also Family Friday: Kids 12 and under are admitted FREE!
Strike out ALS! Help fight Lou Gehrig’s disease. Half of our ticket sales will benefit the ALS Chicago Chapter.
What better way to spend Friday the 13th than with a Zombie Apocalypse! Watch the Northwest Indiana Oilmen face the Joliet Admirals and take part in our salute to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Sun June 15 FATHER’S DAY
Tues June 17 GREEN DAY
Sat June 21 BARK IN THE PARK
Tues July 1 U.S. MILITARY ALL-STAR GAME
Calling all heroes and heroines, we need your help defeating the Chicago Zephyrs! Dress like your favorite hero and get free admission.
Celebrate Father’s Day at Oil City Stadium! Watch the Northwest Indiana Oilmen face the Lexington Snipes then play catch with Dad after the game.
Green Day: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Half of our ticket sales will benefit Nathan Hale’s 3 R’s Project that supports the Whiting Education Foundation.
Bark in the Park! Bring your dog along as you watch the Northwest Indiana Oilmen play the Chicago Zephyrs.
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen will host their third annual exhibition against the U.S. Military All-Stars on July 1. This year’s U.S. Military game will feature an appearance from the Human Cannonball.
Fri July 4 BASEBALL & BBQ
Wed July 9 MCL ALL-STAR GAME
Sat July 12 NOCHE LATINA
Wed July 23 FAN APPRECIATION
COMING IN AUGUST AMERICAN ENGLISH
Get ready to tailgate and cook out afer Whiting’s annual Fourth of July Parade. Come watch the Northwest Indiana Oilmen as they face the Southland Vikings.
Watch as the Midwest Collegiate League’s best talent plays at the Whiting Oil City Stadium.
Watch the Northwest Indiana Oilmen play the DuPage County Hounds as we Celebrate Hispanic heritage with traditional music and dancing.
It’s Fan Appreciation Night at Oil City Stadium. The Zooperstars have come to help us celebrate the most important thing to the NWI Oilmen, YOU!
Come together and sing along to celebrate the Beatles 50th Anniversary of coming to the U.S. American English will cover Beatles songs throughout the decades.
THE NWI OILMEN PROUDLY PARTNERS WITH CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS
For more information on coordinating a fundraising event with the NWI Oilmen contact our marketing department at email@example.com
THE HEART OF OILMEN BASEBALL OIL CITY STADIUM IN WHITING, INDIANA
By Brandon Vickrey
Since the inaugural season of Northwest Indiana Oilmen baseball in 2012, the Oilmen have been proud to call Oil City Stadium home. A venue unlike any other, Oil City Stadium features the BP Oil Refinery located just beyond the outfield fence. The unique oil refinery backdrop serves as a constant reminder of the blue-collar attitude that the Oilmen display as they represent the Region of Northwest Indiana. Oil City Stadium, which is located at 1700 119th Street in downtown Whiting, is also home to the Whiting High School and Calumet College of St. Joseph’s baseball teams. The stadium has a capacity of 1,500 that includes box seats, bleacher seating and seating on the grassy berm area. The stadium opened in April 2011, a year before the Oilmen trotted onto the Oil City Stadium diamond for the first time. The Oilmen defeated Southland 14-3 on June 3, 2012 in their first-ever home game at Oil City Stadium. Oil City Stadium has hosted the Midwest Collegiate League All-Star Game twice, in 2011 and 2013. The mid-summer classic will return to Whiting again this season as the league’s brightest stars will be showcased on July 9. Fans that take in a game at Oil City Stadium will enjoy a complete baseball experience. Delicious and affordable concession items, interaction with Oilman Stan, games on the field between innings, fun promotions and great baseball combine to make Oil City Stadium a premiere family entertainment venue in Northwest Indiana. As a part of the city’s Lakefront Park redevelopment plan, the stadium was built at the location that was previously home to Whiting’s Little League Fields. Another unique aspect of the brick stadium is the 30-foot scoreboard in left field, which must be cleared for a home run. The Oilmen look forward to continuing to call Oil City Stadium home for years to come.
The Oilmen celebrate after defeating the DeKalb County Liners 6-2 to clinch the 2012 Midwest Collegiate League Championship at Oil City Stadium
WHITING NATIVES THAT HAVE GONE ON TO PLAY PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL Andrew Thomas Sr. -Minor league baseball in the Cleveland Indians organization in 1919 Steve Kraly -Pitched in five games with the 1953 World Series Champion New York Yankees Andrew Thomas Jr. -Drafted by the White Sox in 1966 Joe Homco- Player in the White Sox Organization in the minor leagues Phil Mateja -Spent four seasons in the minors playing in the Senators and White Sox organizations Rick McConnell -White Sox organization John Mostil -Major League Baseball outfielder for 10 seasons with the White Sox Al Pilarcik -Played in the big leagues from 1956-1961 with the Royals, Orioles and White Sox
COMMUNITY, PARKS, & PIEROGIS WHITING, INDIANA
The Bushas celebrate their Polish heritage at Whiting’s annual Pierogi Fest in July.
By David Bork The city of Whiting, Indiana is a Southern Shores Community that was born off the railroads and the Standard Oil Company in 1889. Whiting has well-known historic buildings, the Andrew Carnegie library, and the Hoosier Theatre. Whiting cherishes its history and continues to celebrate its traditions, and has even been recognized for being a Tree City USA for 19 consecutive years. It is not just the people who live in Whiting that recognize how unique it is. Whiting has also been featured on Today in America, Food Network and more! Whiting is ideally located 20 minutes from Chicago, so there’s a city style living with a small town feel which fits perfectly for the population of over 5,000 people who live here. The city of Whiting has streets named after city founders, specializing in unique shops and family owned businesses, and of rich ethnic heritage and diversity. The festivals, summer concerts, and parades in Whiting are known about around the country, especially the famous Pierogi Fest which has had a crowd of over 250,000 to come celebrate in this three day event. Whiting offers dining, recreation, entertainment and family fun. It is the perfect location to host our own Northwest Indiana baseball team! “I am proud to be the mayor of Whiting over the last 11 years after becoming a councilmen for 20 years,” Joe Stahura said. Stahura and the city of Whiting have made many improvements to make the city of Whiting well known not only over the state of Indiana but all over the United States. Stahura has made improvements to the parks, the schools, and the businesses to the city of Whiting. Back in 2011, Whiting had a 50 million Lake Front Renovation, to improve the parks and have Oil City Stadium built on 119th Street, and the Whiting softball fields by Whihala Beach, and fixing up the park and near the lake front. “Add more to the lakefront. Put a few museums in the city of Whiting, a lot is cooking for the city of Whiting,” Stahura said. Stahura plans to add to the city of Whiting to make the city a great place to live. Stahura wants to add more to the city of Whiting while adding a hall of fame for team mascots, and he plans to fix up the lake front, and add more parks for the teams to play, to make sure Whiting has the major league feel for the Whiting Oilers and the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. Every year towards the end of July, the city of Whiting on 119th Street holds a Pierogi Fest, for people to taste all different kinds of pierogi’s or try any food that is offered on 119th Street to promote their businesses in Whiting. People all over the country come in for the Pierogi Fest to learn about Whiting and their culture in depth. With Whiting being a small city it is getting more publicity for this weekend so the mayor will know what events he should have or venues in years to come. Whiting has a school district like any other city, Whiting has events going on every weekend and promote their events to make sure people come out. Whiting holds fundraising events, and giving events for people that are in need. The population of Whiting makes Whiting a city.
In 2011, Whiting began its 50 million dollar Lake Front renovations that included improving the park near the Lake Michigan Shore.
VENGA A CELEBRAR LA HERENCIA LATINA CON EL ORGULLO DE NORTH WEST INDIANA
LATINOS & BASEBALL Baseball was first introduced to Latin America by Nemesio and Ernesto Guilló in 1864 in Cuba with the foundation of the Habana Baseball Club. Other Latino countries quickly picked up the game, with Mexico being introduced to it in 1882, Nicaragua in 1888, and Venezuela starting its own league in 1895. Esteban Enrique Bellán of Cuba became the first Latino player to play for a professional team when he played for the Troy Haymakers and the New York Mutuals of the National Association. Though Bellán was the first Latino player, it wasn’t until 1911 that Latinos began receiving notoriety. The first two Latinos to play in what is now Major League Baseball were Rafael Almeida and Armando Marsans, who both joined the Cincinnati Reds of the National League in 1911. With nearly 25 percent of current players in Major League Baseball being Latino or of Latino-American descent, baseball proves to continue to be a staple in Latino culture, and will continue to be into the future. As seen in the photographs below, some of the greatest players in the game today are Latino, not because of sheer luck, but because of their passion and love for the game of baseball. By Vincent Medina
Born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Clemente is arguably the most famous and influential Latino baseball player of all time. Beyond the numbers Clemente was an icon of humanity whose life was cut short in an airplane accident that was delivering earthquake relief aid to Nicaragua on December 31, 1972. Career .317 BA. 3000 career hits. 12 time gold glove. 12 time AllStar. Hall Of Famer. World Series MVP.
Born of Mexican descent in California, Gomez was one of the first Latino players in the Major Leagues. After being acquired by the New York Yankees, he became one of the most dominating pitchers in Major League Baseball. He was an integral component of each of the five American League Pennants and five World Series Championships the Yankees won during his tenure. 2 time triple crown. Hall of Famer. 7 time All-Star.
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