Barbara Hendel: Mud Hens opening week brings 'diamond life' back to Toledo

·2 min read

May 9—POPCORN, peanuts, hot dogs, and maybe a Bloody Muddy!

The Toledo Mud Hens opening week is really the kickoff to the summer, and fans as well as Hens staffers were glad to be out and about. Due to DORA, many folks strolled about with open containers, showing that downtown Toledo is a fun place to visit.

Filling the first day were pre-parties that were more limited due to the pandemic. Ditto for patios at bars including the Bronze Boar, Ye Olde Cock n' Bull, and the Blarney. Many wore pandemic masks, but just as many didn't, most saying they were fully vaccinated. Please still practice pandemic safety so we don't reverse our progress.

On Packo's at the Park patio were Dawn Hartwig, in her vintage Hens T-shirt, with Marcia Rubini, who made their Hens motif masks a few hours before they came. Whitney and Paul Wasserman enjoyed Ye Olde Durty Bird patio. Among the tailgaters was birthday boy Chas Mann and friends, who arrived at 8:15 a.m. as they have every year, except last year during the pandemic.

In Fifth Third Field, attendance was limited to 30 percent of the capacity, but since it was opening week, not just opening day, the fun continued all week, giving more fans a chance to be there. And the suites, limited to 12 ticket holders, instead of years' past of 18, made for a quieter scene instead of the usual wall to wall people. Of course, Muddy and Muddonna were there for all of the fun, too.

Ryder Rush, 9, has never missed an opening day since his birth: He got a photo with Joe Napoli and Muddy. Dawn and Ray Rodriguez enjoyed the day. Ditto for Natalie and Dennis Schiets in the Lathrop suite. Sam Hammons and Randy and Kris Jones enjoyed seeing everyone as did Steve Klepper, Jim and Kristi Hoffman, Larry Boyer, Mike and Sondra Gibbons, Bob LaClair, and many others, including Morgan Bayer.

Dee and Dr. Lance Talmage had tickets for Wednesday night and others were looking forward to going to one of the opening week games, too. Alas, rain put a damper on some of the games.

Baseball legend Roger Clemens had tee time for golf Friday at Belmont Country Club. Alas, his son, Toledo Mud Hen Kody Clemens, was injured Wednesday so they jetted home for his surgery. Well wishes go out to Kody and the best for a speedy recovery.

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