‘Mr. TinCap’ Lenny Baughman first in line for Fort Wayne TinCaps tickets

Lenny Baughman of Auburn stands at his club seats view after being first in line for Fort Wayne TinCaps single-game ticket sales Wednesday at Parkview Field. (Photo by Reggie Hayes of news-sentinel.com)
Lenny Baughman and his daughter, Sarah, spend their summers watching TinCaps baseball. (Courtesy photo)
Lenny Baughman, left, talks with Michael Limmer of the TinCaps as fans wait in line for single-game tickets Wednesday at Parkview Field. (Photo by Reggie Hayes of news-sentinel.com)

Lenny Baughman goes by the unofficial nickname “Mr. TinCap.” Or maybe it’s official, considering he has it on apparel and his license plate.

So it wasn’t necessarily a surprise he was first in line Wednesday morning at Parkview Field when single-game tickets went on sale for the Fort Wayne TinCaps’ 2018 season.

Baughman, 58, has a pair of season in the club seats, where most games you can find Baughman and his daughter, Sarah, taking in the game and spending three hours of quality father-daughter time. They both love baseball, and it doesn’t get any better than Parkview Field in Baughman’s mind.

“I’ve been to a lot of Major League parks and this is by far nicer,” he said. “Seating-wise, atmosphere-wise, staff-wise, it’s like family.”

Baughman was among a steady stream of fans who came to Parkview Field to buy tickets and take advantage of the TinCaps’ free breakfast in the suites behind home plate. Baughman’s quest was for extra seats on July 5, his birthday. (He missed being a 4th of July baby by a couple of hours.)

He and Sarah will be joined for that game by his Baughman’s wife, Melanie, as well as Sarah’s older sister Rachel, Rachel’s husband Adam and the couple’s 19-month old daughter Evelyn.

Baughman, of Auburn, has been a baseball fan since he started collecting baseball cards at 3 years old. He attended a few Fort Wayne Wizards games but became a diehard with the TinCaps and has been a season-ticket holder since 2011.

Buying tickets at the stadium represents a bit of a nod to a bygone era.

Michael Limmer, TinCaps vice president of marketing and promotions, said 80 to 90 percent of the team’s ticket sales are purchased online. But the breakfast is a chance to say thank you to the loyal fans, and give them a reason to visit the park in anticipation of the season ahead.

This will be the 10th season for the TinCaps at Parkview Field.

“Tickets on sale in February is kind of the ‘Punxsutawney Phil’ of Fort Wayne,” Limmer said. “Six weeks from Saturday, we’ll be playing our first game.”

Baughman will be there, in TinCaps gear, ready for another summer of the rewards of a relaxing day at the park.

“My club seats,” Baughman said, “are the best in the house.”