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Friday, April 16, 2021

Mike Bradish played for South Bend, his mother almost did

Mike Bradish 1990 Utica Blue Sox card

Mike Bradish seemingly bypassed single-A South Bend in 1991 and went directly to high-A Sarasota. 

Bradish, though, found himself a little sad that he'd missed South Bend. That's because he had family in the city, as well as other ties, The South Bend Tribune wrote.

"I went to some South Bend White Sox games when I visited my grandparents and I was saying I would love to get drafted by the Sox," Bradish told The Tribune. "Sure enough, I got drafted by the Sox. I couldn't believe it. Out of 26 teams, the Sox drafted me."

Apart from his grandparents, Bradish also had direct baseball ties to the city - through his mother. His mother, Barbara Hamilton, nearly played for the South Bend Blue Sox, of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, in 1955, before the league folded.

Bradish would get to see South Bend, two years later, for half of 1993. He played one more season after that. He never made AA.

Bradish's career began in 1990, taken by the White Sox in the 15th round of the draft out of Christ College Irvine.

Bradish started with the White Sox at short-season Utica. He got into 59 games and hit .240. 

He hadn't struggled at the plate before and he called his baseball-loving mom for support. She drove out to see him in Utica, she told The Tribune later. She also harshly critiqued his White Sox-induced batting stance.

"Mike called me and he was miserable," Hamilton told The Tribune. "He had never hit under .250 in his lie and he was struggling. ... I went to the game and afterward I took Mike into the parking lot and yelled at him."

Bradish played 1991 at Sarasota and at high-A Miami. He hit .258 over 70 games on the season. He played an abbreviated 1992 campaign at high-A Salinas. He then finally arrived South Bend in 1993.

He played between South Bend and Sarasota for 1993. He hit .263 in 79 games. He then played 20 more games at high-A Prince William to end his career.

By October 1995, Bradish was back in South Bend, working at a car dealership, after also working as a teacher, The Tribune wrote.

"My heart is still always in the game," Bradish told The Tribune. "The only think that makes it hard is that I know I could have played in the big leagues. If I had been given a chance, I could have made it. I could hit."

Mike Bradish 1990 Utica Blue Sox card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,625
Made the Majors:1,248-34.4%
Never Made Majors:2,377-65.6%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:520
10+ Seasons in the Minors:307

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