FORT WAYNE – Following a record-setting season at Parkview Field, the Fort Wayne TinCaps are a finalist for the top annual award in Minor League Baseball (MiLB).
The Midwest League announced Tuesday evening that the TinCaps are the league’s nominee for the John H. Johnson President’s Award. This award is presented annually to honor the “complete” baseball franchise—based on franchise stability, contributions to league stability, contributions to baseball in the community, and promotion of the baseball industry.
“Thanks to the Midwest League for this nomination,” TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. “With so many well-run organizations in our league, it’s quite gratifying to receive such recognition. Of course, the success of the TinCaps and Parkview Field wouldn’t be possible without the support of our community. From our fans to our sponsors to the local media, they make this possible.”
The John H. Johnson President’s Award will be presented on Dec. 5 at the Baseball Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Md. The TinCaps are one of 14 finalists for this honor, as each of MiLB’s leagues—from Triple-A down to Rookie—has one nominee. After nominees from all leagues are reviewed by the MiLB Awards Committee, recommendations are presented to the President and Executive Vice President of MiLB for final decision.
“We may be in the Minors,” Nutter said, “but this honor is big league.”
During the 2016 season, the TinCaps welcomed 413,701 fans to Parkview Field, averaging 6,084 per opening. Both of these figures set franchise records in the ballpark’s eighth year. Fort Wayne outdrew 12 of 30 Triple-A teams, 28 of 30 Double-A clubs, and ranked second out of 100 Single-A and Rookie organizations.
This past season at Parkview Field also marked the debut of The Summit presented by Tuthill, a one-of-a-kind group area atop The Tuthill 400 Club that overlooks center field. Additionally, the TinCaps upgraded their award-winning ballpark with the expansion of protective safety netting to the far ends of both dugouts.
Fort Wayne was previously nominated by the Midwest League for the John H. Johnson President’s Award in 2003, 2009, and 2010. The award is named after the late former president of the National Association, which thanks to his leadership later evolved into what is now known as Minor League Baseball.
In 2015, the TinCaps received MiLB’s John Henry Moss Community Service Award.
“We’re not in this for the awards,” Nutter said. “We’re truly just trying our best to have a positive impact in our community.”
The 2016 Midwest League Award Nominees:
John H. Johnson President’s Award: Fort Wayne TinCaps
John Henry Moss Community Service Award: West Michigan Whitecaps
Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award: Dayton Dragons
Larry MacPhail Promotional Award: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year: Brandy Guinaugh – Dayton Dragons