A few weeks ago Silver Hawks manager Mark Haley got the call. The call every minor leaguer dreams of.
"I said, 'Me?'. And he said 'Yep, you!'".
The Arizona Diamondbacks, the parent club of the South Bend Silver Hawks, are bringing Haley up to the majors.
The longtime Silver Hawks skipper is finally about to realize the dream, which he thought passed him long ago!
"I cannot believe this!", Haley said. "When I got married I told my wife, 'Give me ten years. If I'm not in the big leagues then, I'll do whatever's necessary for the family.' That's what brought us back to South Bend. But when you least expect it, that's when that call comes."After THIRTY years of toiling in the minors, later this week, Mark Haley will make his big league debut.
“Everybody tries to be in the big leagues from the day you're born...Some make it at 18, others make it at 52,” he laughed.
Even though Hales will be a rookie…he’s no stranger to the club. He estimates that roughly three quarters of the players on the current Diamondback roster are guys he coached in South Bend. And being reunited with his brightest pupils will be special.
“It's nice to watch them, because they remember when. They'll probably laugh [when I arrive in Arizona] because I'll probably bust their butts and they'll say, 'Hales is here!'"
Haley will handle the advance scouting reports for the Diamondbacks, who as of Wednesday have a six game lead in their division. The promotion is not only a reward for dedicated service to the organization, It’s a chance for Haley to prove himself in the heat of a pennant race.
“It's an exciting time for all of us who've been with me and know what I've been through."
And he could be coming back to South Bend when all this is over with a whole lot more than just a story to tell.
“We’re not talking Midwest League. We’re talking World Series. That would be outstanding.”