WBA History

World Baseball Academy has a unique history that has helped position this organization for some great things to come!  

The founder, Caleb Kimmel, is a homegrown native of Fort Wayne, Indiana.   In 2000, while still in college, Kimmel worked alongside his father in forming Between The Lines, LLC that served as the event planner for the annual Hoosier Classic Summer Baseball Tournaments.   After graduating college in 2003,  Kimmel expanded Between The Lines by beginning to add baseball instructional programs to complement the established tournaments.

In December of 2003, Between The Lines became a tenant at the Tahcumwah Facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  It was in that same year some dynamic leadership crossed paths.

Steve Sotir, the former Director of Player Development for the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), had become a key administrative leader within Southwest Allen County School systems.  However, Sotir had never really had the opportunity to utilize his unique baseball background while residing in Fort Wayne.

Kimmel and Sotir began to envision what could happen if established quality event planners partnered up with the international experts within the game.   It was in those brainstorming sessions that the World Baseball Academy emerged.

Sotir brought in the leadership of Dr. Darin Van Tassell and Larry Bryant—key international baseball leaders who all have had a great impact on the growth of the game globally.  Van Tassell, a professor of International Studies, was the Baseball Competition Director of the 2008 Olympics Baseball Games in Beijing.  Bryant is a professor of health.  These three men met at Georgia Southern University during their playing days and early college coaching days.

In 2007, these four leaders began to develop plans that combined the well-established local baseball programming in Fort Wayne with international opportunities around the world.

Van Tassell, Bryant and Sotir created the name “World Baseball Academy” to capture the essence of “teaching” the game of baseball. “Academy” represents the concept of being a student of the game. “Baseball” is the platform by which we can get the attention of young people, build a relationship with them, and educate them on the fundamentals of the sport and of life. “World” captures the essence of our global vision.

In 2008, The World Baseball Academy, Inc became an official 501(c)3 nonprofit with the focus of developing leadership through the game of baseball.   As the vision progressed, The World Baseball Academy replaced Between The Lines as a primary baseball tenant at the Academy of Sports & Health (ASH) Centre (formerly called "Tahcumwah").

In 2012, World Baseball Academy consolidated with another nonprofit to become the owners and operators of the ASH Centre, a 26-acre campus located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  As of today, World Baseball Academy, Inc is an established organization that is serving nearly 5,000 young people and making a substantial economic and social impact on the community of Fort Wayne!

World Baseball Academy vision is to develop leaders who positively impact our world.   The four T's of impact are the means to accomplish our vision.  World Baseball Academy provides tournaments, team support, training and trip.  These programs allow our leadership to use the platform of baseball to connect and mentor young people in hopes of developing them to be difference makers on and off the field!

Experiential Learning

Internship Program

World Baseball Academy (WBA) vision is to develop leaders who positively impact our world.  The internship program has become an important part of that leadership development process within our operations.

WBA partners with numerous area universities and high schools to provide students an experiential learning opportunity that aligns with their passions and future career path.

"We really enjoy allowing students to become a part of our team during their internship time.  We value their role and enjoy challenging them to exemplify excellence in everything they choose to pursue," explains Caleb Kimmel, CEO of World Baseball Academy.

The internship program includes an interview process, routine meetings with staff, leadership time with CEO, project oriented tasks,  mid-term reviews, real world experience, evaluation of WBA Staff by intern, exit interview, and a lot of smiles and words of encouragement.

Partnering Universities & Schools include:

  • IPFW, University of St. Francis, Indiana Tech, Ball State University, Indiana University, Purdue University, Trine University, Manchester University, Taylor University, Huntington  University, Grace College,  U of Indy, ITT Tech, St. Mary's College, and more to come!
  • Area Private Schools, East Allen Community Schools, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Northwest Allen County Schools, Southwest Allen County School.

 

 Areas of Interest

  • Business Administration
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Sports Management
    • Facility Management
    • Hospitality Management
  • Culinary Arts
    • Concession Stand Management
  • Digital Graphics & Design
    • Graphic Design
    • Web Development
    • Film / Media / Video
  • Organizational Leadership
    • Organizational Leadership

 

Want to learn More?

Click Here For Our Internship Outline

Also feel free to contact Caleb Kimmel at 260-436-1507 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Meet Our Leadership


Staff Members

Caleb Kimmel, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
(260) 437-9349 (Mobile)
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Andy McManama, Director of Operations / Tournaments
(260) 466-5452 (Mobile)
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Austen Rigelman, Tournament Director
(419) 771-2223 (Mobile)
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Ken Jones, Senior Lead Baseball Instructor
(260) 403-8935 (Mobile)
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Linda Buskirk, Director of Development
(260) 436-1507
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Tim Petersen, On Deck Instructor
(260) 385-7503
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Kristen Kimmel, Marketing Director
(260) 403-4281 (Mobile)
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Melinda Petersen, On Deck Administrative Director
(260) 436-1507
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Bud Wolf, Outdoor Campus Maintenance
(260) 436-1507
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Jamie Frazier, Dominican Republic Trip Coordinator
(260) 437-8521
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Contact Our Office

(260) 436-1507 (Office Phone/Fax)

World Baseball Academy
1701 Freeman Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Click here for map

 

Board of Directors

David Kolpien, Board President – Raymond James & Associates
Lee DeTurk, Board Vice President – World Partners
Jim Krafcheck, Board Treasurer – Ash Brokerage
Amos Norman, Board Secretary –  Renaissance Pointe YMCA of Greater FW
Craig Dyer - Board At Large -  Indiana Tech
Adam Henry  - Board At Large -  Beers, Mallers, Backs, & Salin Law Firm
Sarah Neace  - Board At Large -  Vincent Village
Mike Nutter  - Board At Large -  Fort Wayne TinCaps
Rich Powers  - Board At Large -    American Specialty
Jim Underwood  - Board At Large -  Ruoff Home Mortgage

 

In Memory of Board Member

Kimberly Hatch – Community Leader (1966 - 2011)

    

International Baseball Special Advisors

Larry Bryant – Professor of Health, Georgia Southern University
Kraig Cabe – Indiana State Director, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
Lee DeTurk – International Sports Director, World Partners
Caleb Kimmel – CEO, World Baseball Academy
Dave Mann – Executive Director, World Partners
Steve Sotir – Former Director of Player Development, International Baseball Federation (IBAF)
Dr. Darin Van Tassell – Competition Director, 2008 Olympic Baseball Games

 

Baseball Instruction Special Advisors

Eric Wedge – Field Coordinator Toronto Blue Jays, Former MLB Manager

 

Annual Financial Review Advisors

Haines, Isenbarger, & Skiba, LLC – CPA Firm

Scholarship Program FAQs

 

Scholarship Program - Interview

Scholarship Program Interview
Cheryl Jones - Mother of participant

Financially Support
Schola
rship Program

What is World Baseball Academy?

World Baseball Academy is a locally based nonprofit that uses
baseball as the platform to impact the lives of young people.  
Our vision is develop leaders who positively impact our world. 
WBA serves over 3,000 young people annually through our tournaments, training programs, and internationals trips.

 

How do I apply for a Scholarship?

An applicant (player) should fill out the Application Form with their Parent or Legal Guardian and submit that paperwork to World Baseball Academy. Each applicant will need to secure one reference and have that reference fill out and mail in a Reference Application Form.

 

When are scholarships awarded?

World Baseball Academy Scholarship Committee meets several times throughout the year to review and approve scholarship applications based on eligibility and criteria set up by the Scholarship Committee. At the conclusion of that process, each applicant will receive a letter either verifying that they have been approved or thanking them for their submission.

 

What happens if I am awarded a scholarship?

World Baseball Academy scholarship director will contact all scholarship award winners and begin scheduling a baseball evaluation session and inform the award winners of group training programs that they are eligible to participate in.

 

What happens if I want to continue my training beyond the initial scholarship?

World Baseball Academy would like to develop long-term mentoring relationships with scholarship award winners as long as the participants are meeting the WBA expectations. Therefore, applicants will be given the opportunity to renew their scholarship and continue to make progress in character development as well as skill development.

 

Who should I contact about more information?

Feel free to contact Melinda Petersen, Scholarship Director, for any questions on the Scholarship Program.  
Melinda can be reached at 260-385-7542  /  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Scholarship Program

   

Scholarship Program
Sponsor

    Scholarship Program 

 

 

 

In The News

News Report

April 15, 2018

Weekend tournament first at new WBA fields

Radio

February 14, 2018

WBCL: Council approves Legacy Grant for WBA

News Article

February 6, 2018

Legacy grant approved for lights at World Baseball Academy

News Report

February 6, 2018

World Baseball Academy asking for $600,000 from council

News Report

January 28, 2018

Eric Wedge returns to Summit City for 14th Annual Baseball Camp

News Article

January 28, 2018

Eric Wedge Camp

News Report

January 28, 2018

Eric Wedge returns to Fort Wayne to host 14th annual baseball camp

News Article

January 26, 2018

Toronto Blue Jays minor-league field manager Eric Wedge returns home

News Report

January 26, 2018

Eric Wedge holds 14th Annual Baseball Camp, Leadership Luncheon

News Article

January 26, 2018

The Bright Decision

News Article

January 25, 2018

Baseball fields seek Legacy funds

News Article

January 24, 2018

Council to consider Legacy Fund request for ASH Centre

News Report

October 23, 2017

World Baseball Academy New Field Open House

Radio

October 22, 2017

Talkin' Sports - Talks Renovations for World Baseball Academy

News Article

October 19, 2017

World Baseball Academy baseball complex blooming

News Article

October 18, 2017

City embracing its baseball past, future

News Report

October 17, 2017

World Baseball Academy Debuts Multimillion Dollar Turf Fields

News Report

October 17, 2017

World Baseball Academy holds dedication for new fields at ASH Centre

News Report

October 17, 2017

World Baseball Academy unveils new diamonds

News Article

July 28, 2017

Baseball Fields get New Life

News Report

July 27, 2017

World Baseball Academy starts installing turf for ASH Centre Fields

News Report

July 26, 2017

World Baseball Academy continues progress on field renovations

Radio

May 11, 2017

WBCL: World Baseball Academy Dreams Big

News Article

May 11, 2017

Field of Dreams

News Report

May 10, 2017 

World Baseball Academy field renovation underway at ASH Centre

Magazine  

April 1, 2017 

Preparing Young Leaders for Life After Sports

News Report

Jan. 28, 2017

Eric Wedge returns to Fort Wayne to host 13th annual baseball camp

News Article

Jan. 29, 2017

Wedge: Fundamentals key to baseball success

     

 

2016 & Prior

Articles & Reports - Click Here