Vote for West Michigan Whitecaps Hall of Fame: Class of 2023.
Fans may vote once for up to three players and/or people who have made contributions to the team worthy of acceptance into the Hall of Fame. The winners will be determined by a committee that includes front office members and local media. Email your votes to: [email protected]
*Fan voting closes at 3:00 pm on Friday, October 21st. *
The Whitecaps Hall of Fame inductee(s) will be inducted at the annual Whitecaps Community Foundation Winter Gala on February 2, 2023.
Greg Soto ('17) - Greg Soto signed with the Detroit Tigers as an international free agent in December 2012. He started 2017 with the West Michigan Whitecaps and was promoted to the Lakeland Flying Tigers during the season. After going 12–2 with a 2.25 ERA and 144 strikeouts between the two teams, he was named the Tigers minor league pitcher of the year. In the 2022 season, Soto has continued his role as the primary closer for the Tigers. On July 10, Soto was selected to represent the Tigers at the 2022 All-Star game, his second consecutive All-Star selection. At the time of the selection, Soto had 17 saves in 19 opportunities, with a 2.67 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 30+1⁄3 innings.
Will Maddox ('15) - Drafted in the 18th round (550th overall) by the Detroit Tigers in 2014, Maddox became Mid-West League All Star who posted a .339 average. His 173 base hits set a new team record. He played for the Detroit Tigers in 2019 before being signed by the San Francisco Giants later that season.
Derek Hill ('15, '16) - Hill was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 1st round (23rd) of the 2014 MLB. Hill's played for West Michigan in 2015 and 2016. Season. In 2016 he posted a .266 average with one home run, 31 RBIs, and 35 stolen bases. In 2017, Hill began the season with West Michigan, and after batting .285 with an .812 OPS, he was promoted to the Lakeland Flying Tigers in late August. Hill currently plays outfield for the Detroit Tigers.
Christin Stewart (’15) _– _Stewart signed with the Tigers, and spent the 2015 season with *GCL Tigers, **Connecticut Tigers, and West Michigan Whitecaps, posting a combined .285 batting average with ten home runs and 44 RBIs in 71 total games between the three clubs. Stewart started in left field for the Tigers in 2020.
Mike Gerber – (‘14/’15) Played with the Whitecaps in 2014 & 2015, appearing in nearly every game during the ‘Caps ’15 title season. Hit a career .298 in 143 games with the club. Lead 2015 team in Hits (150), Doubles (31), Triples (10), HR (13) & RBI (76). Outstanding character – the kind you’d want in your HOF. Endeared himself to ‘Caps fans and to the West Michigan community.
Rick Berkey– The Original Voice of Whitecaps Baseball, and West Michigan man through & through. Berkey was the inaugural radio voice of the ‘Caps for their first 11 seasons as a franchise. He’s been broadcasting for nearly 40 years, and his baseball play-by-play predates the Whitecaps, having called games for the Grand Rapids Sullivans. He’s also called basketball games for Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, and to where he now works at Davenport University. In Football, he’s called games for Davenport and was the voice of the Arena League Grand Rapids Rampage. A graduate of Western Michigan University, Berkey was the first voice Whitecaps fans got to know as local baseball was brought into their lives.
Willy Adames ('14) - In 2014, played 98 games with the Whitecaps. He had 14 doubles, 12 triples, a .269 batting average and a fielding percentage of.952. Adames is currently starting at shortstop for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Juan Tejeda ('02) - Hit .300 with a Whitecaps record 106 RBI and 34 doubles during the 2002 season. Spent five seasons in the Tigers Minor League system, playing as high as Double-A Erie, before spending three seasons with the Pirates, Mets, and Phillies organizations.
Gorkys Hernandez - ('07) - Hit .293 with 50 RBI and a league-leading 54 stolen bases on his way to being named a 2007 Midwest League All Star and league MVP. Made is Major League debut in 2012 with Pittsburgh, spent 3 seasons with the San Francisco Giants, and currently plays for the Boston Red Sox.
Avisail Garcia ('09, '10)- spent part of the '09 season and the '10 season with the Whitecaps. In 2010, he had 139 hits, 63 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. Currently in his 8th Major League season, Garcia played 6 with the White Sox with close to 600 hits more than 60 HR and 260 RBIs, and has spent the 2019 season with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Bruce Rondon ('11) - Went 2-2 with 19 saves and a 2.03 ERA in 2011. He struck out 61 batters in 40 innings and was named to the Midwest League All Star game. Bruce made his MLB debut in 2013 with the Tigers and signed with Chicago for the 2018 season. He has appeared in more than 150 game in the last 4+ season in MLB.
Eugenio Suarez ('12) - in 2012 had 147 hits, 67 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 135 games that season and was named a Midwest League All Star. He made is MLB debut in 2014 with the Tigers and then was traded to Reds. In his 4+ season in the Majors he has more than 80 home runs, 290 RBI an OPS of close to 1.000.
Hernan Perez ('09, '10, '11) - Spent 2+ season in West Michigan. His best season was in 2011 when he hit .258 with 23 doubles, 42 RBIs and 23 stolen bases and was named a Post Season All Star. Made his MLB debut in 2012 with Detroit and was traded to Milwaukee in 2015. He has spent parts or all of the last 8 season in the Majors playing in more than 500 games, 350 hits and 150 RBIs.