From Fort Wayne to the Major Leagues
Getting ready for the season requires some retrospective of years past, and part of that is looking at the all-time roster of the Fort Wayne franchise. According to our records, there have been 670 players that have ever put on either a Wizards or TinCaps uniform, which averages out to 33.5 players on the roster per season. I think that other half-player showed up in our Harlem Shake video…
From that all-time roster, with the help of TinCaps radio broadcaster Mike Maahs and 2013 TinCaps broadcasting and media relations assistant John Nolan (more on him later this week), I’ve compiled a list of Fort Wayne alumni that have gone on to play Major League Baseball. Some nuggets from the list of 111 players:
-The first Wizards player to reach the majors was LaTroy Hawkins, who debuted on April 29, 1995 with the Minnesota Twins. He is now 40 years old and recently signed a minor league deal with the Mets.
-The first TinCaps player to reach the major leagues was Mat Latos, on July 19, 2009, with the Padres, after having made his last appearance in Fort Wayne on May 18th of that same year.
-24 former players made their major league debut with the Twins
-55 former players made their major league debut with the Padres
-Other teams where alums have debuted include Seattle (5), Baltimore (2), Boston (2), Chicago-AL (2), Milwaukee (2), New York-AL (2), Pittsburgh (2), St. Louis (2), Tampa Bay (2), Arizona (1), Chicago-NL (1), Colorado (1), Detroit (1), Houston (1), Kansas City (1), Los Angeles-AL (1), Los Angeles-NL (1), New York-NL (1), Oakland (1), and San Francisco (1).
-Justin Germano, who threw a perfect game for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers
-Javier Valentin, brother of TinCaps Manager Jose Valentin, who once hit a home run from both sides of the plate as a member of the Wizards
-A near-Midwest League batting champion in Sean Burroughs, who hit a ridiculous .359 with the Wizards in 1999. Somehow, South Bend’s Carlos Urquiola hit .362 that year to win the title. Burroughs also hit the game-winning single in the first game ever played at the Padres’ PETCO Park.
-2012 National League Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Winner Chase Headley
Here’s the full list of former Fort Wayne players who have appeared in a Major League Baseball game:
We’re now just 43 days away from first pitch here at Parkview Field, and 36 days from the TinCaps’ first game of 2013, when they play the Great Lakes Loons up in Midland, Michigan.
Stay tuned to the blog this Friday, when you’ll hear from 2013 TinCaps Broadcasting and Media Relations Assistant John Nolan, who will be on all 70 home radio broadcasts with Mike Maahs this season.
Last month I wrote a blog post asking you for some of your favorite memories of players to have come though Fort Wayne, and I promised that I’d include those responses in a future blog post. This is that blog post. Here was the response on Facebook:
That’s a pretty good range right there from Cuddyer, who played in Fort Wayne in 1998, and Rymer Liriano, who was named Midwest League MVP in 2011. Unfortunately, Liriano will sit out this year after having Tommy John surgery.
The responses in the comment section on the blog were even more recent. Kristin Jackson wrote:
“Travis Whitmore should be recognized- he did great all season for the Tincaps. We really enjoyed being his host family- he’s a great guy who comes from a fantastic family. We are thankful to be a part of his journey while he is living his dream.”
“Cody Hebner doing the “dougie” at multiple games! My son loves that kid! Also Daniel Cropper came in and had a great season. He made our summer the best ever. He always left tickets for my son to attend all the home games.”
That’s one of the fun parts of going to a TinCaps game–you just never know which player you’re watching on a summer night will end up on a major league roster one day. On average across baseball, only two players from any given roster will ever see time in an MLB game. Fort Wayne’s rate has been great through the years, with an average of 5.5 players from every team seeing time in a big league uniform.
As always, thanks for reading.