We decided to take in one more minor league baseball game before the minor league season ended. This time we took the easy drive down to Toledo to one of our favorite baseball parks. The Toledo Mud Hens are the Class AAA affiliate of our Detroit Tigers. And they have one of the most unusual team names in all of baseball – Mud Hens. So, just what is a mud hen? We had to look it up ourselves. According to the team’s website, a mud hen is a marsh bird with short wings and long legs that inhabits swamps or marshes. Such birds have been known as marsh hens, rails, coots, or mud hens. The name for the team dates back to 1896. At that time, the ball field was in an area surrounded by marshes and was frequented by what else – mud hens.
We went to the game expecting to see some of the Tigers stars of tomorrow. Instead, we saw a lot of players who either hadn’t been able to stick in the majors or probably would not get the chance. It seems the Tigers have concentrated on drafting and developing pitchers and the cupboard is fairly bare as far as position players go. It is not a bad strategy as it is fairly easy to trade a prospect with a live young arm for a good position player.
The Mud Hens had runners on second and third in the bottom of the ninth behind by just one run, but they couldn’t push them across home plate so we didn’t get to see a victory. Once again, we walked up to the ticket window and were able to buy great seats this time in the second row just past the visitors dugout. The seats cost $9 each, one of the things we really like about minor league baseball.
Will we go see the Tigers play? We doubt it. While we would love to, the same seat at a Tigers game would cost $60 if it could be purchased at the ticket window, but in all likelihood as the Tigers are in contention for the playoffs and are selling out, it probably would cost even a lot more from a scalper. And we would have to pay for secure parking in Detroit whereas we were very comfortable with our free parking in Toledo.