Minor League Baseball announced today that the Fort Wayne TinCaps are this year’s recipient of the John Henry Moss Community Service Award. The team will receive the award during the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 6, in Nashville, Tenn.
Here, from MiLB’s press release, is some of what the TinCaps organization did for the Fort Wayne community this year:
The Fort Wayne TinCaps engage in a wide variety of community service initiatives to provide assistance to area programs, charities and educational organizations in Fort Wayne and the surrounding counties. Participating in more than 25 community events throughout the 2015 season, TinCaps players made appearances at Little League Opening Day, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, school classrooms, senior communities and hospitals. Along with the players, every full-time staff member is expected to be involved in at least one community organization throughout the year. The TinCaps’ 28 staff members are part of more than 70 organizations, proving that the commitment to make the community a better place is not just a goal of the club, but each staff member’s as well.
The franchise donated over $500,000 to more than 600 organizations and charitable fundraisers in 2015. They raised $20,445 for local Little League teams and $17,544 for local high school athletic departments. This year, the team took the field in specialty jerseys six times to benefit community charities. In total, specialty jersey nights provided $27,512 to charitable organizations.
The club provided support to local charities and programs through their promotional efforts as well as using social media, in-game promotions and corporate/charitable tie-ins to bring attention to deserving organizations. During each home game, the team recognized a different charity with their TinCaps Community Organization of the Game program. The promotion advertised local organizations without the resources to communicate their missions to the community.
In 2015, the TinCaps focused many of their efforts on the youth in their community. On July 30, they signed Jaymason Curry, a 14- year-old from Fort Wayne who had just finished chemotherapy, to a special one-day contract. Players and staff also took the time to visit a local elementary school after one of their teachers, a TinCaps fan, passed away.
The Fort Wayne TinCaps Reading Program encourages youth in the surrounding community to become better readers and hit the “home run” level to earn tickets to a TinCaps game. During the 2015 season, 27,521 students read their way into Parkview Field. This program has become the most impactful community project the team has taken part in, involving 302 area schools and 85 local libraries engaging 117,340 students this year.
Those are just highlights of what the TinCaps do for the community. A comprehensive overview of their community service involvement can be found here.
This is the second major Minor League Baseball award announced for a Midwest League team this offseason. Earlier this month, MiLB said the South Bend Cubs will receive the prestigious John H. Johnson President’s Award. You can read about that award here.