Results tagged ‘ Fort Wayne TinCaps ’

Whitecaps Update: 2011 Mid-Season Report

Ok, I’ve been slacking a bit on my Whitecaps coverage, but at least I’ve been to more games this season that the last few years, so that more fun that’s just reading the stats. The Whitecaps are off to a solid second half, so here’s hoping they can stay hot and continue their playoff streak. Inserted are photos from the ‘Caps recent series with the Fort Wayne TinCaps from the Grand Rapids Press. Happy 4th of July everyone….

First Half: The Whitecaps really struggled early this season, with such a young roster, but were able to battle back a bit. They ended the first half 32-37, which was good for 6th in the eight team division. What’s impressive, is that they went through a rough 12 game losing streak early in the season, so being able to recover from that is a positive sign.

Second Half: West Michigan is off to a solid start in the second half of the season, going 7-4, which is good enough for second place in the East one game behind the Dayton Dragons. Outfielder Jeff Rowland is off to a great start in this second stint. He’s batting .400 with four doubles, six walks, and a .600 OBP. The pitching staff is also getting the job done for the Whitecaps. Their starters have had seven quality starts in the first 10 games and are 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA. The team has gone 17-8 since June 3 and are almost at .500 for the entire season.

Team Leaders: Rookie sensation Nick Castellanos is emerging as a team leader, despite having a slow start to his first full pro season. He’s leading the ‘Caps in batting average with .306, RBI’s with 48, and SLG% with .441. James Robbins is leading the team in home runs with 10, and Luis Castillo is tops with a .369 OBP. On the mound, Kevin Eichhorn leads the team in three categories of his own: wins with 6, SO with 68, and a 1.17 WHIP. Antonio Cruz has the best ERA with 3.29, and Bruce Rondon is tops with 15 saves.

All Stars: Representing the Whitecaps in this year Midwest League All-Star game were Bruce Rondon, Rob Brantly, and Hernan Perez. Rondon pitched a scoreless 0.2 of an inning with one strikeout. Brantly went 0-3, while Perez went 0-2 in the East’s 8-3 loss to the West. In this season’s MLB All-Star game, catcher Alex Avila of the Tigers has been voted in as the starter. He’ll be joined on the American League roster by Matt Joyce (TB) and may face the National League’s Jair Jurrjens (ATL) on the mound.Photos courtesy of the Grand Rapids Press

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2011 BBT Day 6: Home Sweet Home

West Michigan Whitecaps vs. Fort Wayne TinCaps: Fifth Third Ballpark-Comstock Park, MI

Crash all up in my grill

It’s been a few years since we’ve seen a Whitecaps game as part of our baseball trip, and it was good to be home back in Michigan. On the plane waiting to fly home, the pilot announced the weather in Grand Rapids as 77 degrees and sunny. When we arrived and hour and a half later, it was 69 and raining. I swear these storms have been following me around all week like some really bad Jaws movie (see: Jaws- The Revenge). You could also tell we were back in Michigan as I ran into an old friend from Battle Creek, as the Kelloggs employees were occupying the party deck in right field (Fact: I played Little League Baseball for Kelloggs when I was younger). After only a thirty minute rain delay, we finally got things started. It was Military Appreciation Night, so the ‘Caps were wearing special camouflage jerseys, we saw a WWII Vet throw out the first pitch, and had a fly over by some older military planes. It actually turned out to be a really nice night for baseball, and we were able to shed our corny yellow ponchos and enjoy the game. Despite the weather, 7, 313 fans were in attendance, but we were still able to get our free Whitecaps camo hats at the gate. The game was exciting, but error filled, as the young West Michigan team lost to Fort Wayne. It was a long trip, and we were happy to be home with all of our baseball memories. I’m already hard at work on the early stages of planning for next year, and we’ll be down to see the Whitecaps a couple of more times this season. Final Score: Whitecaps 7, TinCaps 9.

 

Weeee're Greeeeaaaat!!!

The Fly Over

Starting pitcher #34 Kyle Ryan

Catcher #28 Robert Brantley

Fifth Third Ballpark-Comstock Park, MI

Photos property of M.I.B.

Earning Their Keep

Anyone thinking that being a grounds keeper at a professional ball park is an easy task, think again. After a freak snow storm dumped over three inches on Fifth Third Ball Park on Monday, first year head groundskeeper Adam Ferrell and his crew took action. Actually, more than 20 staff members, including front office personnel, the grounds keepers, and salesman all chipped in to remove the snow. It was a three hour process, with snow ball fights, snowmen, and Christmas music keeping the mood light. Even a Christmas tree was placed on the Whitecaps dugout.

Ferrell told the Grand Rapids Press: “I was a little nervous when I first woke up and it was coming down good, but we got some manpower behind it and everybody chipped in. We removed the snow off the tarp, flipped it over, and let Mother Nature do her thing. It melted by 3 p.m.”

With eleven forign-born players on the West Michigan roster, some were seeing this type of weather for the first time. Outfielder Luis Castillo from Panama and Clemente Mendoza from Venezuela are two of them.

“I was like, oh my God,” Castillo told the Press. “This was the first that I’ve seen this and couldn’t believe it.”

Mendoza chimed in, “It’s really depressing, and nobody from the Latin countries have seen this before. I didn’t think we would be playing baseball, I thought they would cancel the game because of the snow on the field.”

Ferrell, an intern with the Whitecaps in 2008, though, was up to the task. He worked under Heather Nobozny and the Detroit Tigers in 2009, and was head groundskeeper for the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League last season. He was named the NWL Sports Turf Manager of the Year for 2010.

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grounds5.jpgThe ‘Caps were able to play Monday’s game, but were rained out Tuesday night. They were able to beat the Fort Wayne TicCaps by the score of 7-3, much due to the return of designated hitter Billy Nowlin. Nowlin drove in four runs including a two-run homer to lead the way for West Michigan. After being hit in the head and sustaining a concussion in spring training, he was just activated from the DL on April 14. In his four game so far this season, he’s hitting .400 with two home runs and six RBI’s. Nowlin was a Midwest League All-Star in 2009, and split last season between High-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie.

“I’m just going to keep going out and playing hard, playing with my team here and see what happens,” Nowlin told the Press. “It’s always nice coming back to a place where you already know the ins and outs and stuff like that. Being familiar with a place is always a good thing.”

Manager Ernie Young seems happy to have Nowlin on the roster as well, “He swung the bat very well tonight. Billy being here is definately a good thing because it solidifies the middle of the order.”

Catcher Rob Brantly also drove in two runs in the game, and Hernan Perez scored three runs. On this hill, Jeff Ferrell picked up his first win of the season.


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cold4.jpgPhotos courtosy of the Grand Rapids Press 

Whitecaps Opening Day

These are some great pics from the West Michigan Whitecaps’ Opening Day at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan. The ‘Caps started the season on the road, going 0-3 before picking up their first win in the home opener. They are now 3-4 on the season after taking 2 of 3 from the Fort Wayne TinCaps and beating the Bowling Green Hot Rods in Kentucky in the first meeting ever of the two clubs. I’d love to take credit for these, or at least say that I was there, but I’ll have to wait another two weeks for my first live game. Looking at the pics makes me itchy to hit the road early. Enjoy.

Photos courtesy of the Grand Rapids Press

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Logo of the Month: Fort Wayne TinCaps

Fort_Wayne_Tincaps.JPGAffiliation: San Diego Padres

Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

League: Midwest League (Class A)

Home Field: Parkview Field

Fun Facts: The TinCaps won the 2009 Midwest League Championship. Formerly the Fort Wayne Wizards, the franchise changed it’s monikor and moved into the impressive Parkview Field for the 2009 season. The name comes from Johnny Appleseed who wore a tin pan on his head. The mascot is Johnny, who represents Appleseed.

Notable Alumni: Josh Barfield, Jake Peavy, Torii Hunter, Luis Rivas

Official Fort Wayne TinCaps Website

2009 Baseball Trip


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oldspark.jpgTues. May 5-
South Bend, Indiana: Our first trip to Coveleski Stadium in South Bend pitted the home Silver Hawks against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. We fought off the rain all week, and it started here with some drizzle, but the rain actually held off and we got the whole game in. Trevor made the trip with us this year, and he was uccessful in getting two game balls. The stadium is a little plain, but cut into the ground which I like and had good seating. We had good seats in the front row.
  victoryfield.jpg Thurs. May 7-Indianapolis, Indiana: We experienced out first rain out Wednesday, but if one of our games was to be missed, that would be it because we planned on returning to Victory Field on this day for a morning game anyway. The Indians played the Scranton/WB Yankees in a double header starting at ten in the morning. Again, rain threatened us, but it turned out to be a beautiful day. The home town Indians got beat both games, but this is a great ball park and we would love to back here again. Pictured is me and Trevor in the upper deck. Trevor got a fowl ball here, too.
 
Louisville, Kentucky: Heading to Louisville Slugger Field for a night cap, gave us a record setting three games in one day. We did it, though, and enjoyed every second. As nice as the park is in Indy, this one is just amazing. The facade is build into an old rain road warehouse and it’s just another great place to watch a ball game. The Bats beat up on the visiting Rochester Red Wings, too. We got another foul ball, as I took Trevor to the play area, it just happened to bounce in there to me. We’ve been having lots of luck with this. This is another AAA ball park I would love to visit again. Pictured here is Trevor from the outfield, but out seats were front row down the third base side. Not a bad seat in this house, though.
 
Friday, May 8-Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum: This was just awesome seeing how these famous bats are made. We got to hold unfinished bats of some of the best players in the game today, and saw older bats swung by the likes of Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio. The factory tour was interesting and we each got a souvenir mini-bat when it was all over. Lots of stuff for kids, so Trevor had a great time, too. I highly recommend this to anyone in the Louisville area. A ballgame and the museum are a great combination. I dropped a little coin at the gift shop here, too.
 
Fort Wayne, Indiana: We can at least say we were at Parkview Field during it’s inaugural season here in 2009. The newly named TinCaps also helped by beating the Peoria Chiefs, too. This is a beautiful park, and maybe the class of the single ‘A’ circuit. Really nice sight lines around Fort Wayne, too. As you can see by the pic, we were right next to the TinCaps dugout and got a game ball here, too. Still lucky on the weather front, as it rained when we got here, but actually cleared up for the game. Trevor got to run the bases afterward which made it even more special for him.
 
Sat. May 9-Lansing, Michigan: Ending our trip in our home state. Like most of the days, it rained all the way up to Lansing, so we dreaded that we’d get this far and miss some baseball. The ‘baseball gods’ must have been looking out for us, as is cleared up as we got to Michigan State. In probably the best ball game we saw, MSU beat Prudue 6-5. Oh, yeah, you guessed it, Trevor got a foul ball at the newly remodeled McLane Stadium also. Our trip finally ended at Oldsmobile Park featuring the Lansing Lugnuts and the Beloit Snappers. The ‘Nuts got beat and it was a bit cold, yet we’re happy it didn’t rain and we got the game in. This is the only game we got shut out on getting a foul ball. We were all pretty tired by this time, but stayed for the post game fireworks, which seemed like and fitting end to our trip.
 
This is the first year we missed a game in Grand Rapids watching the Whitecaps, but we’ll be down there later this summer. Next year we’re looking into heading to Iowa or maybe the other teams in Ohio we haven’t seen. It’s never too early to start planning.
 
 
Photos property of MIB 

 

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