Wizards’ 2006 Season Comes to Close

Every team wants to be the last team in the league to walk of the field as winners. Even though this year’s squad was capable of being that team, they lost a hard-fought series to the in the first round of best-of-three playoff series. Another great season has come to an end. Thanks to the Wizards’ players and staff for putting together another geat year! I’m already waiting for 2007.

Mood Swings . . .

Will Venable

The 2006 edition of the Fort Wayne Wizards were really exciting, and puzzling, at times. Strings of dominance were often interrupted by periods of doubt and inability to get the job done on the field. Still, the team provided a lot of late season excitement; ending with playoff spot and a lot spark. 

As a 9/4/06 Wizards’ press release notes:

Outfielder Will Venable was named the Wizards Most Valuable Player and closer John Madden and middle reliever Alfredo Fernandez were announced as the Co-Most Valuable Pitchers. Following Saturday’s regular season home finale, the Fort Wayne Wizards coaching staff and front office, in conjunction with Times Group Community Publications, awarded the 2006 team postseason awards.

It should also be noted that outfielder, Mike Sansoe claimed the final Midwest League Offensive Player of the Week (from August 28 through September 4).

Sansoe hit .521 (12-for-23) to lead the Wizards to a 6-2 mark against the Clinton Lumber Kings (Texas Rangers affiliate) and the South Bend Silver Hawks (Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate). He raised his season average from .272 to .293 over the week. [Wizards 9/5/06 Press Release]

They dropped the post-season opener last night to a fierce West Michigan team, but hope to right the ship and take the next two to advance to the next round.

Opinion: Ballpark Could Spur Downtown Revitalization

The CastleIn an opinion editorial that appeared in the August 31, 2006 News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne City Councilmen Tim Pape and Sam Talarico Jr (D and R respectively), discuss their involvement and findings with the BaseballPLUS committee in addition to their hope for Fort Wayne’s future. It’s an interesting read and very well done from a PR perspective.

(SEE THIS:) Baseball stadium can spark greater downtown revitalization

Next up…

I have a lot of plans for this site. For my own planning purposes, here goes:

  • Book Reviews – of books of local interest (more than just my own 🙂
  • Bio Projects – profile area baseball personalities, events and facilities
  • Contact form – so you can get in touch with me for questions, help, comments, suggestions, etc.
  • Interviews – oral history is an important research tool. Hoepfully, interviewing such folks will provide a similar use.
  • League Links & Info
  • Photos – Wont’ it be nice to have a centralized locale for local baseball lore?
  • Blogger Bloglet & Newsletter – Ways to keep readers updated in terms of content and info.
  • Etc. – There are many ways this site can become a community resource. I am excited to watch it evolve over the coming months and years.

Progress/Update

Wow. This site is comeing together fast! Today, I added several tabs for pages I intend to produce, added some photos to the random header rotation, created some categories, added the Google AdSense codes to the sidebar and got a stats tracker through Counterspot started. Pretty soon, we’ll list on BlogExplosion and add some more content and will be in business.

Baseball in Fort Wayne?

If you are visiting this blog, I welcome you. However, it is not quite ready for me to publicize yet. I am still working out the theme and general operation of the blog. When complete, it will serve two purposes.

Initially, it will be an informational resource for my forthcoming book, Images of Baseball: Baseball In Fort Wayne, which will be published by Arcadia Publishing. Second, it will be an aggregate resource for all things baseball in and around Fort Wayne.

I welcome your ideas, suggestions and comments in the meantime. Hopefully, I’ll be ready to go public very soon.

Lots of Former Wizards in Camp

The Padres’ Spring Training camp has a lot of players already. As one would expect given the length of San Diego’s player development contract with Fort Wayne, there are many former Wizards on hand. And, with the WBC looming, the Friars have called even more former Wizards into camp.

As Corey Brock reports:

infielder/outfielder Brett Dowdy and infielder Sean Kazmar — two players who are not on the 40-man roster — will join the team in case there is a need for bodies during spring games.

Both Dowdy and Kazmar are former Wizards. Also as expected, Kyle Blanks is going to get a lot of starts since Adrian Gonzalez is heading to the WBC:

“He’s going to get starts,” Black said. “He would have gotten starts on an alternating basis. Blanks isn’t going to play every day, he’s not going to be the Cal Ripken of Spring Training. He’s climbed the ladder to the point where he projects to go to Triple-A. He had a great year last year. He’s a guy who is approaching the Major Leagues.”

Former Wizards Drew Macias and Chad Huffman have also been working out at first and will see time there. Jose Lobaton, Colt Morton  will get looks at catcher as the team decides upon the backup to Nick Hundley, who seems to have secured the starting role. All three catchers are former Wizards.

A Glimpse of Northeast Indiana Baseball History