Chicago White Sox ACE: The backstory of a Michigan recruiting pipeline

Michigan baseball players are not allowed to enter the locker room until they have all earned the right to do so.

Bakich created a months-long process of earning entry via hard work in the practice facility, classroom and community to fight back against entitlement — a sentiment he thinks is the root of the problem with many young players.

It’s a rule emblematic of Michigan’s hard-nosed attitude, something Bakich has aimed to make synonymous with his program

Among his other mechanisms of doing so? Recruiting from the Chicago White Sox ACE Program.


Thirteen years ago, White Sox ACE Program founders Kenny Fullman and Nathan Durst sat down to solve a problem. 

The pair watched as talented players like Elliot Armstrong from the urban Chicago area were under-recruited, not receiving the press or attention from college coaches that Fullman and Durst felt they deserved. There must have been some sort of failure in the process.

It’s no secret that baseball’s history is marred with access problems. One need not look further than the existence of the Negro Leagues to view the problem rear its ugly head. 

Baseball’s access problems, though, still persist today, 73 years…

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