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First baseball game played in 1871 at Fort Wayne stadium

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WISH) – Indiana is known for a lot of firsts, and that includes a game that is loved by billions worldwide.

When people visit Fort Wayne’s Parkview Field in the heart of the city, they may not realize this city is home base for America’s favorite pastime. The first professional baseball game was played in Fort Wayne.

Mike Maahs is the radio voice of minor league baseball in the Fort.

“This is my 14th year of being able to broadcast either Wizards or TinCaps baseball here in Fort Wayne and it’s been a blessing,” said Maahs.

Some 145 years ago on May 5, 1871 the first game was being played in Fort Wayne, said Chad Gramling the author of “Baseball in Fort Wayne.”

The FW Kekiongas took on the Cleveland Forest City’s, winning two to nothing. A write up in the Fort Wayne Daily Gazette preserved that first professional league game, and a dispatch was sent to the New York Herald.

In the decades that followed, legends were born as major league baseball became America’s favorite past time. But professional teams in the Fort fizzled and it took years for Fort Wayne baseball to get back on base.

In 1993, fans packed Memorial Stadium for the first Fort Wayne Wizards game, meaning professional baseball was back in the city, shared Gramling.

Eventually Memorial Stadium was demolished to make way for Parkview Field and the Wizards became the TinCaps. It was also the same year the TinCaps were crowned Midwest League champions.WANE-TV contributed to this story.