Caught in a “pickle” is Reds Team Member Jordan Cornwell during a Hamilton Park game.  Site director is Nick Barhouse.
Caught in a “pickle” is Reds Team Member Jordan Cornwell during a Hamilton Park game. Site director is Nick Barhouse.
Enjoying their summers on the diamonds of Fort Wayne are Wildcat Baseball Players. The Wildcat baseball motto is on playing the game and having “fun”. Regular baseball rules apply; the only difference is “Everyone makes the team”. This was the founder, Mr. Dale McMillen Sr.’s (Mr. Mac’s) vision and it is still true in the Wildcat League today.

Now in its 43rd season, was first established in 1961 with 10 baseball sites. It has expanded to 14 sites including Foster Park, Hamilton Park, and McMillen. The program runs from June 9th through August 1st. The cost is $8. The quality time playing baseball in a Wildcat League is priceless.

At times the players display levels of skill that are brilliant, while at other times they show the need for improvement. This is what is so wonderful at Wildcat. Area high school coaches are selected as directors with college and high school students acting as coaches.

When the players need help it is right there, right now. Bill Derbyshire, now in his 29th year with the Wildcats explains, “Everyone benefits. The coaches, many anticipating a teaching career, get experience working with kids, yet provide quality instruction for the players.” In addition, focusing on fundamentals to increase the skill level of all players, baseball clinics are held each week at the site. The clinics, taught by college or high school varsity coaches, provide players the skills of throwing, catching, running and hitting. Games and practices are played everyday at the parks.

When you pay your $8 for your shirt and cap, you also get to attend Wildcat Wizard Night (allowing players to attend a minor league game) and Mr. Mac Day. Mr. Mac Day, to be held on Tuesday, July 29th, gives all participants a morning of competition to win prizes and trophies and then enjoy a lunch at the end of their season.

Mr. Mac died at age 91, but his philosophy of life lives on in Wildcat Baseball. It’s time for some baseball fun. Join the Wildcat’s at anyone of the 14 baseball sites for that All-American priceless tradition of baseball.