FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Baseball prospects can end up with any of the 30 major league teams, but one local TinCap was fortunate enough to get selected by a team that kept him close to home, for at least the start of his career.
Josh VanMeter, who was a standout pitcher and shortstop for Norwell High School, is now the second baseman for the TinCaps.
Thursday night was the season opener for the TinCaps’ 2014 season, and the first time VanMeter’s friends and family could see him play professionally.
“I know what his ultimate goal is and I know that he really appreciates the support here in Fort Wayne and the opportunitto play in a tremendous facility for a great organization led by Mike Nutter,” Greg VanMeter, Josh’s father, said. “This is a step along the way to a dream that he hopes ends in the big leagues.”
VanMeter’s parents and roughly another hundred friends and family were in attendance for Thursday’s rainy and cold game.
“I’m happy to have him home,” Amy VanMeter, Josh’s mother, said. “I’m anxious to watch him play.”
VanMeter is the first area non-pitcher to play for Fort Wayne’s minor league baseball team in the last 20 years.
“It’s wonderful to see him live out what he’s been talking about doing since he was a young boy,” Amy VanMeter said.
VanMeter’s debut didn’t go as everyone had hoped. He wasn’t able to get on base as a batter, and had an error early in the game that cost the TinCaps a run, but his parents said they know they’re fortunate that their son is doing what he loves, and getting to play baseball close to home.
“I’m grateful for the guys that helped him get to this point,” Greg VanMeter said. “The impact they’ve had on him to give him the opportunity.”
The TinCaps play 140 regular season games, and the VanMeters said they plan to be at every TinCaps’ home game, and many close road games, to follow their son as he begins his professional career.