‘Ma Hen’ has run the nest for 26 years … and countingWritten by Byron Trimble | | email@example.com
Carol Hamilton is a team player, even if she never makes the roster.
Hamilton’s career with the Mud Hens spans 26 years. She’s been called the office manager for 10 years, although her job description has been the same since she started. The Toledo native has been with the team longer than any other employee on staff.
“My mother-in-law worked here as a business manager and she got me in, and I loved it and never left,” Hamilton said.
In her 26 years, the team has had 13 different managers, a re-affiliation with the Detroit Tigers organization and three ballparks, including the move to the Hens’ current home at Fifth Third Field in 2002.
“When I first got here, there were five people that ran the office; now there’s 38,” Hamilton said. “There were no computers, all typewriters, even for payroll,” she said.
She has good memories, like the time professional golfer Phil Mickelson tried out for the team.
“That was crazy. He went out for pitching … but I guess it’s a good thing he stuck with golf.”
A challenging time, which was also the most exciting, was moving to Fifth Third Field.
“We moved from six telephones to 17,” she said. “The old stadium in Maumee wasn’t much of a ballpark, but the park we’re at now is electric. It’s a joy to come to work every day.”
“Joy” is a term that Hamilton uses often. She talked about the joy of coming to the ballpark every day, too.
“It’s so fun and exciting. You never know what’s going to happen … I enjoy seeing the fans come in and the kids loving it and seeing Muddy and Muddonna.”
She said her biggest joy is her co-workers.
“They keep me young,” she said. “People come to me for whatever they need, and I take care of them.
“Answering the phone is even fun — most of the time,” she said, laughing.
The only times it gets annoying is when it rains and people keep calling the office to see if the game has been canceled.
Contrary to what most people think, Hamilton does not see the players often and is not involved with game preparation, although she does oversee package delivery, party setups and players’ equipment.
Recently, Hamilton had three days off from work and when she returned, employees came up to her to say they missed her.
“I guess you can call me ‘Ma Hen,’ ” said Hamilton, referring to a nickname.