There have been plenty of great baseball players from Fort Wayne, but none of them had been Mr. Baseball.
Until Friday night.
South Side pitcher Will Coursen-Carr became the first player from the city to get the honor, and he was ecstatic to hear his name called in Jasper.
There have been so many guys from the area, so many great players, like Jarrod Parker and Brad Weber, Coursen-Carr said in a telephone interview. To be the first one from Fort Wayne, to represent Fort Wayne like this, it’s really cool, and I’m certainly happy about it.
Coursen-Carr is the third player from northeast Indiana to be selected as Mr. Baseball, which was presented by Hoosier Diamond magazine, joining Norwell’s Parker in 2007 and DeKalb’s Weber in 1995.
The award has been given out since 1992.
Despite having such a terrific season – he was the Gatorade Indiana Baseball Player of the Year – Coursen-Carr went into Friday not necessarily expecting to win the award, especially after players from successful programs at Carroll, Snider and Blackhawk Christian had come up empty through the years.
I was completely surprised, said Coursen-Carr, who is also a first baseman and South Side’s salutatorian. I had no idea it would happen. I didn’t know anything. They said my name, and I was in shock.
An Indiana recruit, Coursen-Carr was 10-1 with a 0.40 ERA and 134 strikeouts. He hit .488 with 36 RBI, 29 runs and four home runs.
He helped the Archers to a 20-8 record, South Side’s first sectional title and a runner-up finish at regionals.
Despite his fastball being clocked at more than 90 mph, he wasn’t taken in June’s amateur draft.
Adding to the excitement of getting the award was that Coursen-Carr was able to do it surrounded by so many friends and respected rivals. The banquet preceded the North-South All-Star Series.
The series begins today with a doubleheader and concludes with Sunday’s wooden bat game.
It’s unbelievable to win that, Coursen-Carr said, especially when you combine that with the Gatorade award. There were so many guys in that room, so many great players, and to look at them as I accepted it was an amazing feeling. There was a kid there going to Vanderbilt and an Ohio State kid and a Louisville kid, and they’re all just really good players.