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Wizards looking for a new name next season

Fans can go online to offer suggestions; winner to get prizes.

Monday, June 16, 2008 - 10:44 am

The Fort Wayne Wizards will play their baseball games next season at a new downtown ballpark, and they'll likely have a new name, too.

Fans can go online to www.HarrisonSquareFortWayne.com and suggest a new name for the minor-league team that's been in Fort Wayne since 1993.

“If we do change, we would love to have a team name that connects with the community, represents some of the rich history and tradition of leadership and innovation that exemplifies Fort Wayne and that celebrates where we've been as a community as well as where we're going in the future,” Wizards General Manager Mike Nutter said in a news release. “We know our fans can be very creative and, with their help, we think we'll come up with something great.”

When the allotted time for the naming contest is expired, team executives and industry professionals will review the submissions to determine the name of the team beginning in the 2009 season.

Submissions can be submitted through Monday, June 30. The winning entry will receive two season tickets for the 2009 season, $250 in merchandise in the team store and the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day 2009.

The Wizards have been the Class low-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres since 1999. The previous six seasons they were affiliated with the Minnesota Twins.

Zawadzki leads victory

Lance Zawadzki drove in four runs to lead the Wizards to an 8-4 win over West Michigan on the final day of the first half of the Midwest League season.

He hit a three-run triple in the sixth inning. All three of Zawadzki's triples this season came in the last week of the first half. Justin Baum had two hits and two RBIs. Drew Cumberland had three hits and scored three runs. Luis Durango also scored three runs.

Jeremy Hefner got the victory and picked up his team-high sixth win of the season.

The Wizards (37-33) finished one game out of the Eastern Division's wild-card playoff spot. Lansing (39-31) won the division. West Michigan (37-31) won the wild card.

The Midwest League begins its three-day All-Star break today. Reliever Derek McDaid, first baseman Felix Carrasco and second baseman Andy Parrino will represent the Wizards in the game, to be played at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Dow Diamond in Midland, Mich. Parrino will start. Carrasco, who hit a team-high 12 home runs in the first half, will compete in tonight's home run derby.

Eleven Wizards will be on the Padres roster for today's annual Hall of Fame exhibition game at Cooperstown, N.Y., against the Chicago Cubs. The game will be shown on WGN, Comcast Ch. 53, at 2 p.m.