Where do the TinCaps' players come from?
TinCaps players come from across the country and around the world. On the 2009 roster alone, players hailed from Indiana, California, Florida, Missouri, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, to name a few.
Is playing baseball their full-time jobs?
Yes. TinCaps players are professionals and are paid by the San Diego Padres. Just being signed by a Major League Baseball team shows that a player is (or has the potential to be) one of the best in the world.
How do they get their jobs?
In affiliated Minor League Baseball, all players, coaches and athletic trainers are under contract with a major-league organization, also known as a parent club. For example, the TinCaps' parent club is the San Diego Padres. The parent club scouts, drafts and signs players to professional contracts, then assigns them to the appropriate minor-league affiliate based on skill and experience. The Padres' minor-league affiliates are the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Padres, the Arizona Rookie League Padres, the Short-A Eugene Emeralds, the Class-A Fort Wayne TinCaps, the Advanced-A Lake Elsinore Storm, the Double-A San Antonio Missions and the Triple-A Portland Beavers. The best of the best in the organization climb all the way up to the Major Leagues.
Have the TinCaps always been affiliated with the Padres?
No. For its first six years (1993-1998), the Fort Wayne franchise was affiliated with the Minnesota Twins. The San Diego Padres became Fort Wayne's parent club before the 1999 season and the teams have remained affiliated ever since.
How often do players make it to the Major Leagues?
From 1993-2009, 87 players who have played for Fort Wayne have also played Major League Baseball. That's an average of a little over five players per season. White Sox RHP Jake Peavy, who won the 2007 National League Cy Young Award, played for Fort Wayne in 2000. Angels OF Torii Hunter played for Fort Wayne in 1994; he has gone on to win nine Gold Glove Awards and play in three MLB All-Star Games. Other MLB stars who played in the Midwest League include Cardinals INF Albert Pujols, Twins C Joe Mauer, Brewers INF Prince Fielder, Indians OF Grady Sizemore, and Hall of Famers including Goose Gossage, Paul Molitor and Carlton Fisk, among others.
Can I try out to play for the TinCaps?
No. Like all affiliated Minor League Baseball teams, the Fort Wayne TinCaps do not scout, draft or sign their own players or coaches; they are assigned to Fort Wayne by the parent club (the San Diego Padres). Every MLB organization has an amateur scouting department in charge of finding professional talent. Scouts mostly look for high-school and college players, but they occassionally hold amateur tryouts. If a tryout is scheduled at Parkview Field, information will be posted on TinCaps.com. Contact the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau with any other tryout-related questions.
Why don't the teams shake hands after the game?
From time to time there are questions or comments from fans regarding the "sportsmanship" of baseball and teams not taking part in post-game handshakes. Baseball is a great game built on tradition and rules - both written and unwritten.
Like it or not, the post game handshake has never been a part of baseball history.
There is a pre-game handshake as both managers meet with the umpires prior to the game. This is standard in Major and Minor League baseball. They exchange the lineup cards and greet each other and wish each other good luck and that all players will have a great game and not get hurt. They are the leaders of their respective teams and do it on behalf of all their players, coaches, and staff.
Following the game there is no on-field congratulations given from one team to the other or a handshake congratulating them on the victory.
In 2009 during our first season in Parkview Field our team went an astonishing 50-20 at home in front of the best fans in the country. Never once were we congratulated by the other team after beating them. It is just not part of baseball tradition in the professional and higher amateur ranks. It has nothing to do with being poor losers or lack of class on either team's part - it is just something that hasn't been done in baseball at the high levels.
There are a lot of things that the fans don't see before and following games. Our players get here around 2:00 pm for an evening game and stretch, have meetings, take batting practice, infield, etc. During that time they will sometimes seek out friends on the other team that they know, played with on another team, have mutual friends with, etc. so they do communicate with one another. They are great sports and are all trying to reach their goal of making it to the major leagues. Following games in the tunnel leading to the locker rooms many players will say hello to friends, congratulate them on a great game, talk with guys with the same agent or from the same town or country, etc.
Hockey is probably best known for the post game handshakes. Fans might recall seeing that at the end of a series in the NHL playoffs, but that is not something that is done during the regular season. Football doesn't have post game handshakes. Some guys will get together to talk with one another or pray following a very physical battle. The NBA is a mixed bag in terms of some guys shake hands and others don't, but there is nothing formal set up for them to do the exercise either.
Some folks even suggest there is a Major League rule against the postgame handshake as players are not allowed to fraternize with each other while in uniform:
3.09 Players in uniform shall not address or mingle with spectators, nor sit in the stands before, during, or after a game. No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game. Players of opposing teams shall not fraternize at any time while in uniform.
I am not sure this rule addresses the sportsmanship of handshakes specifically, but it does detail that they don't want the players "fraternizing at any time while in uniform."
Minor League Baseball is the best family friendly game in professional sports. Our ticket prices are the cheapest and our fans have an access to players not matched anywhere else. They are great young guys working on their ultimate goal of reaching the major leagues. They are great guys and great sports. They are not poor losers in any way. The post game handshake is simply not a part of the traditions of baseball. You can argue that it should be and that is a fine opinion to have and I don't disagree with it, but it isn't the way the game has been played for the past 100+ years. I encourage our fans to stick around following a Sunday game for post-game autographs and you will see that our guys are very professional winners and losers.