The rich and dynamic history of baseball in Fort Wayne will be on full display when Parkview Field opens in April. Drawing on more than 100 years of baseball in our region, the TinCaps have teamed with Federated Media to bring the city’s baseball history to life.
“During the planning of Parkview Field we were actively looking for the perfect way to integrate Fort Wayne’s storied baseball past into the ballpark’s design,” said TinCaps Team President, Mike Nutter. “There are so many great stories to tell and we wanted the chance to share those stories with our fans. We approached Federated Media with the idea of making the ballpark’s concourse a tribute to Fort Wayne’s rich baseball tradition and they were on board immediately.” Federated Media will be the presenting sponsor of the concourse.
“We knew that Federated Media wanted to be a part of what was happening at Parkview Field,” said Federated Media General Manager, Mark DePrez. “When the TinCaps began describing their vision for the concourse, it seemed like the perfect fit. Federated Media and our radio stations are focused on serving the community. By helping the TinCaps recognize Fort Wayne’s long tradition of exceptional baseball, we can educate and foster community pride by connecting with Fort Wayne’s baseball past, present and future.” Federated Media owns and operates six radio stations in Fort Wayne, including 92.3 The Fort, 97.3 WMEE, 98.9 The Bear, K105, News Talk 1190 WOWO, and 1380 ESPN Radio. 1380 ESPN Radio is also the radio home of the TinCaps, broadcasting all TinCaps home and road games live throughout the 2009 season.
“Fort Wayne has so many baseball stories to tell,” said Michael Limmer, TinCaps Vice President of Marketing. “We are glad to have a chance to shine a light on the teams and individuals that have played such a large role in baseball in this community. We are also appreciative of Federated Media and all it has done to help us bring this wonderful history to life and educate the next generation of baseball fans in Fort Wayne.”
The Federated Media Concourse incorporates teams and individuals from Fort Wayne’s past into the section signage in the area around the main seating bowl. There are ten section signs located under the suite level which spotlight ten historic teams and organizations. Each of these signs are accompanied by a plaque describing the significance of each team or organization. Those highlighted include,
• the Kekiongas, the first professional team to play in Fort Wayne and participants in the first professional baseball game in 1871;
• The Fort Wayne Daisies, Fort Wayne’s iconic representative in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League;
• The Fort Wayne Colored Giants, Fort Wayne’s semi pro team from the 1920s;
• The Fort Wayne Capeharts, who won the World Semi-Professional Championship in Japan in 1950;
• Wildcat Baseball, which has provided opportunities for thousands of area youth over more than four decades.
Beyond the Federated Media Concourse, there will be nine additional displays located along the perimeter of Parkview Field. Each will showcase a prominent individual that played in Fort Wayne or hails from the Fort Wayne area.
“This process has been quite an education for me,” said Limmer. “When you step back and look at the people we are talking about – people such as Dottie Collins, Ford Frick, Eric Wedge, Dale McMillen – these are some giants in the world of baseball, not just in Fort Wayne but in the entire country.” Other individuals honored include Red Carrington, Jake Peavy, Red Braden, Chick Stahl and Bill Wambganns. “Unfortunately we couldn’t include everyone who deserves to be recognized, there just wasn’t enough space, but we hope that by learning about just a few we will encourage others to find out more about the place Fort Wayne holds in baseball history,” explained Limmer.
Assembling this historical display was no small task—it took dozens of hours on the part of the TinCaps staff and would not have been possible without the assistance of many in the Fort Wayne community. “I have to thank the Fort Wayne History Center, News Sentinel, Journal Gazette, Northeast Indiana Baseball Museum and Chad Gramling, author of the book ‘Baseball in Fort Wayne,’” said Limmer. “It was through them that we were able to gain a more comprehensive understanding of Fort Wayne’s rich tradition and acquire the photographs and other information that will help bring Fort Wayne’s baseball history to life at Parkview Field.”
Opening Weekend at Parkview Field is April 16-19, 2009. For more information on TinCaps season tickets, group outings or corporate partnerships for the 2009 season at Parkview Field, please contact the team at (260) 482-6400. Tickets and additional information are also available on-line at www.TinCaps.com.