Fort Wayne, IN: One only has to be around Fort Wayne's own Eric Wedge a short time to know that he and wife Kate are people that give their time to many that need their help. A Buffalo, NY native Kate Wedge and Eric focus their attention on their home towns in a special way. This past weekend they focused their attention on Fort Wayne's charities. One that is close to their hearts is SCAN (Stop Child Abuse and Neglect). The vehicle is the Eric Wedge Foundation; the event The Party in the Park at Parkview Field downtown Fort Wayne, the purpose is to bring attention to a troubling trend in American culture to mistreat the weakest and most vulnerable among us. Eric and Kate are passionate about the need to reverse this trend and to bring a renewed found respect for the life of children and for every person and their needs. Their fund raising efforts at the Party in the Park, were solidly supported by Fort Wayne Sports Club, the mayor of Fort Wayne Tom Henry, and Kent Horman delivered an unbelievable job as MC for the event; as described by Eric.
COMMUNITY: Eric and Kate Wedge give generously of their time and financial support to a wide variety of community programs....Eric travels annually to his home town of Ft. Wayne, IN, to do a banquet and clinic as fundraisers to support local programs, and Kate runs the Carol K Classic Golf Tournament in her hometown of Buffalo, NY, in honor of her mom...during their time in Cleveland, the Wedges participated and donated time at the First Energy Grand Slam Summer Literacy Program, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, The Providence House, The Woman's Center of Greater Cleveland, the Cleveland YWCA & the CIC Celebrity Golf Classic, along with several other endeavors.
What would draw Eric to Fort Wayne, Indiana in the middle of the winter, besides Eric's family? The World Baseball Academy (WBA). And the WBA welcomes him; Caleb Kimmel - President of the WBA, Ken Jones-Director of Player Development, Andy McManama-Tournament Director are honored to have Eric instruct at the 2014 Eric Wedge Baseball Camps and College Show Case. During the camp it's all baseball instruction and advice to any player that asks. He does not avoid the chance to work with as many individual players as he can fit into the time frame of the camp. It is easy to forget what all is going on in Eric's life when you see him coaching and evaluating the Fort Wayne young baseball talent.
Eric resigned his position as manager of the Seattle Mariners after the 2013 major league baseball season. A tough decision but the right one for Eric. He quickly became a leading candidate to take over for Dale Sveum in Chicago for Tom Ricketts owner of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs VP of Baseball operations, Theo Epstein, provided Eric with a fair and in depth series for interviews. Meeting with Epstein and Jed Hoyer the Cubs, general manager, Eric was given full opportunity to present his skills, managerial philosophy, and professional goals. In the end, the Cubs selected an unknown Rick Renteria to take over the position of manager; sticking with their total makeover they are selling to the north side fan base. Eric was extremely impress with his treatment and knows the Cubs are doing the right things in their rebuilding efforts. He is also impressed with the young talent they have accumulated Javier Baez, Junior Lake, and Jorge Soler among others and wishes them well.
Meanwhile, Eric will get a change to evaluate the Cub talent and all the other major league baseball team's talent when he becomes a baseball analyst for ESPN. He is ready to start a new chapter in his baseball life joining ESPN for the 2014 season. Eric plans to return to the dugout; as a major league manager; a plan that will most likely occur. As a former catcher for the Boston Red Sox Eric possess all the experience and knowledge to be a great manager in the majors. Eric was elected as manager of the year in 2002 with the Cleveland Indians before going to Seattle.
The city of Fort Wayne must be proud of the quality and quantity of interested people that attend and support events like the Party in the Park. During this cold winter night it would have been so easy to stay home in the warm house and watch the beginning of the Olympics. Fortunately there was a great turn out for charity fund raising..