News release from the TinCaps:
30 Former Fort Wayne Stars on MLB Opening Day Rosters
2014 Cy Young Award Winner Corey Kluber Headlines the Group
(April 7, 2015) â€” The 2015 Major League Baseball season officially started on Sunday and 30 former Fort Wayne TinCaps and Wizards were on Opening Day rosters. Last year’s American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber toed the rubber for the Cleveland Indians on Monday, striking out seven batters in seven and a third innings. The right-hander pitched in 10 games in a Wizards uniform in 2008, but posted a 3.21 ERA and struck out 72 batters in just 56 innings.
Fifteen other players who once wore the Fort Wayne uniform played on Opening Day including nine-time Gold Glove Award winner Tori Hunter (Minnesota Twins), former World Series MVP David Freese (Los Angeles Angels) and two-time All-Star Michael Cuddyer (New York Mets).
Relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins made history on April 29th, 1995 when he became the first Fort Wayne Wizard to make it to the show. Some 20 years later, the Gary, Indiana native has been tabbed the Colorado Rockies closer for a second straight season. Hawkins notched 23 saves for the club in 2014.
Infielder Cory Spangenberg is the youngest former Fort Wayne player to make an Opening Day roster. The 24-year-old made his Major League debut for the Padres in September of 2014 and earned a pinch-hit at-bat against the Dodgers on Monday.
Since baseball returned to the Summit City in 1993, a total of 131 former players have made it to the big leagues. The Wizards were an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins from 1993-1998 and have been affiliated with the San Diego Padres ever since. Even so, former Fort Wayne players are represented on 19 of MLB’s 30 rosters to start the 2015 season. The Padres lead the way with six Fort Wayne products, while the Rockies, Angels, Athletics, Nationals, Braves and Diamondbacks each have two.
Former Wizards and TinCaps on 2015 Major League Opening Day Rosters
- P LaTroy Hawkins, ’93 (Colorado Rockies)
- OF Tori Hunter, ’94 (Minnesota Twins)
- C AJ Pierzynski, ’95-96 (Atlanta Braves)
- OF Michael Cuddyer, ’98 (New York Mets)
- P Jake Peavy, ’00 (San Francisco Giants)
- P Oliver Perez, ’01 (Arizona Diamondbacks)
- P Dale Thayer, ’03 (San Diego Padres)
- 3B Chase Headley, ’05 (New York Yankees)
- P Ceasar Ramos, ’05 (Los Angeles Angels)
- C Nick Hundley, ’05-06 (Colorado Rockies)
- C Jose Lobaton, ’05-06 (Washington Nationals)
- OF Will Venable, ’06 (San Diego Padres)
- P Joakim Soria, ’06 (Detroit Tigers)
- 3B David Freese, ’06 (Los Angeles Angels)
- P Ernesto Frieri, ’06-07 (Tampa Bay Rays)
- 2B Eric Sogard, ’07 (Oakland Athletics)
- P Cory Luebke, ’07-08 (San Diego Padres, DL)
- P Corey Kluber, ’08 (Cleveland Indians)
- P Mat Latos, ’08-09 (Miami Marlins)
- P Colt Hynes, ’08-09 (Toronto Blue Jays)
- P Anthony Bass, ’09 (Texas Rangers)
- P Brad Brach, ’09 (Baltimore Orioles)
- P Erik Davis, ’09 (Washington Nationals, DL)
- P Jaff Decker, ’09 (Pittsburgh Pirates, DL)
- 2B Jedd Gyorko, ’10 (San Diego Padres)
- 1B Nate Freiman, ’10 (Oakland Athletics, DL)
- IF Cory Spangenberg, ’11 (San Diego Padres)
- P Frank Garces, ’12 (San Diego Padres)
- 2B Jace Peterson, ’12 (Atlanta Braves)
- P Matt Stites, ’12 (Arizona Diamondbacks, DL)