FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Before the TinCaps paid homage to Johnny Appleseed in downtown Fort Wayne, professional baseball in Fort Wayne consisted of a “magical” bunch playing the national pastime next to the St. Joseph River.

A concession worker sells clothing at Memorial Stadium during the first Fort Wayne Wizards home game.

On April 19, 1993, the Fort Wayne Wizards brought professional baseball back to Fort Wayne when they played their first home game at Memorial Stadium in front of a sellout crowd of 6,111 people.

The Wizards gave the fans something to cheer about that night as they beat the Peoria Chiefs 7-2.

Before officials decided on the Wizards, they considered other names that would have been callbacks to Fort Wayne’s history, including the “Sandbaggers,” “Pioneers” and “Kekiongas.”

The team called Memorial Stadium home for 16 seasons before moving to Parkview Field and changing its name to the TinCaps in 2009.

  • The front of a fundraising flyer for Memorial Stadium
  • The back of a fundraising flyer for Memorial Stadium