Learn About The Sports Teams Of Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne in Indiana has been the location of several firsts within the world of sports. All the way back in 1883, on the second of June, Fort Wayne played host to the visiting Quincy Professionals for a lighted baseball game, among the first of that kind to have been recorded for posterity. Basketball fans sometimes nod to Fort Wayne as the incubator of the now National Basketball Association, or NBA. This happened when Fred Zollner, owner of what is not the Detroit Pistons, negotiated a merger between the then NBL and BAA leagues a few years after World War II. Another basketball milestone goes to Fort Wayne for being the location where Wilt Chamberlain competed at Memorial Coliseum, where in March of 1961 he became the first every player to score three thousand points in just one season. On a decidedly converse note, a November 1950 games saw the then Fort Wayne Pistons overtake the then Minneapolis Lakers 19 to 18, in the lowest total single game score in NBA history.
For all its sports history, Fort Wayne now only has three professional sports teams in its community. The Fort Wayne Komets play hockey, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants play basketball and the Fort Wayne TinCaps play baseball. These are the teams that represent Fort Wayne around the region in their respective minor leagues.
The Fort Wayne Komets are currently in the ECHL minor league. Previously, they had played in the Central Hockey League and the International Hockey League. They trace their current franchise back to 1985, but their lineage can also be tracked back as far as 1952. Combining all leagues they’ve played for, the Komets claim nine postseason champions hip titles from 1963 to 2012.
The Komets are currently affiliated with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. They play at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
The Fort Wayne TinCaps play Class A in baseball’s minor leagues. They are currently affiliated with the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball. The affiliation dates back to 1999. Previously, the TinCaps were affiliated with the Minnesota Twins for five years.
Unlike the Komets, the TinCaps’ history in Fort Wayne only dates back to 1993. However, the franchise itself can be traced all the way back to 1947 and the Illinois State League, with some time also played in Iowa and Wisconsin. The TinCaps name was chosen after the 2008 campaign. They play at Parkview Field.
The Fort Wayne Mad Ants play basketball as part of the NBA’s “D-league” or developmental league. They share the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum with the Komets hockey team. The Mad Ants were the D-League champions in 2014, and have been outright owned by the Indiana Pacers of the NBA itself since September of 2015. As members of the D-League, the Mad Ants players can be called up at any time to help fill roster spots for the Pacers. Likewise, the Pacers can assign players down to the Mad Ants for playing and practice time to develop their skills or recover from injuries.
The history of Fort Wayne is honored even in today’s sport teams. The Mad Ants name was a winner of a local contest. The Mad Ants name was chose to honor the namesake of the city and the original fort, a general known as “Mad” Anthony Wayne. Likewise, the TinCaps name honors a historical citizen who retired and was buried in Fort Wayne. An old photo of him wearing a cooking pot as a hot was used by Disney as an inspiration for art surrounding the Johnny Appleseed character.