Barhite: Who won the game?Written by Brandi Barhite | Associate Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s some Mud Hens trivia (confessions) for you.
Nearly half of the fans leave the stadium not knowing whether the home team won or lost.
You don’t need to be a baseball fan to have a good time at a Hens game.
That’s me. (Don’t tell my husband. He is a high school baseball coach.)
The majority of those who attend a game are from Toledo and its suburbs (up to 60 miles away).
That’s me — a former Toledoan living in Monclova.
A Mud Hens game is a tradition you need to experience at least once. It is actually hard to avoid a game because someone you know is bound to have a birthday party, company picnic or reunion at the stadium. Last year, game attendance landed at 560,080 — the sixth best single season.
If you weren’t among those in attendance, here’s something that might tempt you. In 2013, SportsBusiness Journal named Toledo the Top Minor League Market in the country. Additionally, USA Today and 10Best.com ranked it No. 4 in Best Minor League Ballparks.
Andi Roman, communications director, said the Mud Hens and the stadium are continually being recognized because of the support of the community, the sponsors, season ticket holders and the fans.
My family and friends certainly contribute to this fandom, which is split evenly among men and women, according to Roman.
My grandfather, Richard Buchholz and his wife, Evelyn, are huge fans from Temperance. I even recall my grandpa leaving a birthday party because he had to get to a game. I guess that makes sense because Roman said the games attract a lot of seniors, as well as singles. Looking for a mate? Get back in the game.
My recently married cousin, Derek Cousino, loves Mud Hen games because he grew up playing baseball. The start of the season signals the start of fun times and (hopefully) warmer weather for him.
“It’s only a 10- to 15-minute drive to the stadium and it’s my hometown’s team,” he told me. “I grew up watching them at the old stadium also and seeing many of the players get transferred to the Detroit Tigers.”
Roman said the Mud Hens organization knows that people have a lot of choices, such as amusement parks and video games, when it comes to their disposable income.
“For us, it’s all about our fans and the experience they have from the time they purchase tickets to when they leave the stadium,” she said in an email.
My church friend Andy Good said when he was younger the thrill of going to the game was all about seeing the players who would someday make it to the major leagues.
“But as I have gotten older, I realize the real charm is the atmosphere of the ballpark,” Good told me. “It is a great way to spend an evening — whether it be a date, a night out with the boys or spending quality time with the entire family.
“I think it’s impossible to grow up in Toledo and not have many fond memories of the Mud Hens,” he said.
My favorite Mud Hens memory is when I coined the term “popple.” My then-boyfriend (now husband) Dorian Boggs still hasn’t let me forget that I meant “pop-up,” although I maintain I was just being cute and referencing the plush toys from the 1980s.
But since Roman said the main goal of the Mud Hens experience is for people to leave in a good mood, I guess I did my part.
“We want every person who attends a game to leave with a smile on their face and maybe a lasting memory,” she said.
I just wish my husband’s recollection wasn’t so good.