TinCaps Baseball

TinCaps Baseball
The TinCaps have evolved into a successful team and successful business in Fort Wayne.

The "TinCaps" team name debuted prior to the 2009 season, the first at Parkview Field. The name is a reference to the beloved pioneer Johnny Appleseed, who was known for wearing his tin cooking pot upon his head. The primary logo is an apple wearing Johnny's trademark "Tin Cap."

The TinCaps have evolved into a successful team and successful business in Fort Wayne.

History

In the early 1990s, Minor League Baseball as a whole was on the rise across the country, but the Kenosha Twins franchise was struggling. The Twins were drawing less than 1,000 fans per game to rickety Simmons Field, the oldest and smallest facility in the Class-A Midwest League.  Then came a major challenge for the Twins: In 1991, Major League Baseball introduced the Facility Standards Agreement, a set of new requirements for minor-league facilities. Teams that had been getting by with bumpy playing surfaces, subpar lighting systems and cramped clubhouses would have to make costly upgrades before the start of the 1994 season or face consequences.

On Feb. 21, 1992, the Allen County Council approved a plan to build a $6 million stadium across the parking lot from the Memorial Coliseum. At around the same time, the necessary parties, including the Midwest League and the Major League Baseball Commissioner's office, approved the move of the Twins' franchise from Kenosha to Fort Wayne. With that, the wheels were set in motion for Minor League Baseball to arrive in Fort Wayne in the spring of 1993.

Fans bought over 1,700 season tickets before Opening Day, then a MWL record. When single-game tickets went on sale that March, several fans spent the night outside the Memorial Stadium ticket office; it took just 15 minutes to sell out Opening Day.

The stadium slowly became inadequate for the team's prospects for growth.  On December 21, 2006, the City of Fort Wayne announced plans for a project called Harrison Square which included a $30-million ballpark, to be built downtown. In April 2007, city and team officials signed an agreement to make downtown baseball a reality within two years.

Fan support was at an all-time high in 2009. Attendance figures shattered franchise records that had stood for more than a decade. The season attendance of 378,529 broke the previous mark, set in the franchise's inaugural season of 1993, by almost 20 percent. The team also broke single-game attendance records for regular-season (8,572) and playoff (6,269) games. The front-office staff was awarded the Midwest League President's Trophy and and Nutter was named the league's Executive of the Year.

The TinCaps broke their own attendance record in 2010, topping the 400,000 mark for the first time. Following the season, the franchise was named Fort Wayne's Large Business of the Year by the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce.



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