The Fort Wayne TinCaps are the longest-tenured current minor league affiliate of the San Diego Padres. With their contract running out at the end of this year, and minor league teams swapping affiliations like there was no tomorrow, it seemed like the marriage was on the rocks. Luckily the Padres and Fort Wayne were able to strike a deal allowing them to keep their affiliation there until 2016. At the end of that contract, Fort Wayne will have tied Las Vegas for the longest tenured minor league city in Padre history. Vegas hosted the Las Vegas Stars, the team’s Triple-A affiliate from 1983 to 2000.
As for the product on the field, the TinCaps weren’t too shabby. They were the only Padres affiliate to reach the postseason, but they were dispatched in the semifinals. The team saw the rise of young, budding stars like first baseman Jake Bauers, and this year’s top draft pick, shortstop Trea Turner.
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While minor league teams change owners on a yearly basis, it’s good to see that this one has stuck around. Hopefully Fort Wayne will continue to be a place where the future of the Padres can grow.