Fort Wayne Wizards
The Fort Wayne Wizards of Fort Wayne, Indiana, played 16 seasons in the Midwest League. Over that span, the team served as a Single-A affiliate of two major league teams–the Minnesota Twins and San Diego Padres. The Wizards were born after the 1992 season, when the former Kenosha Twins were moved to northern Indiana and given a new identity.
The first Wizards team took the field in 1993 wearing white and black pinstriped uniforms with blue embellishments. Fort Wayne’s caps had their FW initials stitched on, with a blue wizard cap jauntily perched on the W. Their primary logo featured a scraggly-haired wizard who kind of looked like the actor Daniel Day-Lewis in cape and pointy cap, clutching a crystal ball, that upon closer inspection, was actually a baseball with white seams. The Wizards also had a deeply creepy mascot called Wayne the Wizard.
There was magic on the ballfield as well. The franchise retained their affiliation with Minnesota, and several notable future Twins came through Fort Wayne, including LaTroy Hawkins, Matt Lawton, Torii Hunter, AJ Pierzynski, and Michael Cuddyer. Fort Wayne linked up with San Diego for the 1999 season, and this relationship would last through the entirety of the Wizards identity. Future big league standouts from the Padres era were Jake Peavy, Chase Headley, David Freese, Joakim Soria, and Corey Kluber.
The Wizards updated their visual identity in 2005. Wayne the Wizard was no more, and his replacement came in the form of a a bushy-eyebrowed green dragon. They kept the FW cap initials, but with a star in place of the wizard cap and updated to a louder, more in-your-face font for the new millennium.
The redesign wasn’t enough to save the identity, though, and by the late aughts, the spell had worn off. Following the 2008 season, Fort Wayne rebranded and chose a moniker that was a tip of the cap to local legend Johnny Appleseed. The Fort Wayne TinCaps play in the Midwest League to this day.