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TinCaps

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    Less than a week ago, after getting swept at Lake County, the TinCaps seemed to lose any momentum they had been building in their pursuit of a sixth straight playoff berth.
  • TinCaps win to tighten up race
    Once the final out was recorded, John Nester got the silent treatment, one of baseball’s quirky ways of celebrating a big achievement.“I don’t think anybody likes me too much,” the TinCaps’ catcher cracked.
  • TinCaps smash their way to win
    Manager Michael Collins didn’t want his batters to think about the long ball this season.Yet this year’s TinCaps hit more than any team in Fort Wayne history.
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TinCaps
vs. West Michigan
When: 12:05 p.m. today
TV: Xfinity Channel 81
Radio: 1380 AM
Tickets: $12.50, $10, $9, $8, $5 (lawn)
Information: TinCaps.com or 482-6400
Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
TinCaps’ catcher Rodney Daal attempts to catch a foul ball against West Michigan in the fourth inning at Parkview Field on Monday night.

TinCaps hit stride in drawing fans

A rain delay Monday didn’t dampen the spirits of Michael Limmer, the TinCaps vice president of marketing and promotions.

Not much can after a strong start to the second half in attendance for Fort Wayne (44-29).

After sprinting out to help put the tarp on the field at Parkview Field during a downpour, Limmer said he has been pleased with the crowds through the first five games of the second half.

“Even though we didn’t have any rainouts or lost games in the first half of the season, we still had our fair share of bad weather during the day, bad weather right after the game, hit-or-miss throughout the game,” Limmer said. “Once we get some good weather, our good crowds find their way out.”

Even with a bit of gloom Monday.

The TinCaps had a record crowd Thursday, with 8,643 fans heading to Parkview Field for the second-half opener, Thirsty Thursday and a postgame fireworks show.

The next day drew similar crowds, with 7,911 in paid attendance for an extra-inning win.

Saturday, the park held 7,705 fans. Sunday, 5,016 showed up for a mid-afternoon tilt.

And despite the impending rain Monday, 6,073 fans bought tickets.

“I think people have been really itching to get out to the ballpark,” Limmer said. “School’s out, the weather’s been great – we really hit our stride in terms of fireworks and different entertainment dates. That’s really the good formula and recipe for good attendance.”

It has been in the past, too.

Limmer said Parkview Field averaged just fewer than 5,000 fans in the first half of the season. Much of that had to do with uncertain weather conditions.

But in the second half, Fort Wayne typically averages just more than 6,200 fans a game. That’s the time when late-night fireworks and promotional entertainment are at a premium for the TinCaps.

“We know that this community really supports this team, supports what we’re doing here at Parkview Field and the entertainment value for the dollar,” Limmer said. “We’re excited to see even more attendance numbers in the sevens and eights as the season goes on.”

By that, Limmer means thousands. And he hasn’t been disappointed so far.

The TinCaps have averaged 7,070 fans through the first five games of the second half, a total of 35,348 tickets sold. It took Fort Wayne 10 games during a gloomy April start to get past that number.

“We’ve always had more than 20 sellouts every single season we’ve been downtown, the majority of them in the second half,” Limmer said. “Case in point, a night like tonight: people are likely to put up with a little bit of rain because it’s warmer.”

And some fans did stick around – with a swell of cheers as the announcer told the crowd the postgame fireworks would still go on.

smorrison@jg.net

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