It took him until his last at-bat, but South Bend Silver Hawks SS Andrew Velazquez extended his on-base streak to 71 consecutive games Saturday, tying the minor-league record set by Kevin Millar in 1997 and matched by Kevin Youkilis in 2003.
Velazquez struck out twice and flied out once in his first three at-bats. Then, in the top of the 7th inning, he singled sharply to shallow left field to tie the record.
“I was real nervous,” Velazquez told The Journal Gazette. “When I got to first, it was definitely a weight lifted off my shoulders. The whole game I was thinking about it. I’ve been thinking about it for the past week and a half.”
Velazquez’s on-base streak began April 22 when he tripled and walked against the Dayton Dragons. He can set a new MiLB record today against the Fort Wayne TinCaps.
The major-league record for consecutive games reaching base is 84, set by Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ted Williams in 1949.
Velazquez matched the MiLB record against the TinCaps, who beat the Silver Hawks 6-1 to end their losing streak at 13 games. TinCaps SP Kyle Lloyd struck out 13 batters in 6 IP, and LF Henry Charles hit a towering two-run homer that landed on the roof of Parkview Field’s 400 Club in straightaway center field.
Silver Hawks 1B Daniel Palka also homered, giving him 18 roundtrippers and 69 RBI this season. He leads the Midwest League in both categories.
Happy birthday, Stan Coveleski
Baseball Hall-of-Famer Stan Coveleski was born today in 1889. His playing career predated the Midwest League’s formation, but MWL fans will recognize him as the original namesake of South Bend’s stadium (now known as Four Winds Field).
Earlier this year, the Silver Hawks unveiled a statue of Coveleski that is located inside the center field gate. I shared photos of it and wrote about Coveleski’s career and connection to South Bend here.