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Fort Wayne TinCaps invited to High-A in reshuffle of Minor League Baseball

Major League Baseball extended invitations to 120 teams Wednesday, marking the new configuration of Minor League Baseball. This includes the proposed elevation of the Fort Wayne TinCaps to a higher level of professional baseball.

Posted: Dec 9, 2020 2:38 PM
Updated: Dec 9, 2020 11:11 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Major League Baseball extended invitations to 120 teams Wednesday, marking the new configuration of Minor League Baseball.

This includes the proposed elevation of the Fort Wayne TinCaps to a higher level of professional baseball.

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The TinCaps are pleased to have received this invitation and look forward to reviewing the complete terms and conditions of the new license that will be offered by Major League Baseball.

“There has been a lot of anticipation regarding the restructuring of Minor League Baseball,” said TinCaps President Mike Nutter. “We’re excited that the TinCaps have been invited to join at the High-A level. Fans in Fort Wayne will have the chance to experience a higher level of baseball than before with players closer to becoming Major League stars.”

MLB’s new player development structure will consist of 120 teams across four levels: Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, and Low-A.

Each MLB team will have one Minor League licensed affiliate at each level. (MLB teams also will have additional affiliates in the Dominican Republic and in either Arizona or Florida.)

The TinCaps have been invited to continue their tremendous partnership and affiliation with the San Diego Padres as the Padres’ High-A team.

Previously, Fort Wayne has played at the Low-A level since Minor League Baseball’s arrival in the city in 1993.

That includes being affiliated with the Padres since 1999.

At 22 years, Fort Wayne’s affiliation with San Diego is the longest-running in Padres history.

“The quality of Parkview Field had a tremendous amount to do with our not merely being included in the 120 teams invited to join the new Minor League Baseball, but moving up to High-A,” Nutter said. “Fort Wayne’s ballpark is recognized as one of the top fan experiences in all of Minor League Baseball, and among the best playing surfaces and clubhouse facilities anywhere in the country. The important step that Fort Wayne took by building Parkview Field has not only helped revitalize downtown, but has also secured the long-term future of high-level affiliated baseball in the city.”

“We couldn’t be more proud of what has been accomplished in Fort Wayne over the past 12 years,” said TinCaps Managing Owner Jason Freier. “We want to thank Mayor Tom Henry and the City of Fort Wayne for their vision and steadfast support, Congressman Jim Banks for consistently championing the cause of the TinCaps and Minor League Baseball, and, of course, the great fans of Fort Wayne. We look forward to receiving the proposed agreement with Major League Baseball.”

"The Fort Wayne TinCaps and Parkview Field have been an integral part of the revitalization and success of our downtown,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “It's great that our community and region will now be part of High-A baseball through the changes to the Minor League Baseball system. We've enjoyed a tremendous partnership with the leadership of the TinCaps organization, and we look forward with optimism to 2021 and beyond."

United States Congressman Jim Banks, who serves Indiana’s 3rd district, also expressed his excitement at the news and for the future of the TinCaps.

"I’d like to offer big congratulations to the TinCaps’ leadership,” Congressman Banks said. “Hard work pays off. I’d also like to recognize the TinCaps’ fanbase, whose support allowed Fort Wayne baseball to keep growing during a challenging period. We're more excited than ever to see what the TinCaps can do at Parkview Field in 2021."

The TinCaps’ fan experience, perennially rated No. 1 across all of Minor League Baseball by Stadium Journey magazine in its annual rankings, will now boast a higher level of play on the field and more seasoned players on the roster.

“We’ve been blessed to have seen some top-level prospects in Fort Wayne over the years,” Nutter said. “This franchise has had 192 former players go on to play in the Major Leagues. Our players have earned All-Star status, Cy Young awards, and World Series MVP. Recent TinCap Fernando Tatis Jr. nearly won this season’s NL MVP award at just 21 years old. With the TinCaps now playing at the High-A level, we’ll see an even higher caliber of player and more Fort Wayne alumni being promoted to the Major Leagues.”

The High-A designation will mean more experienced and talented players wearing the Fort Wayne TinCaps uniform.

“Previously, Fort Wayne was most likely the first taste of full-season professional baseball for players on the TinCaps,” Nutter said. “Now, at High-A, we’ll have a roster that has more experience and is one step closer to the Major Leagues.”

Once the Minor League Baseball teams and leagues are finalized, the TinCaps will receive their 2021 schedule.

“We look forward to the resumption of baseball at Parkview Field,” Nutter said. “We can’t wait until we have our 2021 schedule so fans can start planning to be out at the ballpark.”

As planning for 2021 continues, the TinCaps will monitor Indiana and Allen County COVID-19 related projected protocols, requirements, and recommendations for the spring and summer.

“We’ll approach the 2021 season with extreme care and consideration,” Nutter said. “Every event at Parkview Field will put the health and safety of our fans, guests, staff, and players first. We’re hopeful that between now and Opening Day we’ll see tremendous strides taken toward returning to some level of normalcy. Whatever the situation, when it’s time to ‘play ball,’ we’ll be ready as a staff and facility.”

The Padres also have invited the El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A), San Antonio Missions (Double-A), and Lake Elsinore Storm (Low-A) to join their player development system.

“We’re eager and excited to continue our long-standing relationships with El Paso, San Antonio, Fort Wayne, and Lake Elsinore,” said Padres Executive Vice President & General Manager A.J. Preller. “They have been valued partners of the Padres throughout our player development system for many years, and each of their respective communities have supported their teams and welcomed our players and staff with open arms. We look forward to bringing Padres baseball back to these communities again in 2021.”

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 658043

Reported Deaths: 12467
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion902221628
Lake48163871
Allen35614632
Hamilton31884394
St. Joseph29615510
Elkhart25291412
Vanderburgh21148377
Tippecanoe19815197
Johnson16262353
Porter15867268
Hendricks15744297
Clark11860179
Madison11688315
Vigo11520228
Monroe10267158
Delaware9800178
LaPorte9725194
Howard9024194
Kosciusko8519107
Bartholomew7394147
Warrick7380147
Hancock7379128
Floyd7149165
Wayne6597189
Grant6406157
Morgan6044124
Boone604188
Dubois5876111
Dearborn541266
Henry539892
Marshall5397104
Cass538999
Noble507575
Jackson462663
Shelby458890
Lawrence4161111
Gibson400581
Harrison395960
Clinton393353
DeKalb382878
Montgomery382883
Miami355163
Knox354484
Whitley347235
Huntington339276
Steuben336355
Wabash329575
Putnam326559
Ripley325261
Adams320749
Jasper313643
White295651
Jefferson293270
Daviess284496
Fayette270555
Decatur269688
Greene260278
Posey260031
Wells256074
Scott248947
LaGrange240270
Clay239444
Randolph225076
Spencer216130
Jennings214044
Washington208727
Sullivan202239
Fountain200641
Starke186450
Owen181652
Fulton177437
Jay177328
Carroll175718
Perry172635
Orange170450
Rush164222
Vermillion159040
Franklin158435
Tipton145641
Parke138415
Pike127232
Blackford120327
Pulaski106243
Newton96431
Brown94839
Benton91213
Crawford90113
Martin80014
Switzerland7527
Warren74712
Union66810
Ohio52811
Unassigned0428

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 959995

Reported Deaths: 17045
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1111071193
Cuyahoga945941709
Hamilton72643947
Montgomery46983875
Summit39720942
Butler35094460
Lucas34829757
Stark29061835
Warren22166270
Lorain21781386
Mahoning19282537
Lake18210300
Clermont18200206
Delaware16289129
Licking14832197
Fairfield14401156
Trumbull14171455
Greene13481211
Medina13220219
Clark12139333
Wood11411193
Portage10870153
Allen10715232
Richland10184205
Miami9954179
Columbiana8052179
Muskingum8046123
Tuscarawas7984235
Pickaway796798
Marion7944135
Wayne7799217
Erie6803183
Ross6083136
Geauga5996129
Hancock5945110
Scioto5886105
Ashtabula5884143
Lawrence520373
Union506552
Darke5013122
Belmont483987
Sandusky473393
Jefferson4726107
Huron4722117
Seneca4624103
Athens457331
Mercer4570101
Auglaize454498
Washington452186
Shelby439167
Knox398584
Putnam3967101
Madison389147
Ashland375495
Fulton375364
Defiance3682102
Brown367842
Crawford355396
Preble351070
Logan350158
Clinton336862
Highland324455
Ottawa319667
Williams299777
Jackson287756
Guernsey284034
Champaign283145
Fayette266343
Perry265943
Morrow257224
Henry243665
Holmes2420104
Hardin241957
Coshocton230847
Van Wert227849
Gallia219846
Adams213732
Pike212825
Wyandot207952
Hocking192248
Carroll178928
Paulding158023
Meigs133836
Noble128142
Monroe115336
Morgan99734
Harrison99632
Vinton76515
Unassigned00
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