Fort Wayne TinCaps
|Fort Wayne TinCaps
Founded in 1993
Fort Wayne, Indiana
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Midwest League (1993–present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||San Diego Padres (1999–present)|
|Previous||Minnesota Twins (1993–1998)|
|Minor league titles|
Fort Wayne TinCaps (2009–present)
|Ballpark||Parkview Field (2009–present)|
|Previous parks||Memorial Stadium (1993–2008)|
|General manager||Mike Nutter|
The Midwest League came to Fort Wayne in 1993. The franchise dates back from the league's days as the Illinois State League, starting in 1947 in Mattoon, Illinois. In 1958 the team moved to Keokuk, Iowa, where it spent five seasons; it was based in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin (1963–1983) and Kenosha, Wisconsin (1984–1992) before moving to Fort Wayne. The team was a Minnesota Twins farm team before they affiliated with the Padres in 1999. In 2006, the team was sold to a pair of businessmen from Atlanta who also own the Salem Red Sox.
Prior to the 2009 season, the team was known as the Fort Wayne Wizards. The name TinCaps was chosen following the 2008 season, alluding to John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. The Tin Cap refers to a fictionalized depiction of John Chapman wearing a cooking pot as a hat in the 1948 Walt Disney movie "Johnny Appleseed," though this depiction has been disputed by historians. Chapman spent his final years in Fort Wayne and is buried in the city.
The team's home park was Memorial Stadium, which opened in 1993; a franchise attendance record of 318,506 was also set that year. As part of the Harrison Square revitalization project, Parkview Field became the official home of the TinCaps at the start of the 2009 season. To coincide with the new ballpark, the team held a contest to determine a new name for the Wizards once that new ballpark opened, and "TinCaps" was the result.
The mascot of the TinCaps is Johnny. Previously, for the Wizards, it was Dinger the Dragon and prior to that, the Wizards were represented by Wayne the Wizard.
The team won the Midwest League 2009 championship by sweeping the Burlington Bees, 3–0. The first two games were played at Parkview Field and the final, decisive game was played in Burlington, Iowa. The team and its staff were honored at Parkview Field in a special victory rally on September 18, 2009. In addition to winning a franchise record-setting 94 games in their new home, fans shattered the previous attendance record for the season, with 378,529 coming through the turnstiles.
The TinCaps also clinched playoff spots in each of the following two seasons.
Awards and honors
- 2009 – Midwest League championship
- 2009 – This Year in Minor League Baseball Awards "Overall Team of the Year"
On August 24, 2008, The Journal Gazette and the franchise selected the all-time Wizards team members.
Fort Wayne TinCaps roster
Former TinCaps/Wizards in the Majors
Torii Hunter, Jake Peavy, Bobby Scales, Joakim Soria, Dale Thayer, Nate Freiman David Freese, Will Venable, Nick Hundley, Greg Burke, Matt Antonelli, Josh Geer, Josh Barfield, Éric Cyr, A.J. Pierzynski, Michael Cuddyer, Wade LeBlanc, Cliff Bartosh, Jack Cassel, Corey Koskie, Ben Johnson, Dennis Tankersley, JJ Trujillo, Dirk Hayhurst, Michael Thompson, Latroy Hawkins, Scott Watkins, Matt Lawton, Dan Naulty, Brandon Gomes, Mat Latos
- Dinda, J. (2003), "Fort Wayne, Indiana, in the Midwest League"
- "Fort Wayne no longer the Wizards." Scout.com. 2 October 2008. Retrieved on 10 August 2009.
- Leininger, Kevin, 2007's top local stories, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, January 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27.
- Fort Wayne Wizards to Hold Re-Naming Contest, HarrisonSquareFortWayne.com, June 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
- Watson, Dan, "TinCaps Rewrite Franchise Record Book", tincaps.com, September 9, 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- Mayo, Jonathan (December 28, 2009). "TinCaps honored as Minors' top team: Padres' Class A affiliate posted .678 winning percentage". MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
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Fort Wayne TinCaps