Nolan: Fort Wayne’s black baseball history

From John Nolan at on March 19, 2020, with mention of SABR member Tim Tassler:

Believe it or not, Fort Wayne’s baseball history is as rich as just about any city’s. This dates back to the fact that Fort Wayne hosted the first ever professional baseball league game in 1871. Over the nearly 150 years between then and the current TinCaps era, Fort Wayne has been home to numerous teams and hosted Hall of Fame talents.

While the origin of the fledgling Fort Wayne Kekiongas in the National Association has been well publicized, as have stories like Babe Ruth’s visits to the Summit City, one chapter of the area’s baseball chronicles that has been largely undocumented over the decades is Fort Wayne’s Black baseball history. Fortunately, that’s starting to change thanks to tremendous researching efforts by individuals in the community.

For example, in 2018, Dr. Alfred Brothers Jr. published this report on the Fort Wayne Colored Giants (pictured above) with other insights on Black baseball in the area. Dr. Brothers has spoken to groups on the topic. So, too, has Tim Tassler.

By day, Tim is a national sales manager for APT Manufacturing Solutions, which is based in nearby Hicksville, Ohio. In that role, he works with schools purchasing equipment for their robotics teams. In his spare time, however, Tim is not only an avid baseball fan, but also a history buff. Those passions have merged together in his research of Fort Wayne’s Black baseball history.

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Originally published: March 19, 2020. Last Updated: March 19, 2020.