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Windy City ThunderBolts

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Team History[edit]

The Windy City ThunderBolts began play in the independent Frontier League in 1999 as the Cook County Cheetahs. In 2004, the team was sold, and the new owners adopted a new name for the club. The ThunderBolts play their home games in Hawkinson Ford Field in Crestwood, Illinois, just outside Chicago.

In its first season, 2004, the team finished the year with a 20-game losing streak. Manager Steve Maddock quit after 15 losses and was replaced by hitting coach Joe Charboneau who could not end the streak. Brent Bowers took over the team's reins in 2005 and 2006. The team finally broke through to respectability in 2007 under Andy Haines, a former coach with the Dubois County Dragons getting his first managerial experience. He capped an outstanding 68-28 season by leading the team all the way to the League Championship, defeating the Washington Wild Things in the finals.

In 2008, Brian Nelson took over as manager but was fired in mid-season, after a tirade against an umpire had led to a six-game suspension. He was replaced by former coach Mike Kashirsky who took the team, which was playing barely over .500 at that point, to a second consecutive league championship, beating the Kalamazoo Kings in the finals. Veteran minor league manager Tommy Thompson was then named skipper for 2009, then Kashirsky was named full-time manager in 2010 after Thompson was offered a job in the Chicago White Sox organization.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
2004 37-57 10th Steve Maddock (37-52) / Joe Charboneau (0-5)
2005 39-57 11th Brent Bowers
2006 41-54 8th Brent Bowers
2007 68-28 1st Andy Haines League Champs
2008 60-36 1st (t) Brian Nelson (23-22) / Mike Kashirsky (37-14) League Champs
2009 56-40 4th (t) Tommy Thompson Lost in 1st Round
2010 56-38 3rd Mike Kashirsky Lost in 1st Round
2011 48-48 6th Mike Kashirsky
2012 54-42 5th (t) Morgan Burkhart
2013 50-46 7th (t) Ron Biga
2014 35-60 13th Ron Biga
2015 41-55 11th Ron Biga
2016 42-53 11th Ron Biga
2017 51-45 5th Ron Biga
2018 41-54 6th Ron Biga
2019 42-54 5th Brian Smith
2020 Season cancelled
2021 43-53 10th Brian Smith
2022 33-62 15th Brian Smith
2023 43-52 12th Richie Sexson

Related Sites[edit]