The Single-A Fort Wayne TinCaps are in the midst of an extended rollout of redesigned uniforms, with two new looks debuting this past week and two more yet to come. The TinCaps, an affiliate of the San Diego Padres, have not changed their look since changing names from the Wizards before the 2009 season. This season marks a full decade with the current brand, and the team felt it was time to freshen up.
“The thought process going into our 10th season was that our brand with the TinCaps apple had been well adopted here in town,” said Michael Limmer, the team’s vice president of marketing. “We had a very successful launch of the brand back in 2009 as well as maintaining interest in town…. One of the things we looked was whether there was an opportunity to both simplify and go a little bit further with the brand identity.”
The first new look to hit the field was the team’s home whites, which for the first time do not include pin stripes. It’s a cleaner look with an all-white chest and back, easier-to-read colored numbers, and green sleeves extended to the neck.
One effect the new look has had is pure pragmatism. With the removal of pin stripes, the team carries only grey and white pants, which will go with any jersey in their set.
The most dramatic new look is a green alternate jersey that declares the team “The Fort.” The jerseys include a glitter accent thread created by Rawlings around the number on the front chest and on the cap. The team had considered a further use of the glitter but decided against it.
“We had talked about doing glitter as a border around the number on the front as well as on the back,” Limmer said. “Rawlings, having had experience with other teams doing something similar with that glitter, they said that after about three weeks, guys wear them while they sit on the bench in the dugout, the glitter will completely have rubbed off.”
With two new jerseys revealed this past week, the TinCaps still have a road jersey and a batting practice top yet to unveil. It’s an unusual approach to debuting a new uniform set, but the team has its reasons.
“We’re trying to space out some of these new jersey reveals as the season goes on to spark a little bit of interest and have games where these things are debuting and people get to see them for the first time that morning and see them and then come out to the game that night and see them,” Limmer said. “A lot of time teams come out and show everything all at once and show how the whole family of jerseys work together. Ours certainly were designed so that they would complement one another.”
The TinCaps’ apple-themed brand, created by Skye Design in Atlanta, is based on the legend of Johnny Appleseed, a real person named John Chapman who is buried in Fort Wayne. The franchise has played in Fort Wayne since 1993.