Tag Archives: baseball

Leo Lions Move Up to Number 3 in Coaches Poll

The Indiana High School Baseball Coaches rated 3A Leo number 3; just 2 points behind number 2 Brebeuf. They also received a first place vote.

Last week, Leo wrapped up the ACAC conference championship, going undefeated at 7-0. They are 18-2 overall on the season. Senior pitcher Brandon Alger, who is an Indiana Tech signee, is currently 6-1-1 with an earned run average of .4, 80 strikeouts to just 11 walks and WHIP of .688. Junior Jordan Baer is 5-0 with an ERA of 1.56 and 42 strikeouts, and Junior Luke Pepple is 3-0 with an ERA of 1.50 and 27 K’s.

The offense has 4 players batting over .400 (Andrew Suciu, Alger, Mitchell Kumle, and Baer) and four others batting over .300 (Kyle Miller, Drew Adams, Pepple, and Cortlin Simpson). RBI leaders are Suciu and Baer with 21, Simpson 19, Adams 15, and Alger & Pepple 13.

Speaking of Indiana Tech…

Indiana Tech alum, Jush Judy has been promoted to the Cleveland Indians’ Triple-A affiliate in Columbus. The move comes following the Tribe’s trade of reliever Saul Rivera to the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash considerations.

Note: Special thanks to Brad Alger for submitting the information on Leo.

Wedge to be Among NEIBA Hall of Fame Honorees

The Northeast Indiana Baseball Association Hall of Fame will induct four new members during an awards banquet on January 29, 2010 beginning at 6:30PM at the Allen County Public Library. The four honorees will be:

  • Eric Wedge (Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Cleveland Indians)
  • Keith Shepherd (Philadelphia Phillies, Colorado Rockies, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles)
  • Gerry Tilker (35-year Wildcat official, FWUA Umpire)
  • Thomas Pillars (1928 St. Louis Cardinals, Monroeville Little League Coach and Organizer)

Pillars honor is being given posthumously and family members will be on hand to accept on his behalf. Wedge will also serve as the evening’s keynote speaker. In addition to the new HOF honors, NEIBA will also present the Bob Parker Memorial Award, given to individuals who go above and beyond to be promoters and ambassadors of the game of baseball on the local level, and the Colin Lister Award, which is given to individuals who demonstrate commitments to local youth league organization and development.

The Bob Parker Award will be presented to Dona Schaefer (Fort Wayne Daisies and AAGPBL supporter/activist and Fort Wayne Turners). The Colin Lister Award will be presented to Chuck Itt (Wallen Baseball player, coach and leader) and to Dan Eash (player and founder of the Fort Wayne Men’s’ Senior Baseball League). Tickets to the event are $25 and parking is free. Tickets must be ordered by January 24th.

They are available at Sports Center, Inc. (5511 Coventry Lane – Fort Wayne), via mail NEIBA, PO Box 40224; Fort Wayne, IN 46804 or on NEIBAseball.org (click here to request your tickets).

Coliseum Set To Tear Down Memorial Stadium

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

Work to raze the Memorial Stadium began in earnest Monday, but cranes and a wrecking ball won’t tear into the ballpark until next week.

 The demolition brings an end to the stadium’s 16-year life along Coliseum Boulevard and the St. Joseph River. The stadium helped bring minor league baseball to Fort Wayne but is no longer needed now that the TinCaps have moved into Parkview Field downtown.

Former Wizard, Tom Mott Want to ‘Keep The Dream Alive’

Former Fort Wayne Wizard, Tom Mott recentlydropped me a line to provide a brief update about his 1 Dream Foundation happenings. He reports tha the 1 Dream Foundation is still going strong, with three students from the class of 2009 being recipients of full scholarships to: Indiana, Montana State & Hill JC.  However, the organization is not unlike many other organizations in this current struggling economy. Please take a moment to read through the great things Mott’s organization is doing and their needs. If you can assist, I strongly encourage you to do so.

As the great Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  The 1 Dream Foundation (http://www.1dreamfoundation.com/) holds these 13 words as the core to our existence.  With education all things are possible.  For many children in 3rd world counties, education is their only hope for a secure job and decent future.  The 1 Dream Foundation targets these young disadvantaged students and provides them the education that they so desperately desire.

In this tough economic time, non-profits like the 1 Dream Foundation must adapt and creatively seek out the funds required to continue to change lives.  Each year our goal is to have 8-10 students from around the world join our program.  The 1 Dream Foundation seeks out students ages 16-17 who have the desire to learn, the motivation to succeed and the sparkle in their eyes.  These are students from some of the poorest places in the world that just need an opportunity, an opportunity which us Americans so often take for granted.

In our short three year history we have had many success stories.  A 16 year old student from the Dominican Republic who had his father murdered when he was three years old and had to live on his own from age 13 to 14… he is now in the United States speaking flawless English and has found the family, school and love that was so hard to come by in his home country. 

There’s also the 19 year old from Angola who came to the United States legally blind in one eye and nearly blind in the other.  Unbeknown to us prior to his arrival, we found him an eye specialist who generously donated his services and now he has eyes of an eagle.  He had been blind for nearly 5 years so he has had to play catch up academically but he is making incredible progress.

Every kid has an amazing story and we hope to touch the lives of many others. Here is where we need your help.  We need to raise $10,000 by June 28th to “Keep the Dream Alive” for our new students.  Whether you can donate $10 or $1000, every single dollar goes directly to the kids and makes a huge difference. 

Please forward this letter to your friends, your family and your co-workers.  Payment methods are simple, via our secure website www.1dreamfoundation.com (paypal) or by sending a check to PO Box 3655, San Luis Obispo, CA  93406.  Our non-profit tax id # is 26-0320711

Please help us give these kids the opportunity that all kids deserve… a quality education, great host families and an organization that will mentor them every step of the way. 

Thank you for your support.

Tom Mott
The 1 Dream Foundation

“Changing Lives… One Student at a Time”

Bobby Scales Debut May be Coming

Bobby Scales has been on the verge of making “the show” for years. He’s been a minor league player for a decade and has spent the last five years at Triple-A with no call-up. During the offseason, he chose to resign with the Cubs rather than take his chances with yet another organzation.

This spring, he battled along with two other former Wizards for a backup infielder role, presumably third base. None of the three got the job (Luis Rivas was released and Corey Koskie officially retired). He was among the late spring cuts and actually went with the Cubs to New York for the exhibition games in New Yankee Stadium.

This spring, I predicted Scales as one fo the “sure thing” former Wizards to make their MLB debuts this season. He’s started the 2009 campaign, his second as an Iowa Cub, pretty well. In 20 games, he’s seen 72 at-bats and compiled a .306 average with 22 hits, a triple, two home runs and nine runs batted in. He’s also drawn nine walks and has a .378 OBP.

You have to figure that being a third baseman at Iowa, you stand a good probability of getting a cup of coffee with the Chicago Cubs before the season is out. Given that Aramis Ramirez is oft-injured, Scales may be called upon to see some action. In fact, the injury bug is buzzing around Aramis currently as he deals with inflamation in his left calf. Entering the day, there was speculation that Ramirez might have to take a brief DL stint, so the Cubs had Scales at the park just in case.

The Cubs are also currently carrying an extra outfielder, which leaves them a player short for the infield. Today, the Cubs used Mike Fontenot and backup catcher, Koyie Hill at third in an 8-2 loss to Florida. Said Cubs’ manager Lou Pinella of the situation:

“We’ve gone as far as we can without an extra infielder,” said manager Lou Piniella. “It’s decision time. If we have to do something, we’ll bring up Scales. He’s been in the Minor Leagues a long time, and it’ll be a wonderful opportunity for him.”

It doesn’t get much closer than that! Scales’ time is coming. I’m rooting for you Bobby.

Nick Adenhart Makes Me Reflect…

Way back in the day – before the era of television, the Internet, blogs, Twitter and our overly connected culture – kids collected baseball cards to find out about players. Baseball fans would read these obscure and smelly things we called newspapers or listen to fuzzy radio broadcasts to learn about baseball players and follow their careers. In some ways, it was easier back then. Players stayed with teams longer and  baseball – though it was a business – was not yet BIG business.

Boys and men alike would dream that they could do the things that their more talented counterparts could. They lived vicariously through their favorite players by taking a liking to those in which they saw parts of themselves. Together, the players and fans bonded to share mutual dreams as one lived it and the others lived it through those players.

Fast forward to our current culture where fans are constantly connected and sometimes know more about players than the players do. One of the great joys I get is in following the careers of players I “root” for and cheer onto success. I take a bit a pride in their accomplishments because I feel like I get to share in their achievements.

In most instances, the players I follow have Fort Wayne or Northeast Indiana ties. That’s a connection that is real – to me at least. It’s one of the reasons I have such a passion for chronicling the history of our local arena. While the players are living the dream (or have lived it), I’m living through them by recreating the events – the games, the plays, the stories – and hopefully I’m preserving it for others to live and learn from. Whether it’s true or not, I hope I am able to provide others with an opportunity to connect with those individuals when they might not have otherwise been able to do so.

This sort of connection also explains the magnificent appeal of fantasy baseball. It’s an opportunity for fans to prove they can be “better general managers” or owners.

But, when it comes to fantasy baseball, I probably lose because I don’t do it right most of the time. I always have some players that I like to follow for similar reasons I mention above. They don’t always have local ties. But they almost always have a great story and give me a reason to root for them.

Nick Adenhart was one of the lucky few who lived his dream first-hand. He was diligent in his work ethic to prove others wrong and fulfill a promise that several onlookers doubted was still in existence.

This year, I nabbed Adenhart in the 27th round of my keeper fantasy league draft! Because it’s relevant, I have to tell you that the league is an American League only league. By the 27th round, there are very few quality players available. As you can imagine, I was pretty sure I got the steal of the draft. With Nick Adenhart’s first start of the 2009 season, he had proven that he was more than on the cusp of reaching the potential that many observers had considered gone.

As he experienced the joy of his outstanding 2009 season debut, a part of me took pride. I had been following his career for a few years and had rooted for him because he was a character individual who was overcoming some great challenges. I guess I have always rooted for the person who doesn’t have an easy path – did the same thing with Josh Hamilton.

At the same time, I relished the thought of having him on my fantasy roster for a decade or more since I got him so late. I was going to get a lot of wins, a lot of strikeouts and plenty of fantasy points.

But my fantasy points don’t mean dittily squat!

As anyone now knows, in the wake of the greatest professional performance of his career, a man (Andrew Thomas Gallo) of much lesser character chose to get behind the wheel of a minivan despite being far too inebriated to drive and despite not even having the legal right to be in that position because his license had been suspended.

I think again to Josh Hamilton, where in his autobiography, he details how people told him that he was depriving people of watching him play because of his addictions. Unfortunately, in this case, Gallo has deprived all of us the privilege of watching Nick Adenhart achieve his fullest potential.

The accident has reverberated in my mind since I first heard the news. There are many reasons. The most obvious is the fact that life is fragile and could end at any moment – whether by our own doing or by someone else’s. Second is the fact that Gallo was driving a mini-van. I wonder if he has kids and how many times he had gotten behind that wheel in the same state of cognitive dysfunction with them in the van. What if they had been inside when he disregarded the red light? As a parent, this thought makes you shiver and perhaps even evokes some form of rage.

The third, and perhaps the hardest to explain reason, is a fact that I’ve touched upon. A player I have been following and rooting for a few years can be followed no more. I’ll follow other players, but will never forget Nick Adenhart even though his full history is pretty much already written. There’s little for us to research and study. His body of work is so brief that he leaves a life that was largely unfinished. Rather, that life was taken from him.

I can’t imagine what is like to be his parents, his family, his friends, his teammates. Nick Adenhart will always be in their hearts. They will never forget the way he touched their lives and I have to imagine there is a little piece of each of their souls that will never be able to move on either.

In light of this tragedy, I think of Steve Olin and Tim Crews. Both were members of the Cleveland Indians organization back in 1993 when the boat they were in crashed into a pier. Both lost their lives that day. It was the first death of an active Major League player in decades.

I also think of Gerik Baxter, a former Fort Wayne Wizard. Baxter put together a solid season in Fort Wayne in 2000. At one point, he had pitched 30 consecutive scoreless innings. In 2001, he was on his way to Lake Elsinore as the #5 top rated prospect in the Padres’ organization to continue his rise through their system. Unfortunately, he never got there. He died after a tire in the truck he had been driving blew out and then veered into a car in the slow lane before rolling several times.

I wonder how their friends, family and teammates responded or reacted when they heard about the Nick Adenhart tragedy. The fact that I remember Olin and Crews as well as Baxter reminds me that there were people who knew and love those men, just as there were those who knew and love did Nick Adenhart. I was just one of the lucky folks who got to watch them and live through them as their careers blossomed.

So I write this as a personal letter of gratitude to those four men I mention – those four who unfortunately will never get to read it. I also write it to the men and women who have played the game – those who can read it – and allowed people like me to chase a small part of our own dreams with you.

No matter what anyone says, you’re still heroes in the eyes of many.

The 2009 TinCaps

Tonight, the Fort Wayne TinCaps kicked off their first year as the TinCaps with a 4-0 shutout win in Lansing. Two players who return from last year, Drew Cumberland and Sawyer Carroll, each collected two runs batted in while Anthony Bass picked up the win in his first professional start. He struck out four while allowing just three runners over six innings.

The Fort Wayne Wizards/TinCaps are now 12-5 all-time in season openers.   

In just one week’s time, we’ll be enjoying the home opener at Parkview Field. Should be an exciting time and will be really cool if businesses do leave the lights on for the. Should be magnificent to see downtown all lit up and vibrant.

There is a lot  being written about the TinCaps right now and next week we will probably be drowning in media coverage as the opener approaches – if you watch, you may even catch me on TV a time or two! Very vew will research the players to the level I do, so I had planned to do an overview of each player next week. If I get time this weekend, I may still do so. However I wouldn’t count on it.

One good place I suggest you all look in preparation for the “homecoming” of the TinCaps to Parkview field, is Scout.com’s MadFriars.com. John Conniff has provided an outstanding 2009 TinCaps Preview that covers much of it. According to Conniff, both Decker and Latos should join the team shortly.

I tell you what, this is going to be a pretty good squad. If they stay healthy, and they stay with us all year, get ready Fort Wayne! Methinks I smell a championship!

All About the Fort Wayne TinCaps

The beautiful thing about he start of the baseball season is the shear newness. No matter what happened the year before, the slate is clean and opportunity abounds in all realms. The fact is, every season brings new faces, new teams and – in some cases – a new team name or brand.

Fort Wayne is on the cusp of ushering in a new era that is brimming with excitement and anticipation. New park. New location. New team name. New team brand. New style. Same professional manner of business and focus of family entertainment. And, along the way, we get to watch future Major Leaguers during the minor moments.

Fort Wayne TinCaps Logo

Not surprisingly so, many visitors of this blog have come in search of information about the Fort Wayne TinCaps. I offer for you, a synopsis of what we know thus far. I invite you to follow along on Twitter or RSS as I continue to chronical history as it happens.

Introducing the Tin Caps, Wizards Name Change Official (October 2, 2008)

Fort Wayne TinCaps Logos (October 2, 2008)

TinCaps Stories and Headlines (October 4, 2008)

More TinCaps Reaction (October 7, 2008)

TinCaps Schedule and MySpace (October 9, 2008)

TinCaps Have Top New Logo (November 12, 2008)

Your TinCaps Gear is Here (November 28, 2008)

TinCaps Press Conference & Uniform Galleries (December 2, 2008)

TinCaps Uniforms Renderings (December 2, 2008)

Parkview Field Rendering and Logo December 3, 2008)

What’s the Score? Parkview Field Finds Out! (February 20, 2009)

TinCaps Special TreeTop Tickets (March 26, 2009)

Will TinCaps Do Anything to Promote Local History? (March 27, 2009)

TinCaps Opening Day Roster Includes 3 First Rounders (April 4, 2009)

Taylor Baseball Inks Homestead Catcher, Stryker Salyer

Taylor University head baseball coach Kyle Gould has announced the signing of Stryker Salyer for the 2010 season.  Salyer, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a catcher in his senior season at Homestead High School. 

A switch-hitter, Salyer was ranked by Prep Baseball Report as the #83 prospect in the state of Indiana. 
He was the starting catcher for Blackhawk Christian High School in Fort Wayne as a freshman, and helped lead the Braves to the 2006 Indiana State Championship.

Salyer has spent his summers competing for the Indiana Bulls and US Athletic, both elite club programs located in Indianapolis.

With current Taylor catcher and back-to-back All-MCC pick Paul Passiales graduating following the 2009 season, coach Gould looks forward to what Salyer will bring to the catcher position for the Trojans.

“Stryker has shown that he has all the tools necessary to be a very good college catcher,” said Gould.  “He is a good athlete who possesses good speed, a quick release, and quick hands at the plate.  He has played against great competition not only during his high school season, but also during the summers with two of the top summer programs in the State.  I look forward to him joining us for the 2010 season.”