The Toledo Mud Hens and Detroit Tigers announced Jan. 30 a two-year working relationship through the 2010 season. This extends the affiliation between the two historic franchises that began in 1987.
The Toledo Mud Hens are coming off their second straight Governors’ Cup Championship. Toledo won the International League West Division with a 76-66 record and won the Governors’ Cup for the third time in franchise history (1967, 2005). According to a news release, the Mud Hens also broke a single-season attendance record by attracting 569,380 fans during the regular season (Toledo drew an additional 37,077 fans in six post-season games).
Toledo Vice President/General Manager Joseph Napoli said in the release, “In the winter of 2001, we met with Dave Dombrowski and his staff. He let us know that it wasn’t going to be easy, but he and his staff had the responsibility to rebuild the Tigers and the Farm System. They promised that they wouldn’t be outworked and they haven’t been. As a result, the Mud Hens have won back-to back Governors’ Cup Championships and we are extremely thankful.”
Toledo Mud Hens Board President Mike Miller added, “We are very pleased to announce the extension of our player development contract. Under the leadership of Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers organization has performed extremely well in all aspects. The benefits to the Mud Hens are numerous in terms of the quality of individuals and players signed by the Tigers to play in Toledo. We feel very good about the affiliation with the Tigers and the mutual benefits derived.”
Detroit Tigers’ Director of Minor League Operations Dan Lunetta said, "We are thrilled and delighted to be entering into this agreement to extend our affiliation an additional two years. The Mud Hens represent everything a major league organization looks for in an affiliate relationship and this is and has been a perfect fit for each other for many years and hopefully for many more years to come. Toledo is an integral part of our developmental process and the fan support we have received has certainly played a role in the success of our back to back championships."
Lunetta added, "The Tigers are very appreciative of the way the Mud Hens and the Toledo community treat our players and staff and we are very proud to be associated with the Mud Hens organization. Mike Miller and Joe Napoli run a first class organization in every respect. The affiliate relationship is much more than what takes place on the field and our agreement to extend to 2010 reflects the strength of that relationship."
Detroit’s 2006 roster had plenty of former Mud Hens: IF Jack Hannahan, IF Kevin Hooper, IF Omar Infante, IF Brandon Inge, IF Ramon Santiago, IF Chris Shelton, C Mike Rabelo, OF Alexis Gomez, OF Curtis Granderson, OF Craig Monroe, OF Magglio Ordonez, OF Marcus Thames, OF Dmitri Young, RHP Roman Colon, RHP Chad Durbin, RHP Jason Grilli, LHP Wilfredo Ledezma, RHP Colby Lewis, LHP Mike Maroth, RHP Zach Miner, LHP Nate Robertson, RHP Fernando Rodney, LHP Bobby Seay, RHP Chris Spurling, RHP Jordan Tata, LHP Jamie Walker and RHP Joel Zumaya all wore Mud Hens jerseys at some point during their career.
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