Tag Archives: Minor League Baseball

More TinCaps’ Gear Has Arrived

The Fort Wayne TinCaps have introduced a wider selection of t-shirts and sweatshirts for children and adults, including the team’s full line of New Era on-field baseball caps

“We were crossing our fingers that the order would come so fans could get their fitted caps before Christmas,” said Assistant General Manager, Brian Schackow.

Read the full story at TinCaps.com.

New TinCaps Blog – The Watson Files

Dan Watson, radio voice of the Fort Wayne TinCaps, has launched a blog at the TinCaps website. In his first two posts at The Watson Files, he introduces himself and talks about his background in addition to pointing out some facts about Fort Wayne baseball history. He also provides a YouTube video for Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend” video. You know you love it 🙂

TinCaps Gear Up for 2009

Today, the Fort Wayne TinCaps held a press conference to announce that three members of the 2008 Wizards coaching staff would be returniung to Frot Wayne for the innagural season at Parkview Field.

Manager Doug Dascenzo returns for his third season at the helm in Fort Wayne. Pitching coach Tom Bradley and hitting coach Tom Tornincasa, both members of the 2008 field staff, are also back in their respective roles. Ernesto Vega, Jr. joins the TinCaps for his first season in Fort Wayne [see also TinCaps Release].

The club also unveiled the uniforms for the rebranded team. Players will wear four new sets of uniforms featuring the team colors of red, forest green, king grey and white.

The TinCaps will wear classic white pinstriped uniforms at home. The jersey and pants have forest green pinstripes and piping. The jerseys have a sleeveless look, with forest green sleeves featuring the apple logo on the right sleeve. “TinCaps” is spelled in king grey with black and white trim across the chest. There is a king grey number on the lower-left chest and on the back of the jersey. All lettering and numbers have a “riveted” look, just like the TinCaps’ new logo. Rounding out the home uniform is a solid forest green cap with the apple logo on the front. The TinCaps will wear forest green socks for all games.

On the road, the TinCaps will wear gray uniforms with forest green piping and jersey sleeves. The apple logo appears on the right sleeve. “Fort Wayne” is spelled across the chest in forest green with king grey and white trim. Jersey numbers appear on the lower-left chest and the back of the jersey. The TinCaps’ road hat is forest green with a king grey brim and the apple logo on the front.

The TinCaps also have an alternate jersey. The jersey is solid red with “TinCaps” spelled across the chest in king grey with black and white trim. Jersey numbers are displayed on the lower-left chest and the back of the jersey. A green “FW” logo appears in green on the right sleeve. The alternate cap is gray with a red brim and the apple logo on the front. Pant color will depend on whether the game is played at Parkview Field or on the road.

The TinCaps’ batting practice jersey is forest green mesh with the apple logo on the left chest. A gray jersey number is featured on the back with black and white trim. The batting practice hat is solid gray mesh with the apple logo on the front [see also TinCaps release].

Photos to follow in a later post.

Finally, the TinCaps also announced that the new team gear will be avaialble at Glenbrook Mall during the weekends throughout the holiday season. Dates are avaialble here.

I Saw Them in Fort Wayne: Ambiorix Burgos

Ambriorix Burgos
Ambiorix Burgos

Back in 2004, I snapped this shot of future New York Mets pitcher, Ambiorix Burgos while he was visiting with the Burlington Bees (a Kansas City affiliate).

In 2006, he was traded by Royals to Mets for Brian Bannister and later resigned by the Mets, but spent all of 2008 on the disabled list.

Unfortunately, Burgos has run into mucho trouble as of late.

In September, the reliever was arrested on assault and harassment charges after being accused of throwing his girlfriend to the ground.

Not long after that, the 24-year-old Dominican native was allegedly driving an SUV when it slammed into two women who later died of their injuries. A search for the pitcher began after the hit-and-run incident. A week later, he turned himself in to Dominican authorities. The mother of one of the victims is accusing Burgos of intentionally running her daughter over because she refused to go out with him.

Update (10/09): Looks like Burgos will spend the next three months in jail until his trial for the hit and run “out of concern for his safety.” Although, he seems to think he’ll make his October 23rd hearing in New York for the assault charge. He and his family are claiming his innocence and assert that he is being singled out by his jealous countrymen.

3 Strikes with Tom Mott

Former Fort Wayne Wizards Pitcher Now Helps Youth to Achieve Their Dreams as Founder of 1Dream Foundation

Tom Mott was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the fourth round of the 1994 Amateur Draft as the 99th overall selection. In 2005, he went 13-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 25 games with the Wizards; all of them as a starter. He struck out 64 while walking 48 over 129.2 innings pitched.

His performance was often that of a number one starter after having been pegged as the Wizards’ number four coming out of Spring Training. It was also good enough to earn him a spot on the Midwest League All-Star Team that year, alongside fellow Wizards, Jake Patterson and Corey Koskie. Mott was also recently selected as a member of the All-Time Wizards Team.

Tom Mott with the Wizards in 1995While 1995 was a bright spot in his career, Mott appeared in just 34 games over the next 3 years and never apeared higher than Double-A ball as he battled arm/elbow injuries. By 1999, he was out of baseball.

After his playing days, he went on to coach youth basketball and spent one season as an assistant coach with the Miami Tropics basketball organization. Most recently, he founded the 1Dream Foundation that is aimed at helping underprivileged international teens to use basketball as a means for getting into U.S. schools and college.

Mott was recently kind enough to take “3 Strikes” from me and is the very first in what I hope will become a recurring segment here at Baseball in Fort Wayne. So, without further ado . . .

Tell me about your favorite memories of playing in Fort Wayne.

There were many great memories during my season in Fort Wayne.  The memories began with an 18-inning marathon game to open the season in 30 degree weather.  I didn’t pitch that night, so I nearly froze to death in the dugout for 5+ hours.  I think my first official outing as a Wizard was on the road in Battle Creek.  The night before our game was snowed out, and so we played a doubleheader in the freezing cold with piles of snow connecting the field to the stands. 
 
As the season progressed I had some great run support and put together some wins and was selected for the MWL All Star Game at West Michigan.  That was quite an honor and a lot of fun.  Memories at Memorial Stadium included pitching on the same night that Jeff Gordon came to town.  He threw out the first pitch and I was amazed at how short he was.  Being a California kid, NASCAR wasn’t in my blood and I honestly didn’t even know who he was at the time.  But looking back now at the career that he has had, I was honored to share the mound with him. 
 
I had a great time in Fort Wayne… it was the best place that I played during my career.  We had a great group of guys that really enjoyed being at the ballpark every day.  

Have you heard about the Wizards renaming the team to the Fort Wayne TinCaps (in honor of Johnny Appleseed)? Any thoughts on that?

I just heard about the change in the name and it is a little bit of a disappointment probably for anyone that has ever donned a Wizards uniform but probably a very good business decision for the front office of the team as they move into the new park and try and establish a new identity.  For me the name Wizards and Fort Wayne will always be linked together and I still vividly remember the “Amazing Baseball” slogan that was a constant during my tenure in Fort Wayne.  TinCaps will definately take some getting used to..

Tell me more about the 1 Dream Foundation and how others can be involved.

The 1 Dream Foundation is a non-profit organization that I started about 18 months ago.  It helps provide educational opportunities to disadvantaged students from throughout the world.  Currently our focus is just on basketball playing students, but hopefully in the years to come we can attract students from various sports. 

Tom Mott with Kids at the 1Dream Foundation

My desire to help the less fortunate actually began during my career with the Minnesota Twins.  As with all Major League Baseball teams, players from Latin America are very well represented yet are often ill prepared socially for life in America.  I made it a point during my career to actively try and help these young players by showing an interest in their cultures and language and trying to help them adjust to life in America.  There are so many 16 or 17 year old kids that have arrived in the USA with no family, friends or money and I tried to provide them with a little guidance and mentoring. 

So now I’ve just changed focus to doing the same thing with basketball playing kids and it’s been a great endeavor so far.  We spend close to $10,000 per student per year, and donations are our lifeblood so if people want to help they can email me: tmott@1dreamfoundation.com.

Thanks for taking the time to offer your candid thoughts and reflections. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors and thanks for being a part of our history!

[photos are courtesy of Tom Mott]

TinCaps Stories and Headlines

I cannot believe the number of headlines and opinions that have been circulating about the renaming of the Fort Wayne Wizards to the Fort Wayne TinCaps. I have attempted to categorize and present (many of) them here.

Discussion on Reation to the Fort Wayne TinCaps Name:

Discussion About TinCaps Mascots, Logos and Branding

Discussion Announcing the Wizards Name Change to TinCaps

Discussion of Tin Cap and Johnny Appleseed Historical Relevance:

Big Hat Tips to Angry White Boy (who despises the name) and the Spaulding’s at WGDT who reported the name well before the announcement. Props to Stephen at AroundFortWayne who has posted video and photos along with his analysis.

New Name for Wizards May Come This Week

Lamond Pope is reporting:

Fort Wayne’s minor league franchise will have a new name by the end of this week. The team is working on a news conference, tentatively scheduled for Thursday at the Grand Wayne Center, to announce the name. A press release with full details is expected Wednesday.

I will be traveling again this week, but will do my best to update from the road. Personally, I hope they keep the Wizards name and do some rebranding.

Lake County, Bowling Green moving to MWL in 2010

As reported previously, the Lake County and Bowling Green squads from the South Atlantic League will be moving to the Midwest League beginning in 2010. Two more teams for the to-be-named Fort Wayne team to face off against.

The Bowling Green club, formerly known as the Columbus Catfish, is relocating from Georgia to Kentucky for the 2009 season. Club officials are holding a name the team contest in Bowling Green and the team will play in a state-of-the-art 4,000 seat stadium, currently under construction.

The Lake County Captains are in their sixth year as a South Atlantic League club in the Cleveland, Ohio, suburb of Eastlake. The Captains relocated to their current home in 2003, after operating as the Columbus (GA) RedStixx from 1992-2002.

Batting Practice with the Wizards

Batting Practice at the CastleTonight, I was lucky enough to take part in what was the second special batting practice session at Memorial Stadium. It was hosted in appreciation for team sponsors and season ticket holders. Through my employer, a few co-workers and I took stepped up and took our hacks.

Mike NutterWhat a fun time and great way to show appreciation for your supporters. Special thanks to the Wizards staff for putting it together. An extra special thanks to GM Mike Nutter for not plunking me despite the countless times I’ve bothered him while working on Baseball in Fort Wayne (the book and the blog).

For the record, I did not hurt myself, nor did I greatly embarrass myself – I think I actually got two out of the in-field and I missed fewer than I expected.

A terrific success if I do say so myself.