THE DEAN'S LIST WITH DEAN HOCKNEY
This week, I want to look at some positives. For instance, I have never really followed the Fort Wayne TinCaps baseball team – the single-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. I have watched them play and love Parkview Field, but until Kokomo graduate T.J. Weir was assigned to Fort Wayne this season, I had not paid much attention to the organization.
Did you know in 2014 Ballpark Digest named the TinCaps the Team of the Year and the Big Apple dessert was the Best New Food Item? For the third time in six years, the team welcomed over 400,000 fans through the turnstiles, with 406,715 for the regular season, averaging 5,810 fans per game – both new Fort Wayne records.
But what really caught my eye was something that happened last week. On April 25, the TinCaps were scheduled to play the South Bend Cubs at 5:05 p.m. As most remember, Saturday was a cold and rainy day, and fans who showed up in the 45-degree weather endured a nearly two hour rain delay. Needless to say, it was a miserable night for TinCaps fans – especially after a 9-2 loss.
But TinCaps management turned it into a win for anyone who bought a ticket to the game. Whether a ticket holder came out in the rain or stayed home, they will be allowed to trade in the ticket for a regular season non-fireworks contest later in the season.
“I’d like to express a big thanks to the TinCaps fans who came out tonight,” said TinCaps President Mike Nutter. “We appreciate you all. It’s another example of how Fort Wayne has the best fans in Minor League Baseball. And for those who didn’t come out because of the weather, we understand that, too.”
I can’t think of many organizations who take into consideration its fan base like that. Most teams would take the stance that the game was played, so no refunds. It is refreshing to see an area team look beyond the dollars and cents.
No wonder the Fort Wayne TinCaps are the defending minor league Team of the Year. And here is to hoping the Jackrabbits treat Kokomo fans with the same consideration this summer.
Jackrabbits job fair a success
And speaking of the Jackrabbits, how about a shout out for the job fair they hosted last week. I arrived shortly before the event started, and there were already nearly 50 people waiting in line to be interviewed. By the time I walked out 30 minutes later, I estimated there were over 100 people in attendance. By the end of the five hour job fair, between 250-300 residents had passed through the Stephen J. Daily Government Center for a chance to apply for one of the estimated 40 open positions.
And big shout out to Josh Sigler of the Kokomo Tribune for the story he wrote about the job fair. In my opinion, it was his best work ever – of course, it included a quote or two from me, so I may be biased.
Thanks for the kind words
I would also like to thank all of you who dropped me a kind email or text or social media greeting after I won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists in the Best of Indiana contest for Sports Column Writing. It is always nice to be recognized for something you love doing, but it is even nicer when you know your efforts are appreciated by those who read it. So thanks for supporting The Dean’s List each week.
Until next time, remember to keep the man and ship in sports – and I’ll see you at the game.
Dean Hockney is the publisher of the Sports Journal of Central Indiana and sports editor of the Kokomo Herald. You can follow him on Twitter (@Sports_Journal) for the latest in local sports news and game reports.