We expected that the Chicago Cubs affiliation would prove to be a large asset to the South Bend Cubs, but I’m not sure anyone quite expected this.
BREAKING: We’ve set a new single-season franchise attendance record of 259,530 for the 2015 season! pic.twitter.com/Qfzq2NtkkY
— South Bend Cubs (@SBCubs) August 6, 2015
That’s right, the Midwest League Cubs have set a new franchise attendance record in their first year of Chicago Cubs affiliation. Here’s the fun part: they still have sixteen home games to go.
Doing some math, it looks like the SB Cubs have played fifty three home games so far. That averages out to be 4,897 fans per game. Assuming they hold that number, they should draw 78,352 fans the rest of the way. That would be a grand total of 337,882 tickets sold in their debut year with the Cubs. In other words, South Bend is on track to exceed their previous attendance record by more than 30%.
And the final tally could easily be higher. South Bend is in the second half division title chase (currently four games back) and has two of the Cubs’ best prospects on their roster (Torres and Happ). Both of those factors could easily result in a late season uptick in attendance that could push their final total north of 340,000. Maybe higher.
While the effect on the major league franchise isn’t direct, this affiliate success could be a factor that helps the Cubs secure a more favorable TV contract in the new future. It is just one more piece of evidence that the Cubs are a very strong and very marketable brand across a wide (and populous) region of the Midwest.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – There was just too much Omaha offense in this 9-5 Cubs loss.
Tennessee – This game was close early, but starting in the fourth the Smokies began pouring on the runs. When the onslaught ended Tennessee had a 13-1 win.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans tied it up with two in the ninth, then scored in the bottom of the tenth to secure a 3-2 win.
South Bend – South Bend came from behind in this one, but they didn’t stop once they were ahead. They ran away for a 10-2 win.
Eugene – Eugene had the day off.
Arizona – Arizona scored in the bottom of the ninth to walk off with a 2-1 win.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Javier Baez had an 0 for 5 day with 2 strikeouts.
- [Iowa] Adron Chambers tripled (his 2nd) and finished 2 for 5. Taylor Davis doubled and finished with 2 hits.
- [Iowa] The only hit for both Christian Villanueva and Mike Olt was a double each. Both also walked.
- [Tennessee] Willson Contreras finished 4 for 5 with a double.
- [Tennessee] Jacob Hannemann homered (his 3rd), walked, and finished with 2 hits. Albert Almora doubled, walked, and finished with 2 hits.
- [Tennessee] Stephen Bruno reached five times on 2 walks, 2 singles, and a double. With 2 walks, one single, and a double, Jacob Rogers nearly matched him.
- [Tennessee] While the offense was going nuts, Ryan Williams cruised through 6 quiet innings, allowing just 3 hits and striking out one.
- [Myrtle Beach] Jen-Ho Tseng struck out 6 over 7 innings, walked no one, and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits. Josh Conway struck out 2 and allowed 2 hits in his 3 innings of relief.
- [Myrtle Beach] Jason Vosler homered (his 4th) in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game.
- [Myrtle Beach] Daniel Lockhart finished 2 for 4 with a double. He also drove home Trey Martin for the winning tally.
- [South Bend] Trevor Clifton walked 3 and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits in his 7 innings of work. He struck out 2.
- [South Bend] Jeffrey Baez tripled (his 4th), walked, and scored twice. He also stole his 22nd base.
- [South Bend] David Bote (3 for 5) and Gioskar Amaya (2 for 3, double) had the only multi-hit games.
- [South Bend] Gleyber Torres was back in his usual place in the lineup. He finished 1 for 4 with his 18th steal of the season.
- [Arizona] Manuel Rondon struck out 3 and allowed a run on 2 hits in his 5 innings of work.
- [Arizona] Scoreless relief was provided by Jordan Brink (1 IP, 1 H, 1 K), John Williamson (1 IP), and Luis Hernandez (2 IP, 1 H< 6 K).
- [Arizona] Tyler Payne and Angelo Amendolare both reached twice on a hit and a walk.
- If you missed it yesterday, Jeffrey Baez and Brad Markey were named the Cubs Player and Pitcher of the month for July.
- If you are not subscribed to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Youtube, you have been missing out on a season’s worth of highlight reels. Here is the latest from the Cubs High A team, featuring that game tying homer and walk off double.
- So in addition to surging up the Cubs’ prospect charts (How high? The Top 40 re-ranking is coming soon.) and drawing plenty of national attention with his work behind the plate, Smokies’ catcher Willson Contreras is now leading the Southern League in batting average. The below ranking was prior to yesterday’s game… you know, the one where he finished 4 for 5.
Your Southern League leader in batting average this morning is… pic.twitter.com/u81kDjcPeg
— Tennessee Smokies (@smokiesbaseball) August 5, 2015