Toledo Mud Hens
Overview
 
The Toledo Mud Hens are a minor league baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

 team located in Toledo, Ohio
Toledo, Ohio
Toledo is the fourth most populous city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Lucas County. Toledo is in northwest Ohio, on the western end of Lake Erie, and borders the State of Michigan...

. The Mud Hens play in the International League
International League
The International League is a minor league baseball league that operates in the eastern United States. Like the Pacific Coast League and the Mexican League, it plays at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball. It was so named because it had teams in both the United States...

, and are affiliated with the major league baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 team the Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in as part of the Western League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships and have won the American League pennant...

, based approximately 50 miles to the north of Toledo. The current team is one of several professional clubs that have existed in Toledo since 1883. The name "Mud Hens" was first used in 1896, after the team was bought by Charles Strobel. One of the two parks where the team played that year, Bay View Park, was adjacent to marshland which was inhabited by American Coot
American Coot
The American Coot is a bird of the family Rallidae, inhabiting wetlands and open water bodies. Measuring in length and across the wings, adults have a short thick white bill and white frontal shield, which usually has a reddish-brown spot near the top of the bill between the eyes...

s, also known as marsh hens or mud hens, from which the team adopted their name.

They won back-to-back Governors' Cup
Governors' Cup
The Governors' Cup is the trophy awarded each year to the champion of the International League, one of the two current Triple-A level minor leagues of Major League Baseball.-Governors' Cup history:...

 championships in 2005 and 2006.

The Mud Hens currently play at Fifth Third Field
Fifth Third Field (Toledo)
Fifth Third Field is the name of a minor league baseball stadium in Toledo, Ohio. The Ohio-based Fifth Third Bank purchased the naming rights to the stadium. It is not to be confused with another stadium in Ohio with the same name, Fifth Third Field in Dayton...

, at 406 Washington St.
Encyclopedia
The Toledo Mud Hens are a minor league baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

 team located in Toledo, Ohio
Toledo, Ohio
Toledo is the fourth most populous city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Lucas County. Toledo is in northwest Ohio, on the western end of Lake Erie, and borders the State of Michigan...

. The Mud Hens play in the International League
International League
The International League is a minor league baseball league that operates in the eastern United States. Like the Pacific Coast League and the Mexican League, it plays at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball. It was so named because it had teams in both the United States...

, and are affiliated with the major league baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 team the Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in as part of the Western League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships and have won the American League pennant...

, based approximately 50 miles to the north of Toledo. The current team is one of several professional clubs that have existed in Toledo since 1883. The name "Mud Hens" was first used in 1896, after the team was bought by Charles Strobel. One of the two parks where the team played that year, Bay View Park, was adjacent to marshland which was inhabited by American Coot
American Coot
The American Coot is a bird of the family Rallidae, inhabiting wetlands and open water bodies. Measuring in length and across the wings, adults have a short thick white bill and white frontal shield, which usually has a reddish-brown spot near the top of the bill between the eyes...

s, also known as marsh hens or mud hens, from which the team adopted their name.

They won back-to-back Governors' Cup
Governors' Cup
The Governors' Cup is the trophy awarded each year to the champion of the International League, one of the two current Triple-A level minor leagues of Major League Baseball.-Governors' Cup history:...

 championships in 2005 and 2006.

The Mud Hens currently play at Fifth Third Field
Fifth Third Field (Toledo)
Fifth Third Field is the name of a minor league baseball stadium in Toledo, Ohio. The Ohio-based Fifth Third Bank purchased the naming rights to the stadium. It is not to be confused with another stadium in Ohio with the same name, Fifth Third Field in Dayton...

, at 406 Washington St. The new stadium replaced Ned Skeldon Stadium
Ned Skeldon Stadium
Ned Skeldon Stadium, originally opened as Lucas County Stadium, is a stadium in Maumee, Ohio. It was primarily used for baseball, and was the home field of the Toledo Mud Hens minor league baseball team. It opened for minor league ball in 1965, and closed for the minors in 2002 when the Mud Hens...

, located in suburban Maumee.

Team history

The Mud Hens have played in the International League since 1965, when the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

' AAA club, the Richmond Virginians
Richmond Virginians
The Richmond Virginians was the name of a minor league baseball Class AAA International League franchise that played in Richmond, Virginia, from 1954 through 1964....

, transferred there. Although the Tigers have been the predominant MLB parent of the IL Mud Hens (1967–73 and since 1987), the team has also been affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team. They are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating to 1883. The Phillies are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

 (1974–75), Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Since , they have played in Progressive Field. The team's spring training facility is in Goodyear, Arizona...

 (1976–77), Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

 (1978–86) and the Yankees (1965–66).

Toledo was without organized baseball for nine seasons (1956–64). That was the city's longest stretch without professional ball since the 1880s. Toledo is a special place to baseball historians due to its early (failed) attempt to break the color/race barrier in the game. The Toledo Blue Stockings
Toledo Blue Stockings
The Toledo Blue Stockings formed as a minor league baseball team in Toledo, Ohio in 1883. They won the Northwestern League championship in 1883. Their home ballpark was League Park....

 operated during 1883–1885, including an entry in 1884 with the then-major American Association
American Association (19th century)
The American Association was a Major League Baseball league that existed for 10 seasons from to . During that time, it challenged the National League for dominance of professional baseball...

. In the 1880s, before the major leagues stabilized, it was not unusual for a minor league team to be "promoted" to major league level for awhile. The 1884 club was the only major league team with black players (Moses Fleetwood Walker
Moses Fleetwood Walker
Moses Fleetwood Walker [″Fleet″] was an American Major League Baseball player and author who is credited with being the first African American to play professional baseball.-Baseball career:...

 and his brother, Welday Walker
Welday Walker
Welday Wilberforce Walker was an American left fielder in Major League Baseball, born in Steubenville, Ohio. He, along with his brother Moses Fleetwood Walker, became the first black baseball players to play in the major leagues when they played for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American...

) prior to Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947...

's appearance with the Brooklyn Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers are members of Major League Baseball's National League West Division. Established in 1883, the team originated in Brooklyn, New York, where it was known by a number of nicknames before becoming...

 in 1947. The refusal of prominent baseball figure Cap Anson
Cap Anson
Adrian Constantine Anson , nicknamed "Cap" and "Pop", was a National Association and Major League Baseball first baseman...

 to play the Toledo team, in an exhibition game with his Chicago White Stockings
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

, accelerated the drawing of the color line.

Several minor league teams in Toledo lasted for short durations late in the 1880s and during the 1890s. The team also returned to the AA in 1890, as the Toledo Maumees
Toledo Maumees
The Toledo Maumees were originally formed in 1888. The team was based in Toledo, Ohio and formed part of the Tri-State League for one season. Their home games were played at Speranza Park in Toledo....

 (some sources say their nickname was the Black Pirates). That was one of several short-lived nicknames, including, the White Stockings. It was in 1896 that the team acquired the nicknames "Swamp Angels" and "Mud Hens" due to the ballpark's proximity to marshlands and waterfowl. "Mud Hens" gained popularity and has stuck with most of the Toledo teams ever since.

When the American Association
American Association (20th century)
The American Association was a minor league baseball league at the Triple-A level of baseball in the United States from to and to . Together with the International League, it contested the Junior World Series which determined the championship team in minor league baseball, at least for the...

 revived as a minor league in 1902, the Mud Hens joined as a charter member. The team had been playing at Armory Park
Armory Park
Armory Park was a minor league baseball park in Toledo, Ohio. It was the home of the Toledo Mud Hens and their predecessors from 1897 until mid-season 1909 when Swayne Field opened....

 since 1897. With the success and stability of the Association, a better ballpark was built. Swayne Field
Swayne Field
Swayne Field was a minor league baseball park in Toledo, Ohio. It was the home of the Toledo Mud Hens from July 3, 1909, until the club disbanded after the 1955 season. It was also home to a short-lived entry in the South-Michigan League in 1914....

 opened in June 1909, and would be the Mud Hens primary home through the 1955 season. Swayne Field remains the longest-lasting venue of any of the Toledo teams.

The Mud Hens temporarily relocated to Cleveland
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

 during 1914 through 1915, to help the Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Since , they have played in Progressive Field. The team's spring training facility is in Goodyear, Arizona...

 counter any territorial threat by the Federal League
Federal League
The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs, known simply as the Federal League, was an American professional baseball league that operated as a "third major league", in competition with the established National and American Leagues, from to...

 by ensuring that League Park
League Park
League Park was a baseball park located in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It was situated at the northeast corner of Lexington Avenue and E. 66th Street in the Hough neighborhood. It was home to the National League Cleveland Spiders, the American League Cleveland Indians, and the Cleveland...

 would have a game every day. Another team was placed in Toledo in 1914 for the South-Michigan League. The "Soumichers" or "Little Mud Hens" drew poorly and took to the road for the second half of 1914. There was no team in 1915. The Fed disbanded after that year, and when the team returned from Cleveland to Toledo in 1916, they had acquired a new nickname, the "Iron Men". The name "Mud Hens" was restored in 1919.

This incarnation of the Mud Hens usually resided deep in the second division of the circuit, winning the AA pennant only once, in 1927 when the manager was Casey Stengel
Casey Stengel
Charles Dillon "Casey" Stengel , nicknamed "The Old Perfessor", was an American Major League Baseball outfielder and manager. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in ....

. After the farm system era began in the 1930s, the Mud Hens were usually affiliated with the St. Louis Browns
Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league...

, who by then were also a perpetual second division team in the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

.

By the early 1950s, Toledo annually trailed the other seven Association clubs in attendance, reaching a desperation point in mid-season of 1952. On June 23, 1952, the team moved to Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of West Virginia. It is located at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers in Kanawha County. As of the 2010 census, it has a population of 51,400, and its metropolitan area 304,214. It is the county seat of Kanawha County.Early...

, that state's capital city, and became the Senators
Charleston Charlies
The Charleston Charlies was the name of the third and most recent Class AAA minor league baseball franchise that was located in Charleston, West Virginia, United States. The Charlies played in the International League from 1971 to 1976 as the relocated Columbus Jets franchise. In 1977 the franchise...

. However, the city gained another American Association franchise the next year, when the Boston Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

 transferred to Milwaukee in March 1953, displacing their farm club, the Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers (minor league baseball team)
The Milwaukee Brewers were a Minor League Baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They played in the American Association from 1902 through 1952.-A Milwaukee Tradition:...

, which then shifted to Toledo as the "Sox". The relocated Brewers were loaded with talent, and the 1953 T-Sox won the second Association pennant in their history and drew over 343,000 fans, a 244% increase compared to 1951.

But the Braves stayed only three seasons (1953–55) before moving the team to Wichita, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas
Wichita is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas.As of the 2010 census, the city population was 382,368. Located in south-central Kansas on the Arkansas River, Wichita is the county seat of Sedgwick County and the principal city of the Wichita metropolitan area...

, as the Wichita Braves
Wichita Braves
The Wichita Braves were a Class AAA minor league baseball franchise based in Wichita, Kansas, that played in the American Association during the 1956-57-58 seasons as a top affiliate of the then-dominant Milwaukee Braves of the National League....

. Swayne Field was demolished soon afterward. By the 1960s there was revived interest in minor league baseball for Toledo, and public official Ned Skeldon led the effort to remodel the Lucas County Fairgrounds stadium
Ned Skeldon Stadium
Ned Skeldon Stadium, originally opened as Lucas County Stadium, is a stadium in Maumee, Ohio. It was primarily used for baseball, and was the home field of the Toledo Mud Hens minor league baseball team. It opened for minor league ball in 1965, and closed for the minors in 2002 when the Mud Hens...

 into a suitable minor league ballpark. The Yankees' transfer of the Richmond club to Toledo in 1965 restored professional baseball to Toledo (or to be technical, Maumee - the Hens played their home games in the Toledo suburb until the 2002 opening of Toledo's downtown ballpark, Fifth Third Field).

Mascot

The mascot's name is Muddy, and the female mascot is named Muddonna. The logo for the Mud Hens has undergone several updates, "Mortimer" Mud Hen was used in the 1940s and 1950s. The logo was recreated by Gabriel Pinciotti in 1965 and since then has remained close to his design. The latest update took place for the 2006 season The logo and name continues to be among the most popular and best selling in Minor League Baseball history.

Titles

The Mud Hens have won the Governors' Cup
Governors' Cup
The Governors' Cup is the trophy awarded each year to the champion of the International League, one of the two current Triple-A level minor leagues of Major League Baseball.-Governors' Cup history:...

, the championship of the IL, 3 times, and played in the championship series 4 times.
  • 1967 - Defeated Columbus
    Columbus Clippers
    The Columbus Clippers are a minor league baseball team based in Columbus, Ohio. The team plays in the International League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The team is owned by the government of Franklin County, Ohio....

  • 1980 - Lost to Columbus
    Columbus Clippers
    The Columbus Clippers are a minor league baseball team based in Columbus, Ohio. The team plays in the International League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The team is owned by the government of Franklin County, Ohio....

  • 2005 - Defeated Indianapolis
    Indianapolis Indians
    The Indianapolis Indians are a minor league baseball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The team, which plays in the International League, is the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates major-league club. The Indians play at Victory Field, located in downtown Indianapolis...

  • 2006 - Defeated Rochester
    Rochester Red Wings
    The Rochester Red Wings are a minor league baseball team based in Rochester, New York. The team plays in the International League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins major-league club. The Red Wings play in Frontier Field, located in downtown Rochester.The Red Wings were an...


Radio and television

The Mud Hens first had their games broadcast on radio in 1965, when minor-league baseball was revived in Toledo. The broadcasts ended after the contract ended in 1970. Radio broadcasts returned in 1975 and have remained ever since. Radio play-by-play has been handled since 1975 by Jim Weber. The 2011 season marks his 37th year in the broadcast booth. Weber was partnered with Frank Gilhooley from 1987 until Gilhooley's death in 2010. Weber has been partnered since the early 2000s with Jason Griffin.

When radio broadcasts returned to the airwaves in 1975, only 52 games were broadcast. Between 1976 and 1983, 80 games were broadcast on WSPD-AM
WSPD
WSPD — branded The Talk of Toledo - 1370 WSPD — is a news-talk radio station licensed to Toledo, Ohio. WSPD broadcasts on a full-time basis with 5,000 watts, including a directional signal pattern at night...

, mainly Thursday through Sunday. The entire schedule has been on radio since 1984, first on WMTR-FM
WMTR-FM
WMTR-FM is a radio station that broadcasts at 96.1 MHz on the FM dial in Wauseon, Ohio. WMTR-FM airs an adult hits format combining classic rock and Classic Hits material...

 (through 2002), then on WLQR-AM
WLQR
WLQR is a sports/talk radio station on 1470 kHz in Toledo, Ohio. It is the Toledo affiliate of ESPN Radio and is owned by Cumulus Media. Since June 2009 the station has been simulcast on 106.5 MHz as WLQR-FM, calling itself "106-5 The Ticket"....

 (through 2007). Since 2007, games have been broadcast on WCWA-AM
WCWA
WCWA is a radio station licensed to and serving Toledo, Ohio. It is the second-oldest radio station in Toledo, and during AM radio's heyday it was a close second in popularity to WSPD-AM for many years.-History:...

.

The Buckeye Cable Sports Network
Buckeye Cable Sports Network
-BCSN History and Info.:Buckeye Cable Sports Network is a regional sports network founded in 2003 to carry sports broadcasting, which had previously been aired on fellow cable-only station WT05...

 (BCSN) has been televising all Mud Hens home games since 2004 on the Buckeye CableSystem
Buckeye CableSystem
Buckeye CableSystem, formerly known as The CableSystem until the 1990s, is a cable company located in Toledo, Ohio and serves Northwest Ohio and parts of Southeast Michigan...

. Beginning the 2011 season, BCSN began broadcasting all of the games in 1080i
1080i
1080i is the shorthand name for a high-definition television mode. The i means interlaced video; 1080i differs from 1080p, in which the p stands for progressive scan. The term 1080i assumes a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, implying a frame size of 1920×1080 pixels...

 high definition
High-definition television
High-definition television is video that has resolution substantially higher than that of traditional television systems . HDTV has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly five times that of SD...

. Weber, Griffin and Matt Melzak call the action on television.

The Mudhens were also frequently referenced on the TV show M*A*S*H as the favorite team of Toledo native Cpl. Max Klinger.

Notable former players

  • Gabe Kapler
    Gabe Kapler
    Gabriel "Gabe" Stefan Kapler is an American Major League Baseball outfielder.He has played portions of 13 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Tampa Bay Rays...

    , outfielder
  • Kirby Puckett
    Kirby Puckett
    Kirby Puckett was a Major League Baseball center fielder. He played his entire 12-year baseball career with the Minnesota Twins and he is the Twins franchise's all-time leader in career hits, runs, doubles, and total bases...

    , outfielder
  • Socks Seybold
    Socks Seybold
    Ralph Orlando "Socks" Seybold was an outfielder in Major League Baseball. He played over parts of nine seasons with the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Athletics. Known as a power hitter, Seybold set the American League record for home runs in 1902, which would not be broken until 1919...

    , outfielder
  • Jim Thorpe
    Jim Thorpe
    Jacobus Franciscus "Jim" Thorpe * Gerasimo and Whiteley. pg. 28 * americaslibrary.gov, accessed April 23, 2007. was an American athlete of mixed ancestry...

    , outfielder
  • Carlos Guillen
    Carlos Guillén
    Carlos Alfonso Guillén is a Major League Baseball second baseman and switch-hitter....

    , outfielder
  • Brandon Inge
    Brandon Inge
    Charles Brandon Inge is an American professional baseball infielder for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball. He bats and throws right-handed....

    , infielder/outfielder
  • Curtis Granderson
    Curtis Granderson
    Curtis Granderson is an American Major League Baseball player for the New York Yankees. Before joining the Yankees in 2010, he played with the Detroit Tigers . A center fielder, Granderson is known for being a five-tool player...

    , outfield
  • Mike Hessman
    Mike Hessman
    Michael Steven Hessman is a third baseman who plays for the Orix Buffaloes in Nippon Professional Baseball's Pacific League...

    , infielder
  • Ryan Raburn
    Ryan Raburn
    Ryan Neil Raburn is an American professional baseball outfielder with the Detroit Tigers. Though primarily an outfielder, Raburn can also play third base, second base, first base, and catcher....

    , infielder/outfielder

See also


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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