Category Archives: Downtown

Midwest League All-Star Game Coming Back to Fort Wayne

Midwest League All Star Game LogoThe Fort Wayne TinCaps are hosting the 2010 Midwest League All- Star Game, with festivities taking place in Fort Wayne on June 21st and 22nd. The top prospects in the Midwest League will be showcased. Both East and West divisions will field teams of 35 players – or a total of 70 top prospects from the league’s sixteen teams.

The East will be the home team and led by Fort Wayne’s coaching staff. That division includes the Dayton Dragons, Great Lakes Loons, Lansing Lugnuts, West Michigan Whitecaps, South Bend Silver Hawks, and Fort Wayne TinCaps as well as league new-comers, the Lake County Captains and Bowling Green Hot Rods.

The Western Division will be managed by Burlington’s coaching staff and will be made up with players from the Burlington Bees, Clinton Lumberkings, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Quad Cities River Bandits, Peoria Chiefs, Beloit Snappers, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, and Kane County Cougars.

This is the first Midwest League All-Star Game in Fort Wayne since 1994, when it was played at Memorial Stadium. The 2010 edition will also include a Monday night (June 21st) Skills Competition and Home Run Derby, which will consist of four players from each division as well as a local participant, Fort Wayne’s Hometown Hitter.

Home Run Derby LogoThe evening of the Home Run Derby will be preceded by an autograph session by All-Star Game participants as well as an exhibition home run derby featuring members from area Little Leagues. Participants in the Little League Home Run Derby will be 12 years of age or younger and special fencing will be erected for this portion of the event. The evening’s events will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display.

Tuesday afternoon will feature an All-Star Game Fan Fest at the Grand Wayne Center,which is free to the public starting at noon and going through 3PM. The Fan Fest will provide access to players for autographs and also include interactive games, inflatables, and kids activities.

For on-field entertainment during the game, Fort Wayne has partnered with the best entertainment in Minor League Baseball, including the ZOOperstars, BirdZerk, Myron Noodleman, and Breakin’ BBoy McCoy. Fireworks will also conclude the night’s festivities.

I’ve got my tickets and can’t wait to enjoy the festivities!

Press Coverage:

Fort Wayne, IN – The Fort Wayne TinCaps announced today details of the 2010 Midwest League All-
Star Game festivities that will take place in Fort Wayne, Indiana this coming June 21st and 22nd.
The Midwest League All-Star Game is a showcase for the top prospects in the league. Both the East
and West divisions will field a team of 35 players for a total of 70 top prospects from the sixteen teams
that make up the Midwest League.
The Midwest League consists of two eight-team divisions. The East will be the home team for the game
and will be managed by Fort Wayne’s coaching staff (the host city) – led by manager Jose Flores. The
Eastern division is comprised of the Dayton Dragons, Great Lakes Loons, Lansing Lugnuts, West
Michigan Whitecaps, South Bend Silver Hawks, and Fort Wayne TinCaps. The two final teams that
comprise the Eastern division are new comers to the league the Lake County Captains and Bowling
Green Hot Rods. Lake County and Bowling Green formerly competed in the South Atlantic League.
The Western Division will be managed by Burlington’s coaching staff (runner-up in the 2009 Midwest
League Championship series) – led by manager Jim Gabella. The Western division teams are the
Burlington Bees, Clinton Lumberkings, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Quad Cities River Bandits, Peoria Chiefs,
Beloit Snappers, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, and Kane County Cougars.
The Midwest League All-Star Game, which rotates between the sixteen member teams, returns to Fort
Wayne for the first time since Memorial Stadium played host to the game in 1994. Four players are still
currently active in the Major Leagues that were named to the 1994 Midwest League All-Star roster. Billy
Wagner, Raul Ibanez, Mike Sweeney, and Alex Rodriguez are currently playing in the Major Leagues.
(Rodriguez was named to the 1994 roster, but was promoted prior to the game being played.)
The Midwest League continues to be a showcase for future Major League talent. Albert Pujols, Prince
Fielder, Justin Morneau, Johan Santana, Jake Peavy, Joe Mauer, Dan Haren, and Miguel Cabrera are
just a few of the names that filled the rosters of Midwest League All-Star teams in the past. The 2010
All-Star Game will be yet another showcase for the future stars of the Major Leagues.
(continued on page 2)
(continued from page 1)
The 2010 Midwest All-Star Game festivities extend beyond just the game itself on the evening of
Tuesday, June 22nd. The night before on Monday, June 21st the talent and power of the Midwest
League will be on display in a Skills Competition and Home Run Derby. The 2010 Midwest League
Home Run Derby will consist of four players from each division as well as a local participant, Fort
Wayne’s Hometown Hitter.
Fort Wayne’s Hometown Hitter will be a high school baseball player determined through a series of
preliminary contests, culminating in a single player qualifying to compete against the best power hitters
in the Midwest League. Schools in the SAC, NHC, ACAC, and Independent high schools Blackhawk
Christian and Canterbury, were invited to nominate one player each to compete in preliminary events
taking place after each Sunday game in May. The top power hitters will advance to the finals to
determine Fort Wayne’s Hometown Hitter. The Hometown Hitter will be allowed to compete with a
regulation IHSAA aluminum bat.
The evening of the Home Run Derby will be preceded by an autograph session by All-Star Game
participants as well as an exhibition home run derby featuring members from area Little Leagues.
Participants in the Little League Home Run Derby will be 12 years of age or younger and special
fencing will be erected for this portion of the event. The evening’s events will culminate in a
spectacular fireworks display.
Tuesday afternoon will feature an All-Star Game Fan Fest, free to the public, at the Grand Wayne
Center starting at noon and lasting until 3:00pm. The Fan Fest will provide attendees with access to
players from both the Eastern and Western divisions for autographs. The Fan Fest will also include
interactive games, inflatables, and kids activities.
Not only will the players on the field be the best that the Midwest League has to offer, the
entertainment between innings will also be second to none. Fort Wayne has combined the best
entertainment in Minor League Baseball to entertain those in attendance during the 2010 All-Star
Game. The ZOOperstars, BirdZerk, Myron Noodleman, and Breakin’ BBoy McCoy will entertain Parkview
Field throughout the June 22nd star-studded event. Fireworks will also conclude the night’s festivities.Fort Wayne, IN – The Fort Wayne TinCaps announced today details of the 2010 Midwest League All-

Star Game festivities that will take place in Fort Wayne, Indiana this coming June 21st and 22nd.

The Midwest League All-Star Game is a showcase for the top prospects in the league. Both the East

and West divisions will field a team of 35 players for a total of 70 top prospects from the sixteen teams

that make up the Midwest League.

The Midwest League consists of two eight-team divisions. The East will be the home team for the game

and will be managed by Fort Wayne’s coaching staff (the host city) – led by manager Jose Flores. The

Eastern division is comprised of the Dayton Dragons, Great Lakes Loons, Lansing Lugnuts, West

Michigan Whitecaps, South Bend Silver Hawks, and Fort Wayne TinCaps. The two final teams that

comprise the Eastern division are new comers to the league the Lake County Captains and Bowling

Green Hot Rods. Lake County and Bowling Green formerly competed in the South Atlantic League.

The Western Division will be managed by Burlington’s coaching staff (runner-up in the 2009 Midwest

League Championship series) – led by manager Jim Gabella. The Western division teams are the

Burlington Bees, Clinton Lumberkings, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Quad Cities River Bandits, Peoria Chiefs,

Beloit Snappers, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, and Kane County Cougars.

The Midwest League All-Star Game, which rotates between the sixteen member teams, returns to Fort

Wayne for the first time since Memorial Stadium played host to the game in 1994. Four players are still

currently active in the Major Leagues that were named to the 1994 Midwest League All-Star roster. Billy

Wagner, Raul Ibanez, Mike Sweeney, and Alex Rodriguez are currently playing in the Major Leagues.

(Rodriguez was named to the 1994 roster, but was promoted prior to the game being played.)

The Midwest League continues to be a showcase for future Major League talent. Albert Pujols, Prince

Fielder, Justin Morneau, Johan Santana, Jake Peavy, Joe Mauer, Dan Haren, and Miguel Cabrera are

just a few of the names that filled the rosters of Midwest League All-Star teams in the past. The 2010

All-Star Game will be yet another showcase for the future stars of the Major Leagues.

(continued on page 2)

(continued from page 1)

The 2010 Midwest All-Star Game festivities extend beyond just the game itself on the evening of

Tuesday, June 22nd. The night before on Monday, June 21st the talent and power of the Midwest

League will be on display in a Skills Competition and Home Run Derby. The 2010 Midwest League

Home Run Derby will consist of four players from each division as well as a local participant, Fort

Wayne’s Hometown Hitter.

Fort Wayne’s Hometown Hitter will be a high school baseball player determined through a series of

preliminary contests, culminating in a single player qualifying to compete against the best power hitters

in the Midwest League. Schools in the SAC, NHC, ACAC, and Independent high schools Blackhawk

Christian and Canterbury, were invited to nominate one player each to compete in preliminary events

taking place after each Sunday game in May. The top power hitters will advance to the finals to

determine Fort Wayne’s Hometown Hitter. The Hometown Hitter will be allowed to compete with a

regulation IHSAA aluminum bat.

The evening of the Home Run Derby will be preceded by an autograph session by All-Star Game

participants as well as an exhibition home run derby featuring members from area Little Leagues.

Participants in the Little League Home Run Derby will be 12 years of age or younger and special

fencing will be erected for this portion of the event. The evening’s events will culminate in a

spectacular fireworks display.

Tuesday afternoon will feature an All-Star Game Fan Fest, free to the public, at the Grand Wayne

Center starting at noon and lasting until 3:00pm. The Fan Fest will provide attendees with access to

players from both the Eastern and Western divisions for autographs. The Fan Fest will also include

interactive games, inflatables, and kids activities.

Not only will the players on the field be the best that the Midwest League has to offer, the

entertainment between innings will also be second to none. Fort Wayne has combined the best

entertainment in Minor League Baseball to entertain those in attendance during the 2010 All-Star

Game. The ZOOperstars, BirdZerk, Myron Noodleman, and Breakin’ BBoy McCoy will entertain Parkview

Field throughout the June 22nd star-studded event. Fireworks will also conclude the night’s festivities.

TinCaps Tix On Sale Today, Team is Hiring

From the TinCaps’ newsletter:

The Fort Wayne TinCaps individual game tickets will be available for purchase starting at 10:00am EST on Tuesday, February 24th. The TinCaps offer three options when purchasing tickets for the 2009 season.
PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

The TinCaps have partnered with Streamline Ticketing, a Nashville, Tennessee-based technology firm, to create a customer-friendly online ticket purchasing experience. First, fans will select their desired game date. Then fans will be able to select their exact section, row and seat with the TinCaps interactive Parkview Field ballpark diagram. Once fans have selected their desired seats, the third and final step will be completing the transaction by selecting their preferred payment option. An additional feature allows fans to print their tickets at home. Save time and select your specific seats, all from the comfort of your computer. The TinCaps online ticketing system will go live at TinCaps.com at 10:00am EST on Tuesday, February 24th.

PURCHASE TICKETS BY PHONE

The TinCaps will also be accepting ticket orders by phone beginning at 10:00am EST. Call the TinCaps administrative office at (260) 482-6400 to purchase your tickets.

PURCHASE TICKETS IN PERSON

If purchasing your tickets online or by phone on the 24th is not an option, the TinCaps will be setting up a temporary ticket office at the Grand Wayne Center on Tuesday, February 24th beginning at 10:00am EST. This temporary ticket office will be available Tuesday only from 10:00am till 5:00pm. Any walk-up ticket transactions after the 24th will take place at the TinCaps newly completed Administrative Offices located at 1301 Ewing Street, at Parkview Field. Please call (260) 482-6400 for directions and parking instructions while the final stages of construction at Parkview Field are still in progress.

TinCaps Job Fair – Saturday, February 28th
10:00am – 2:00pm  at the Grand Wayne Center – Fort Wayne

The Fort Wayne TinCaps will be hosting the team’s 2009 Job Fair at the Grand Wayne Center on Saturday, February 28th. The event, which will begin at 10:00am and run until 2:00pm, will take place in the Calhoun Room, located on the 2nd floor of the Grand Wayne Center, located in downtown Fort Wayne, directly across from the North Entrance to Parkview Field.

In response to increased staffing needs at the soon to be completed Parkview Field, the TinCaps are looking to fill over 200 seasonal and part-time positions during the team’s Job Fair on February 28th. “We are expanding the level of customer service at Parkview Field, both during games and at additional special events,” said team Vice President, Brian Schackow. “Our staffing needs have escalated for the 2009 season and we looking for qualified individuals to join our part-time and seasonal staff. There are a wide variety of positions available. We encourage anyone interested in applying to come by the Grand Wayne Center on February 28th.”

The TinCaps are looking for applicants in the following categories: Ushers, Ticket Takers, Parking Lot Attendants, Ticket Office Sales, Merchandise Sales, Video Production, In-Game Promotions, Field Maintenance, Special Events, Food Preparation and Service Staff. Applicants must be 16 years of age or older. Certain positions require specific skills and previous experience. Most positions do not require previous experience.

Applicants that are not available to attend the Job Fair are welcome to stop by the TinCaps Administrative Offices located at Parkview Field during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm). Please call (260) 482-6400 for directions and parking information.

Winston-Salem Journal Covers Ballpark Projects, Business Models

As the also recently renamed Winston-Salem Dash work toward their ballpark construction, the Winston-Salem Journal explored it in comparison to other similar projects currently under way. Fort Wayne TinCaps Vice President – Marketing & Promotions, Michael Limmer is quoted in discussing the business plan, which includes improvements for reaching out to more patrons and families who might not normally come to a baseball game.

“You want to give people as many reasons to come as possible,” Limmer said. “It can’t just be seats and a field…. You want it to be a destination regardless of whether there’s a game going on or not.”

Limmer said that families come to minor-league games in part because they like baseball, but also in part because the stadiums are fun for children, some with moon bounces, hot dogs, slides and mascots. A better stadium brings bigger crowds, he said.

“These towns and cities want something to showcase, something to show off,” he said. “If you’re going to do it, you do it right. So if you just put up a community field, a glorified high-school field, you’re not going to get the sponsorships or the people.”

Judging by the comments on the article, that project (and team name) is just as contentious as the Fort Wayne project.

Fort Wayne Reader Solicits Bloggers’ Input

Fort Wayne Reader Asks What's in a NameMichael Summers over at Fort Wayne Reader asks, “What’s in a name?” In doing so, you consulted the Fort Wayne TinCaps staff as well as local blogs and bloggers to present the details and reaction of the new Minor League Baseball moniker and logo to the team formerly called the Wizards.

 

In addition to Baseball in Fort Wayne, Summers consulted Fort wayne News, WhatsGoingDown(Town) and Common Sensibilities. Kudos to Summers for reaching out to this growing niche of local bloggers and blog readers!

 

Read the article here.

A Brief Visit to Victory Field in Indy

I was in Indy today and took a walk down to Victory Field (home of the Indianapolis Indians). The gates were open, as was the team shop. Got to take a real quick around as they prepared for a Cancer Walk that will take place tomorrow. Guess you really can promote healthy events at the ballpark. 🙂

BTW: I would have taken more pictures had I actually brought my camera. This one was taken with my camera phone.

Parkview Field at Harrison Square

Next year’s Low-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres will play at Parkview Field.

Team owners, city officials and Parkview executives announced that Parkview Health has purchased the naming rights for Harrison Square’s baseball stadium in a deal that amounts to $3 million over 10 years.

The $300,000 annual contribution will be split between the baseball team’s owner, Hardball Capital, and the city. The city’s portion will be put into a fund to accumulate money for future capital projects at the stadium. City officials have said this is necessary to keep taxpayers from having to finance future improvements at the ballpark [Journal Gazette].

The health provider will have a large presence in the stadium, where it could provide blood pressure and other health screenings at the park and willstaff the first-aid station and a nursing room. Nutritionists and dieticians will also work with ballpark concessionaires to provide healthy food and drink options.

An e-mail was sent to Parkview Health workers about the decision before the public announcement was to be made. Cathy Dee has posted a segment of this message on her Common Sensibilities blog.

Other ources about today’s naming rights announcement:

On a related note; if you go to ParkviewField.com, it will take you to HarrisonSquareFortWayne.com. Wonder if they will do something more on the domain or if it is simply going to remain a mirror site.

Note: I lifed the image from ParkviewField.com.

Opening Day of a New Era in Fort Wayne Baseball

The innagural season for the ballpark at Harrison Square is set for Thursday, April 16th, 2009 at 7:00pm EST.

“We have been looking forward to April 2009 as the opening month of the first season downtown,” said Mike Nutter, General Manager. “We are excited to be able to officially put a date and time on when the first game will be played in that new ballpark. It’s hard to believe how far the construction has come since the groundbreaking and it will be fun to watch how quickly things come together in the coming months.”

While the specifics of Opening Day ceremonies have not been announced, the team is excited about what the future holds and what the possibilities will be.

“We plan on kicking off the first game, home stand and season downtown in style. We have had tremendous support and encouragement from our new neighbors downtown and we are excited about the possibilities that those relationships bring to the table, ” stated Michael Limmer, Assistant General Manager. “There’s a lot of work to be done between now and April 16th, but having a date to focus on is important for our staff. We have 224 days to get everything ready in order to play ball. We couldn’t be more excited.”

More information on the 2009 schedule will be released when the remainder of dates, times and promotional events have been finalized by the front office staff. For more information on season tickets, group outings or corporate partnerships for the Ballpark at Harrison Square contact the team at (260) 482-6400.

And if you you need a little help visualizing the time to opening day, the Wizards have produced a countdown on their website. I imagine it will migrate over to the new site once a new team name is selected and domain is secured.

Might Toledo Use Fort Wayne as a Model?

As the ballpark at Harrison Square has been debated and discussed, there was much talk of looking to other cities, such as Dayton and Louisville for inspiration, ideas and lessons learned. I had even heard – and often suggested – that the developers look to Toledo for the same reasons.

Having visited there in 2006 for the Triple-A All-Star Game, I saw a great facility that had little to surround it. While it was not as bad as Detroit, where you walk out of a beautiful stadium and suddenly feel like you’ve been dropped into a scene from The Road Warrior or Mad Max, Toledo bored me. There was absolutely nothing to do near the park. Yet, you could tell they were on the upswing (or so I thought).

2006 Triple-A All-Star Game in Toledo 

At the time, it seemed to me that Toledo was several steps ahead of Fort Wayne. However, Toledo Blade Staff Writer Matthew Eisen (wonder if there’s any relation to former Daisies player, Tibby Eisen), posits that Toledo may look to Fort Wayne for inspiration.

In Fort Wayne, Ind. — a city with a metro population equal to Toledo’s, just short of 600,000 — a comprehensive plan released in 2002 provided the blueprints for 76 downtown projects.

Sharon Feasel, a redevelopment specialist for Fort Wayne, said the city has completed nearly 50 percent of those objectives, including expansion of its convention center and smaller initiatives such as the landscaping of city center medians.

The second-largest city in Indiana is in the middle of building a new ballpark for its Class A minor league baseball team, the Fort Wayne Wizards, in the Harrison Square area downtown. The project includes a Marriott hotel and 60 new condominiums.

“We set about the process of thinking about all of the complexities of downtown,” she said. “Downtown, everyone has to do everything together, and you have to mix all uses, all races, all incomes, mix all everything.

“We just literally set about trying to promise that this wasn’t going to be a plan that sat on the shelf.”

Ms. Feasel said the plan has experienced so much success that Fort Wayne produced an update — Blueprint Plus — zeroing in on more specific parts of downtown, including the waterfront along the city’s own stretch of the Maumee River.

Eisen’s article bases a lot of Toledo’s current momentum on the tenets of an architectural movement that is collectively known as New Urbanism; which is a concept that “endorses the creation of heterogeneous neighborhoods with a variety of shops, offices, and accessible green space while encouraging public transportation and walking.”

During the years of 1950 to 2007, urban populations grew from 110 million to 275 million. During the same time frame, rural populations grew from 62 million to 63 million. Projections suggest that urban populations will to continue to ascend — increasing to 401 million by 2050. At the same time, rural populations are expected to fall to 44 million.

New Urbanism definitely has its advantages. Higher density creates lower energy costs. Working near employment reduces commutes, and further saves energy. Additionally, there is always a social outlet for those seeking it.

Naturally, this is a type of living environment that caters to young professionals. I’ve observed this fact many times over. Those who are for the HS project, are typically 30 and under. Those who are against it, are typically . . . well, older than that. (While I like comments, let me preempt potential backlash by observing that I did NOT say every 30 year-old loves the Harrison Square idea and everyone over 30 hates it). Chew on this for a minute:

The millennial generation — 78 million born from 1977 to 1996 — has started becoming a major part of the work force as baby boomers — 82 million born from 1946 to 1964 — begin to take a bow and pack up their desks. The group of fresh workers might be more apt to look for residences downtown if their jobs are already there . . .

With jobs generating activity during the day, and residents filling the void in the evenings, downtowns suddenly become more attractive to other businesses, much as they were 50 years ago when they served as the hub of industry.

Most urban planners agree revitalization then typically goes to entertainment — restaurants, nightclubs, theaters, sports venues — followed by retail, a far more fickle downtown staple, all on the heels of other developments to complete the city center package.

Eisen concludes his piece by stating that “[v]ery few cities in the country the size of Toledo have a ballpark, a convention center, a world-class art museum, a picturesque waterfront, and a budding arena to attract visitors and residents to the city.”

While he is correct, I look to Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne has all that, plus a phenomenal public library, the Embassy Theatre, the Botanical Conservatory, additional museums and plenty of dining options. Honestly, this is an opportunity that others have worked very hard to achieve, and one that can’t be passed up.

I guess Fort Wayne isn’t that far behind after all.

Era of Baseball in Fort Wayne to End as Another Begins

Three more games. That’s all that’s left in the history of baseball at Memorial Stadium.

Three more games. That’s all that’s left in the regular season home schedule of the Fort Wayne Wizards.

Three more games. That’s all that we’ll see the “Wizards” take the field in Fort Wayne, barring a miraculous run to make the playoffs.

In 1993, local old-timers like Red Braden ushered in an era of baseball in Fort Wayne. In 2008, a local up-and-comer who was a 2007 first-round draftpick will effectively bring that era to an end.

Memorial Stadium

Jarrod Parker, the ninth overall pick in 2007, will take the mound for the visiting South Bend Silverhawks during Thursday’s Memorial Stadium finale against the home team Fort Wayne Wizards.

Parker is 11-5 during his first professional season. He has a 3.59 earned run average over 23 starts. In 112.2 innings, the former Norwell High School star has struck out 110. Last year, Parker helped lead the Knights to a 35-0 season, which included bringing home the Class 3A state baseball title, and Indiana’s Mr. Baseball in addition to several other accolades.

Wynn Pelzer (9-5) will start for the Wizards. In 28 games, Pelzer has a 2.84 ERA while allowing 107 hits, 28 bases on balls and 97 strikeouts in 114 innings.

The Fort Wayne Wizards have put together many great events and promotions for the week. It was kicked off with the naming of the All-Time Wizards on Sunday. Today, they announced the all-time Memorial Stadium team of players who came through Fort Wayne either as a visiting team or a home team. That list includes Alex Rodriguez, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Albert Pujols, Torii Hunter, Adam Dunn, Johnny Damon, Jake Peavy, and Billy Wagner among others.

Three more games. That’s all that’s left before the physical reminder of fifteen years worth of memories meets its fate with a wrecking ball. And the Wizards are senging it out with style.

After the last game, fans will be allowed to run the bases as they usually do. Limmer said they also will be given an opportunity to throw a “final pitch” from the pitcher’s mound. Front-office personnel considered having a ceremony to turn off the lights, but wanted the fans more actively involved.

And the chances are, Corey Kluber’s selection as last week’s Midewst League Pitcher of the Week will be the last in the grand history of the Fort Wayne Wizards.

Midwest League poses little challenge for him. On Aug. 19, Kluber had the week’s best start, striking out 11 batters over eight one-hit innings against Lansing. Unfortunately, the game was a pitcher’s duel that Fort Wayne lost in the 10th. Pitching against the same Lugnuts five days later, Kluber exacted a bit of revenge, and the win, this time with 10 strikeouts and four hits allowed over five innings.

Three more games. And tomorrow, one of the most recent breakthrough former Wizards, Chase Headley will field questions from fans in a live chat on padres.com at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Three more games. That’s all that’s left. And bloggers are memorializing Memorial Stadium in which he ask’s the Journal Gazette’s Ben Smith to tell us how he feels about it.

Three more games. And then several months during the offseason. That’s all that stands between this moment and opening day of a new era of baseball  in Fort Wayne. That’s when the first pitch will be thrown by a player from a yet-to-be-named Fort Wayne team from the mound at the ballpark at Harrison Square.

Three more games. That’s all that’s left before a hometown hero takes the mound in Fort Wayne. It’s ironic that it took fifteen years, but how fitting that it will be such a person to send the stadium out and effectively be the usher to the end of one era and the gatekeeper to the beginning of another.

Wizards Want Your Input on Name Change Possibility

The process of selecting a new name for Fort Wayne’s Minor League Baseball team continues with the next phase of public feedback. After sifting through more than 2,500 team name suggestions over the last three weeks, the team again looks to the public to provide guidance.

“We were impressed with both the sheer number and the creativity of team name submissions,” stated General Manager, Mike Nutter. “That makes it that much more difficult to choose the new name for the team.”

The team is asking the public to help one more time in the decision-making process. “We could go in any number of directions with the names we’ve received,” said Nutter. “We’re hoping that the community will help. We’ve identified four primary themes into which many of the suggested names fall into and we want fans to let us know which direction they prefer.”

The four categories that the team has identified are:

– FORT WAYNE ICONS and/or PROMINENT HISTORICAL INDIVIDUALS
– FORT WAYNE GEOGRAPHY (THREE RIVERS, SUMMIT, ETC.)
– FORT WAYNE’S HISTORY AS A CENTER OF INNOVATION and INVENTION
– The “OLD FORT” or SIMILAR MILITARY THEME

While the public gives their feedback, the team will be busy narrowing down the considerable list of potential names. “We are hoping that with the names we have received and this additional public input we can zero in on the best name and begin the considerable work required from there to design and develop a logo and team identity,” said Nutter. “It has always been our goal to create a brand that Fort Wayne and the surrounding community can identify with and embrace as their own.”

To give your feedback, CLICK HERE