Tag Archives: Eric Wedge

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).

Deadline Deals and Fort Wayne Connections

There were a lot of deals and moves at the non-waiver trade deadline that have Fort Wayne ties. Here’s a rundown of those that I noticed:

Lobaton Claimed

The Tampa Bay Rays claimed former Wizards catcher Jose Lobaton off waivers from the Padres. Lobaton made his MBL debut earlier this season, but was designated Lobaton for assignment on Monday. In total, he played in seven games, going 3-for-17during his stint in San Diego.

Ready Promoted

Former Wizards skipper, Randy Ready was promoted to the Padres hitting coach. Ready managed in Fort Wayne for three seasons (2004-06) and is the all-time leader in wins for a manager. He joins another Fort Wayne coaching alum in San Diego: Padres’ pitching coach Darren Balsley. Balsley was the Fort Wayne pitching coach in 2000.

Peavy Traded

This deal has more ties that what is most obvious on the surface. Former Wizards pitcher, Jake Peavy was traded to the White Soz. In return the Padres got pitchers , Aaron Poreda, Adam Russell and Dexter Carter. In addition to the Wizards connection with Peavy, there is a good chance the trade will make Carter into a TinCap. Clayton Richard is from Lafayette. You might have interest in Paul DePodesta’s thoughts on this deal.

Masterson Traded to Tribe

Okay, the more prominent headline here is probably Victory Martinez traded to Red Sox. However, one of the players that Cleveland got in return was pitcher Justin Masterson. Sure, that club is managed by Fort Wayne native Eric Wedge, but a lesser known fact is that Masterson – the first Jamaican-born baseball player pitcher to appear in a Major League game –  lived in Bluffton for a short while.

Fort Fragments: Hundley, Durango, Blanks, Wedge, Macias, Parker, Hayhurst

Fort Fragments (Local Ties): College Ball, Parker, Wedge

Last Wednesday, three local standouts singed letters of intnet to play baseball at the college level. Accoring to the News Sentinel, Canterbury’s Cameron Squires will play baseball at Yale while Snider’s Spencer Anderson and Alex Mitchell will take the field for Vincennes

Ryan Kelley at Baseball Chronicle likes Jarrod Parker’s long-term potential:

If the Diamondbacks can get this kid going, they could quite possibly have the best rotation in the MLB, manning a ship with Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, Max Scherzer, Jarrod Parker and Yusmeiro Petit. Parker has very good stuff. At age 19 he absolutely dominated single A grabbing 12 wins, striking out 117 in 117 ip, and walking only 33. Obviously if he’s this good at this age the sky is the limit by the time he reaches the MLB.

Speaking of Parker, former Big Leaguer, Brett Butler expects to see Parker join his Triple-A Reno Aces before the 2009 season is over.

Local blogger, Cathy Dee covered the Eric Wedge Baseball Camp. Good stuff.

This Week on Talkin’ Sports with Jim Shovlin

Tune in to Talkin’ Sports Saturday morning at 11:00 when we’ll be talking with “The Judge” Phil Houk about the Eric Wedge Baseball Camp to be held Saturday January 24th at the ASH Centre in Fort Wayne. We’ll also discuss the Eric Wedge Banquet that will take place Thursday January 29th at Ceruti’s, with featured speaker, Chicago Cubs GM Jim Hendry.

Also on the program Saturday will be Homestead High School Athletic Director Joe Updegrove, discussing the criteria, protocol and procedure for cancellations, postponements and rescheduling challenges facing  high school AD’s during severe winter weather.

We’ll also have scores, highlights and previews and reviews of local sports.

We’re Talkin’ Sports, Saturday from 11:00 to noon on FM100 Talks!  WNUY-100.1FM.

Eric Wedge Baseball Camp Brings Experience of Perseverance

The Journal Gazette’s Ben Smith recently posted a great article about Eric Wedge and his baseball camp. In addition to telling the when and where, he frames the article around Wedges experiences of a rough 2008 season that turned around just a little too late:

Eric Wedge likes to draw on his own experience when he comes back to Fort Wayne in the dead of winter to teach baseball. And so this year, the lesson will be, among other things, perseverance.

Perseverance, after all, took Wedge’s Cleveland Indians from last place at the All-Star break in 2008 to within 7 1/2 games of first by the time the leaves fell and the ballparks went quiet.

 

“You talk about perseverance and not giving in. … We ended up having the best record in the second half. That’s what it’s all about,” Wedge said from his home in Cleveland last week.

“I think that’s a great example. You go out there and you play for the right reasons. Even if you don’t have a chance to win a championship, that doesn’t mean you don’t go out there and play as if you did. I think there’s a serious lesson involved in that.”

Expect it to be imparted on Jan. 24 at the Eric Wedge Baseball Camps, which will again be conducted at the ASH Centre with Wedge, former major leaguer and New Haven High School standout Dave Doster and a host of other area college and international coaches and players presiding.

Eric Wedge Baseball Camps
When: Jan. 24
Where: ASH Centre, 1701 Freeman St.
Cost: $65 a participant for morning session; $90 a participant for afternoon session
Information: 436-1507, www.ericwedgebaseballcamp.com

Fort Wayne Sports Corp. Banquet
When: 6 p.m. Jan. 29
Where: Ceruti’s Summit Park Reception Hall
Cost: $75 a person for FWSC members; $85 non-members
Information: 420-1305, http://www.ericwedgebaseballcamp.com/

Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry to be Featured Speaker in Fort Wayne

It’s cold outside. Rally cold. And to make matters worse, the so-called Hot Stove League has been little more than agent posturing, absurd rumors and barely keeping the burner warm for Springtime longing baseball fans. At least things will be warming up in January when Chicago Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry takes the podium as the featured speaker at the Fort Wayne Sports Corporation’s (FWSC) Annual Banquet on January 29. The banquet and sports memorabilia auction take place at Ceruti’s Reception Hall starting at 6 p.m. and is open to the general public.

Fort Wayne native and current Cleveland Indians manager, Eric Wedge, will also be on there to talk about his team and the Eric Wedge Baseball Camp, which occurs on Saturday, January 24 at the ASH Centre.

Those who are interested in attending the event can RSVP for $85 per person (75 for Fort Wayne Sports Corp. members). Organizations can reserve a table of eight for $525. Proceeds go to the Special Olympics of Allen County, the World Baseball Academy that is planned for Fort Wayne, and the Fort Wayne Sports Corporation to provide Eric Wedge Baseball Camp scholarships for kids.

Contact the Fort Wayne Sports Corporation at (260) 420-1305 to make reservations. For more information, please visit EricWedgeBaseballCamp.com.

Catching Up With the Arizona Fall League

Each year as the Major League Baseball season comes to a close, teams start looking toward the next season. Presumably, that process begins with the teams’ prospects and where they will fall into place come the end of Spring Training.

Each August, Major League clubs determine which prospects will go to Arizona to take part in the Arizona Fall League. Most are Double-A and Triple-A players, but a Class A player may sneak through from time to time. The idea is that key players will be able to receive additional instruction and practice to accelerate their ascent to the Majors and perhaps even jump them a classification along the way.

Eacy year, many of the AFL participants are former Fort Wayne Wizarrds. However, this year’s class includes a couple local ties.

Jarrod Parker earned the distinction of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Most Valuable Pitcher from the team’s field coordinator Jack Howell:

Parker’s slider has progressed to the point that farm director A.J. Hinch considers it the best in the organization.  Combine that with his unanimously-named best four-seamer in the organization and his veteran-like command, and you have one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball.  This Most Valuable Pitcher Award will be the first in a long line of honors for the promising youngster; he’d better clear some room on his mantle [source: futurebacks.com (scout.com subscription required)].

Eric Wedge earned an historic disction this year when he was indcuted into the AFL Hall of Fame. He “became the first member of the Hall of Fame to be inducted for his Major League success as a manager but whose AFL experience was solely as a player [source: MLB.com]. He is also the first former AFL player to have gone on to become a Major LEague Manager.

“I take that as a great honor,” Wedge said before the ceremony. “I was done playing by the time I was 30 years old because of problems with my legs and elbow, but that gave me an opportunity to start managing, and I’ve had the chance to manage some fantastic young ballplayers.”

Former Wizards Danny Payne, Brian Joynt also took part in the AFL and garnered club honors. Payne was named the most improved player; hitting over .300 and leading the team with 21 walks whild putting up some good defense. Joynt earned a leadership award, who went from the cusp of being cut in extended Spring Training to putting together solid numbers at Lake Elsinore and having a chance to be San Antonio’s starting first baseman next season. The award “encompasses everything: desire, professionalism, leadership on and off the field, everything [source: MadFriars.com (Scout.com subscription required)].

Kellen Kulbacki likley would have been on the roster had he not injured his shoulder during the playoff run in Lake Elsinore. Instead of getting playing time after an tremendous 2008 that saw him hit .332 with 20 dingers after getting promoted from Fort Wayne, he’s reahabbing. He’s expected to be fully recovered in time for Spring Training.

Other former Wizards taking part in the AFL this year were Greg Burke, Mike Ekstrom, Wilton Lopez, Kyle Blanks, Mike Baxter, Chad Huffman and Sean Kazmar.

Wedge Plans 2009; Fires Bullpen Coach, Looking For a Closer

Eric Wedge will be back with Cleveland for 2009 after a disapponting 2008 that ended strongly. While he may have the whole off-season to plan, he’s wasting little time.

During a news conference today, he had plenty of reasons to point the finger, but refused to place blame.

“In essence, we lost our Nos. 2-, 3- and 4-hole hitters from ’07, our closer, our bullpen — which really went south on us — and two of our starters,” Wedge said. “It’s tough to overcome that. “But nobody cares about that in the end, you know. What they want you to do is play out with the expectations that were in front of you.”

He was also quick to respond to the bullpen woes by firing longtime Cleveland bullpen coach, Luis Isaac, who had been in that position since 1993 and a member of the club for much longer. One of the key things that will be pursued over the course of time leading up to Spring Training is to locate a closer. Jensen Lewis showed some promise near the end of hte season, but he’s no sure thing. Beyond the closer’s role, there will be a search for additional arms and some power bats.

Should be a busy offseason for Wedge and the Tribe.

Eric Wedge; 2008 Arizona Fall League HOF Inductee

Fort Wayne native, Eric Wedge joins the Philadelphia Phillies’ shortstop, Jimmy Rollins, as Arizona Fall League’s 2008 Hall of Fame induction class. The former catcher played for the Fall League’s Tucson Javelinas in 1993 as a member of the Colorado Rockies’ organization. After finishing with the league’s best record, the Javelinas lost a three-game championship playoff to the Tempe Rafters.