FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne baseball fans had two opportunities to see Tony Gwynn and the San Diego Padres in person, as the Wizards big league affiliate played in the Summit City twice – both times against the Wizards at Memorial Stadium.
The first time came on May 13, 1999 with the future Hall of Famer Gwynn slapping a base hit into right field. The second game was April 27, 2001 – a contest Gwynn sat out due to a hamstring issue, but made the trip anyway to sign autographs, taking batting practice, and meet with fans.
The exhibition games were played during the season on off days for the Padres while in between MLB series in the Midwest. That possibility, according to TinCaps president Mike Nutter, no longer exists, as it has been bargained out by the MLB Players Association.
It wasn’t the only time an MLB team played its Fort Wayne affiliate in the Summit City. The Minnesota Twins played in Fort Wayne on May 6, 1994 against the Wizards with Kirby Puckett, Dave Winfield, and Chuck Knoblauch helping the Twins to a 8-4 victory.