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1, 2012

Covering Mud Hens Opening Day since 2005


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APRIL 1, 2012


APRIL 1, 2012

Publisher’s statement



Super Mario has Tigers covered

Put me in, Coach D M

ud Hens Opening Day rocks. The streets around Fifth Third Field are alive with excited conversation, live music and the buzz of people filled with optimism and pride. This year’s Toledo Free Press Opening Day issue, compiled and edited by Special Sections Editor Sarah Ottney, positively thrums with the vibrations of a young season. We are grateful to our staff, advertisers, readers and the Mud Hens organization for helping to make this issue one of our biggest and best of the year. We asked local illustrator Penny Collins to create a cover that embodied the sense of community and fun Opening Day inspires. She rose to the challenge with an image that contains nearly every element of the sights and feel of the first home game of the season. In her grand image are many notable (or notorious) local figures. See if you can spot: O Ed Beczynski (The Blarney Irish Pub) O Toledo Mayor Mike Bell O Crystal Bowersox O Lee Conklin (13abc) O Leon “Bull” Durham (Mud Hens hitting coach) Thomas F. Pounds O Jamie Farr O Former Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner O Former Toledo Mayor Jack Ford O Shaun Hegarty (FOX Toledo) O Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise O Rep. Marcy Kaptur O Chris Kozak (Columbia Gas of Ohio) O Fred LeFebvre (WSPD) O Jim Leyland (Detroit Tigers coach) O Ralph Mahalak Jr. (Monroe Dodge Superstore) O Doni Miller (13abc) O Dean Monske (Regional Growth Partnership) O Muddy the Mud Hen O Mudonna O Racing with the Stars: Jim Flealand Kitty Holmes Jamie Farrmadillo O Richard St. Jean (Hollywood Casino Toledo) O Paul Toth (Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority) O Samuel Wurzelbacher (“Joe the Plumber”) O Andrew Z (Star 105) Penny is rumored to have even worked in herself and the two faces that appear on Toledo Free Press’ Page A3 every week. You can see more of this local artist’s work at There are scores of additional storylines taking place on the cover, just as there will be on Opening Day. Enjoy this special issue, and we hope to see you at the game! O Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at

escribing Mario Impemba as a baseball broad- it’s happening this way, we’re surprised it’s happening so caster is like identifying Paul McCartney as a bass quickly. When you have a team with this many superstars — the Tigers have three $20 million players — that can work player; you’re leaving out an abundance of detail. For a decade, Detroit Tigers fans have invited Im- for you or against you. Fielder has been treated very well pemba into their homes 162 times each season as the — Miguel Cabrera has welcomed him and is even changing positions for him — and all the guys say he’s play-by-play man for FOX Sports Dea fun-loving guy, he’s a positive influence in troit’s television coverage of every pitch the clubhouse on a daily basis. He’s the comand swing. But he also calls games for the plete package, and he realizes what he needs Oakland Golden Grizzlies men’s basketball to do to live up to his contract. He is working team, blogs at his own website, established very hard at practice every day to make sure a website honoring sports broadcasters, he does live up to it. makes sure servicemen and women overTFP: Were you calling games when his seas get to see Tigers Opening Day and is father Cecil was swinging the bat for Detroit? raising two sons with his wife, Cathy. Impemba: Yes, when I got here, he was The Michigan native and Emmy winner winding down with the Tigers, and I did get stepped inside from the spring training sunshine in Florida for a March 27 phone inter- Michael S. miller to see Prince when his father played for the Angels at the end of his career. view, a week before the Tigers visit to play the TFP: That certainly marks time, seeing a player’s son Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field. Toledo Free Press: Your son Brett has been drafted by carry on the tradition. Impemba: It makes you feel old. It’s, “Oh, my God, the the Tigers organization. Have you thought of what you’d say kid’s dad was a big leaguer just a few days ago, now his kid’s if you get to call his first at-bat in the big leagues? a big leaguer.” Impemba: He’s playing college ball TFP: Verlander is coming off a historic year; what are at Oakland [University]; we’ll see what you seeing from him at practices and games? happens later in his career. It would be Impemba: His goal is to win a World Series. I talked to wild, but that’s so far down the road, pitching coach Jeff Jones about this very question recently, and and it is such a difficult thing for asked if Verlander feels any pressure to top his numbers from anyone to get into the big leagues. It last year. Jones said Verlander doesn’t think in those terms, would be neat, though. that he is one of the most focused players he has ever been TFP: Optimism must fit right in around, and everything he does is with a purpose, whether with the Tigers’ mood this preseason. it’s throwing his bullpen pitches getting ready or throwing in Impemba: It’s nice that the team is IMPEMBA an actual game. His goal is to win the World Series. Not to winning a lot of games, but even more than that, this team really seems like a unit with a lot of win one more game than last year or strike out more guys or chemistry and a lot of talent. And a lot of expectations; if better his ERA. He wants the ring, not the just the numbers. TFP: How is the skipper’s mood? this team can avoid injuries, they can put together a really Impemba: Jim Leyland is more relaxed this year. I would special year. There are a lot of great teams in the American league, and it really ought to be a fun race this year, but the be too, if I had Fielder and Cabrera in the middle of my lineup. Going into battle each day with those guys, you always have a Tigers should be right in the middle of it. TFP: Are you seeing anything in the eyes of the players pretty good chance. He understands he has a really balanced this year that wasn’t there last year, in terms of nervousness team. It’s a young team blending with some veterans who can really play, his pitching staff is solid, the backend of his or confidence? Impemba: I don’t see any nervousness; I see a lot of bullpen is solid, his lineup 1 through 9 is going to score a lot of confidence, and a lot of guys who can’t wait to get it going. runs. Jim knows his team has a really good chance of winning Every year as spring training winds down, the players are this year, now it’s time to go out and play the games. TFP: Leaving the field and going into the booth, you itching to go, but there’s a special feeling this year with Prince Fielder on board and these players are not only have been working with color commentator Rod Allen for ready to go, they’re ready to get it done. Justin Verlander is a while now; do you maintain contact during the offseason? Impemba: Rod lives in Arizona, a long way from Michtalking about the World Series, and that’s the goal for these guys. They used to seek to make the playoffs; they’ve done igan. We do check in once in a while during the offseason, that, and now they want to get to the World Series and win. but once the season starts, it’s such a long haul, he becomes another part of your family. We have our ups and downs, but There is definitely a feeling that this ball club can do it. we have a great time in the booth, and we’re on the same page TFP: How is Fielder fitting in with the team? Impemba: It’s been phenomenal. If you ask anyone in trying to be as professional and entertaining as we can be. who has been around the team, it’s not that we’re surprised n MILLER CONTINUES ON A4

A publication of Toledo Free Press, LLC, Vol. 8, No. 14. Established 2005. EDITORIAL Mary Ann Stearns, Design Editor James A. Molnar, Lead Designer Sarah Ottney, Special Sections Editor Jeff McGinnis, Pop Culture Editor Zach Davis, Sports Editor

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Toledo Free Press is published every Sunday by Toledo Free Press, LLC, 605 Monroe St., Toledo, OH 43604 Phone: (419) 241-1700 Fax: (419) 241-8828 Subscription rate: $100 /year. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content in any manner without permission is strictly prohibited. Copyright 2012 with all rights reserved. Publication of advertisements does not imply endorsement of advertisers’ goods or services.


A4 n Toledo Free Press n MILLER CONTINUED FROM A3 TFP: How has technology changed the way you call a game? Have the graphics and computers forced you to adapt the way you announce? Impemba: That’s a great question. When I first started calling minor league ballgames in the mid-1980s, we had stat sheets that were faxed to us every morning, and that was it. No Internet, no It’s had a tremendous impact on how we call a game. Each year our graphics get better, our camera angles get better; it’s just a better, more polished product, and viewers benefit from that. We can keep up with all the news from other teams, and there’s just no excuse for not being prepared for every game. The crew people in truck who look up stats, who produce, who direct, our replay guys, it’s a huge staff. Rod and I are out front on camera, but we can’t do any of what we do without the crew. TFP: This will be the fourth year for your project Operation Opening Day. (Impemba oversees and funds the creation of a DVD that captures Tigers’ Opening Day so it can be sent to overseas servicemen and women who are Tigers fans). Impemba: Yes, a couple of years ago I met a group of soldiers who were getting shipped out and were sad they were going to miss Opening Day. I thought, if they can’t come to the game, why can’t we take the game to them? So we take the game, the parties, all the atmosphere surrounding a game, and soldiers can go to, fill out a form and we’ll send them a DVD for free. I decided to organize and fund it, and the first three years have been really good. I get so many letters from our military folks, and it helps us bring a slice of the game to them. TFP: On April 4, the Tigers are coming to Toledo’s Fifth

Third Field to play the Mud Hens. Impemba: We’ll be there! It will be our last dress rehearsal before Opening Day the very next day. I have been to Fandimonium a few times in Toledo and I am extremely impressed, not only with the number of fans, but the knowledge of the baseball fans there. It’s a great ballpark and I can’t wait to see it with the stands full. There is so much buzz around this team, I’m sure a lot of Detroit fans are going to take the short trip down to Toledo. We’re used to this beautiful Florida weather, and hopefully we’ll have some of that for the game in Toledo. TFP: You cover all 162 games; how do you handle being on the road so much? Impemba: When people ask me what the best part of my job is, I say the travel, and when they ask me what the worst part of my job is, I say the travel. It’s great to go to all these cities and see all these ballparks. It’s what I dreamt of as a kid. It’s a great thrill. But I missed a lot of my kids’ lives as they grew up. I missed a lot of sporting events, a lot of concerts. That’s the difficult part of what I do, and there’s a part of me that feels like I’m not being a very good dad, because I’m not there for these things. But I realize that this is what I do for a living to give my kids a good chance. They have grown up to be great kids, but it’s difficult to leave my family for the whole summer. TFP: It must be a little easier when the team is winning. Impemba: It’s certainly better than in 2003, when we lost 119 games. But even in those times I realized I was going to the ballpark for a living, so it can’t be all that bad. O

APRIL 1, 2012


Michael S. Miller is editor in chief of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Email him at

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Toledo Free Press Series

By Caitlin McGlade

Toledo Free Press Staff Writer

A kid, sunken into clothes at least three sizes too large, walked alone Saturday morning down an alley between two houses that leaned painfully toward the earth. Just up the block, groups of volunteers holding clipboards canvassed his South Toledo neighborhood, logging to what extent gutters, paint, foundations, windows and other furnishings needed help. Pastor David Kaiser, who runs the South Toledo Community Center at the New Kingdom Baptist Church on Broadway Street, estimates that at least 1,000 homes in this kid’s neighborhood lie vacant. He said this particularly becomes a KAISER problem when you have a derelict house, like one on Crittenden Avenue, marked too dangerous for firefighters to enter if it catches fire sandwiched between two homes in which families live. Or when you have a little girl living in a house on Thomas Street surrounded by abandoned homes now frequented by drug peddlers and prostitutes. Millions of federal, state and local dollars are available that could help repair the salvageable houses and demolish the goners. But organizers need hard data to bring those dollars here. The volunteers holding clipboards took the first step in that

toledo free press photo by caitlin mcglade

Churches, agencies partner to develop South Toledo


UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO STUDENTS Christian Van Rafelghem and Randi nosin survey a south Toledo property on March 24.

direction on March 24. Most of them were University of Toledo students, deployed by 1Matters, Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS)/NeighborWorks, the South Toledo Community Center and other players. The next piece will fall into place this summer, when volunteers will go door to door to interview residents

about their community’s needs. Data will then be compiled and shipped off to secure loans and grants. The goal is to know exactly what needs fixed and what needs torn down. A similar program has already worked in another Toledo neighborhood. NHS/NeighborWorks conducted surveys in the Birmingham

neighborhood and procured a quarter of a million dollars in low interest loans for low-income families to fix up their homes. NeighborWorks America awarded the grants last fall, said Bob Krompak, an economic development specialist with NHS/Neighborworks. “This neighborhood needs a lot of love and a lot of help but there

are still a lot of viable businesses,” Krompak said.


Lourdes Santiago, director of the city’s department of neighborhoods, said the area has been neglected for too long. n SOUTH TOLEDO CONTINUES ON A6

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n SOUTH TOLEDO CONTINUED FROM A5 Evidence is in the rows of cracked foundations, the peeling paint, the duct tape and plastic trash bags that pretend to be window panes. Or it’s in the boarded-up doorways, signs aggressively mandating “KEEP OUT” and the graveyards for old toys laid to rest among trash heaps and corroded metal fencing. There is a cavernous hole in the concrete at the end of the alley that leads from Kaiser’s church. A single orange barrel, contorted and scuffed, crouches near the hole’s edge. Kaiser wonders if it’s only a matter of time before a child climbs in to explore and gets stuck somewhere in the netherworld beneath the street. Folks living on the 600 and 500 blocks of Walbridge Avenue — the few who haven’t left or been foreclosed upon — had grown accustomed to the half-demolished Jones Jr. High building off Broadway Street. Its skeleton stood for more than a year before demolition picked up again just within the past couple of months. Down the road, a gutted elementary school on Newbury Street had become part of the landscape up until just a few weeks ago. Now the structure is completely gone, the land covered with a smooth coat of dirt.

Change in scenery

Santiago stood up before a group of South Toledo residents during a community meeting March 27 and told them things are soon to change. “Rather than a neighborhood that has been neglected, you are now a neighborhood that is at the top of the list,” she said. The gaping pit that was once Jones Jr. High, for example, will soon be open land. Santiago said Toledo Public Schools is giving the city first dibs on the property. And the city’s looking to turn that space into a commercial garden, she said. The Lucas County Land Bank, which seeks to remove blight by acquiring vacant homes and slating them for demolition, is working on a few properties in South Toledo. But the projects are about to multiply. The land bank is eyeing $5 million to $10 million that the area could secure because of mortgage settlements through the attorney general’s office. The grant program might allow the agency to tear down between 1,000 and 1,200 properties across the city over a two year period. To put that in perspective, the City of Toledo tears down about 300 to 400 properties a year, said David Mann, the executive director of the land bank. One of the bank’s biggest chal-

APRIL 1, 2012

lenges is finding fresh data, so programs like the South Toledo housing survey help direct the agency to problem areas, Mann said. Kaiser and his Broadway Corridor Coalition, a group of churches, government agencies, individuals and ministries, seek to have one house built for every two taken down. Mann said demolition is going to be the priority for removing blight. “We certainly have more houses than we need in the City of Toledo,” Mann said. “The reason we have a lot of abandoned houses is not just because of the housing crisis — we have a lot of folks who have moved from Toledo and moved out to the suburbs.” Toledo enjoyed population growth from 1940 until 1970, reaching about 383,800. But by the 1980 census, population had declined to 354,635. The trend continued; 287,208 residents were recorded in the 2010 census. Just 10 years prior, the census had recorded 313,619.

Not the End

So do all of these upcoming demolitions mean job opportunities? That’s Kaiser’s goal. His church serves free breakfast a couple times a week. Starting at 8 a.m., prostitutes, ex-cons and pimps are among those gathering around hot trays full

toledo free press photo by caitlin mcglade

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of bacon and eggs. They are tranquil and silent as they eat. Some share tables and others sit alone. They wear anything from dense cloaks to short shorts. Many of them sleep outside or in abandoned houses because they don’t have jobs. The trouble is that many of them can’t get jobs. Their criminal records doom their job applications to the trash pile. Kaiser wants to find them

work. He knows many of them have construction backgrounds. So he aims to either get these people hooked up with contractors or form a contracting organization that could be used for upcoming demolitions. Kaiser told the attendees at his community meeting that he’s consciously not calling South Toledo the “South End” anymore. Because this, he said, is not the end. O

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Former Libbey principal and alumni discuss memorabilia

Toledo Free Press Staff Writer

About eight alumni of the shuttered Libbey High School met with a former principal of the school to con-

tinue discussing a plan for memorabilia March 26. Gayle Schaber, the last Libbey principal and current director of special projects and compensatory programs for Toledo Public Schools (TPS), told the group, “This is not going to get

done in three months or six months; we’re going to be working together for the foreseeable future.” Much of the group, including members of nonprofit Libbey High School Alumni Inc. (LHSA), had also attended a March 5 meeting covering

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the issue. After that meeting, Schaber took the group’s ideas to the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission of TPS for a response. TPS has given Schaber the go-ahead to give trophies to individual winners or their families if the winner is deceased. Schaber said she would be “conservative” in giving the trophies away if multiple family members want the item. On March 5, the group had suggested that they get together to better catalog the trophies, which are in storage. A list, compiled by Schaber and released by LHSA, is available at While Schaber received permission to reinventory the items, she must do it without the group’s help per TPS. “By myself was the way I was assigned it,” she said and declined to expand. After the March 5 meeting, Schaber was able to rescue three pallets of medallions and the “L,” “H” and “S” from the school’s lettering from being auctioned on March 6. At the same meeting, alum Janet Mohamed said the Burroughs Neighborhood Association was interested in securing the pallets to create a Libbey monument. But that plan has hit a snag because gas tanks lie beneath the triangle of South Avenue and Airport Highway, where the monument was slated to be built. LHSA members suggested the former Libbey campus as an option for Mohamed to take back to the association in addition to applying for grants to fund the project. Much of the meeting centered around individual plans to take place before the next meeting. Alum and activist Sue Terrill has been working with Councilman D. Michael Collins about where to place the Lt. Robert Craig plaque, commemorating the Congressional Medal of Honor honoree, and a plaque listing the names of 106 Libbey alums who gave their


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Toledo Free Press 4/1/12, 4/15/12 and 4/29/12

lives in World War II. One option is the Veterans Administration medical facility, scheduled to open this fall on Detroit Avenue. Terrill requested dimensions of the monuments from TPS so that plan could potentially move forward. In regards to housing trophies, Larrie Baccus, president of LHSA, said he would reach out to The African American Legacy Project and Schaber said she would contact the Toledo History Museum, which has indicated that it may have a 20-by-30-foot room available for Libbey items. Mohamed said she wanted to contact the Toledo Museum of Art to see if it could help. Yearbooks were another topic touched upon. Schaber said she had extra copies of some years and the group suggested finding other copies to fill the gaps to create a complete set. One complete set is available through the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, but the group agreed having a backup set at Bowling Green State University or the University of Toledo would be preferable. “How often do you see an 18-yearold (Craig) who has become a medal of honor winner? You see him at 18 in the yearbook,” said Larry Farren, secretary of LHSA. Another option would be selling the extra copies to fund the memorabilia project, which is not receiving funds from TPS as of now, Baccus said. “We need to move on this. I don’t like a project that lingers,” Baccus said. However, after the meeting, he expressed optimism about the project. “I feel like we’re moving forward hopefully, I’ll have some good news to report at the next meeting.” The group will report its findings at the next meeting, set for 6 p.m. May 21 at Jones Elementary School. Schaber will once more report TPS’ responses to the group’s ideas at that meeting. Regardless of where the team trophies are, TPS will retain ownership of the items. O

photo courtesy bruce taylor

By Brigitta Burks

An early March photo of the Libbey HIgh School demoliiton site.

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APRIL 1, 2012

FLCC program takes Lucas County children to camp By Brigitta Burks

Toledo Free Press Staff Writer

AmeriCorps VISTA worker Khalfani Rice loved summer camp as a child — so much so that he wants to bring that experience to 600 Lucas County children at no cost. Rice found any ally in his quest in Tony Siebeneck, executive director of Feed Lucas County Children (FLCC), a nonprofit that provides hungry children with nutritional meals. “For me, this is kind of a personal thing. This is something I wanted to do since I started going to camp. When I found Tony, he was definitely growing the same idea,” said Rice, who attended Camp Big Silver as a kid. He received his degree in recreation education from Bowling Green State University. The free Lucas County Kids Camp is slated to run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 11 to Aug. 16 at Knight Academy, 110 Arco Drive, and Aurora Gonzalez Center, 1949 Broadway St. Rice and Siebeneck

hope to draw in 600 area children from first to sixth grade. So far, about 120 children have signed up. Anyone is welcome, but the camp is targeting children who live near the sites. “It’s awesome when [children] can get some good leadership, some good fun, build some self-esteem; these are the main things that kids may not have a chance/privilege to receive. The word is out, so if you want to come to the camp, you can come, but mainly we’re thinking the kids in the area will show up,” Rice said. Rice and Siebeneck believe that the program could be duplicated throughout the area to help even more kids in the future. Rice approached a master’s class in social work at the University of Toledo for help. The class decided to form committees to help organize the camp as part of a project. “It’s really important to keep the kids off the street in the summer and keep them occupied. A lot of kids don’t get healthy, hearty meals during the summer so this is something that’s gonna be really good for them,” said Emily Stanley, chair of

the finance committee. Part of the reason for the camp is the cutbacks on pools and recreation in Toledo. “In Toledo, everyone’s running around with their heads cut off trying to figure out what to do with the kids this summer,” Siebeneck said. The camp will also provide two meals a day and Siebeneck plans to serve the same type of healthy fare he does through FLCC, which has fed up to 7,200 in one day. Physical activity is another important camp component. “Kids’ eating habits with McDonald’s cheeseburgers only being $1, that’s where the main diet is coming from now; it’s fast food. Even the video game or gamer generation we’re going through now... a lot of kids aren’t receiving any exercise or, honestly, sunlight that you should receive as a youth,” Rice said. The fact that the camp is free is also crucial. Siebeneck said more than 25,000 area children live at or below the poverty level. The camp is also working with educators to develop a curriculum.

“Everybody comes to us for the food, but we know it’s not just the food; it’s the education, it’s the package deal,” Siebeneck said. “Kids learn by activity. Even if they don’t think they’re learning something, they are.” The camp still needs about $13,000 to fund itself. Donations of sporting equipment, school, gardening and arts supplies are also accepted, Stanley said. Some groups are already helping out. St. John’s Jesuit High School and St. Francis de Sales High School students are donating sporting equipment to the camp. “I’m kinda excited that we got the younger people involved,” said Gary Zarembski, who volunteers with FLCC on the business side. Time and effort will also be accepted, said Siebeneck, who plans to get parents involved. So far, about 35 people have agreed to volunteer, but Siebeneck said more adults are needed. Donations can be sent to Siebeneck, P.O. Box 9363, Toledo, 43697-9363. For more information or to sign your child up, call (419) 260-9265. O

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Maumee receives state audit suggestions By Brigitta Burks

Toledo Free Press Staff Writer

After a nearly yearlong process, the Ohio Auditor of State’s office has released its findings from a performance audit in Maumee. The office came up with 21 recommendations, which could save the city more than $1.3 million if implemented. Many of those recommendations, however, have already been made a reality in the past year or so, said City Administrator John Jezak. “In some ways, it was just a second opinion that we were on the right path,” he said. “We took everything in stride; we were looking for some advice and we got it.” To compile the suggestions, a performance audit compares cities with similar sized populations based on five factors: financial management, governance, human resources, public safety and public services. The auditor’s office compared Maumee to Perrysburg, Vandalia and Marysville. Council unanimously voted for the audit, which cost $30,000, about a year ago, said Maumee City Council President Richard Carr. Since 2008, $44,000 has been the midrange cost of a city performance audit, said Michael Maurer, spokesperson for the auditor’s office. In 2011, the state auditor’s office conducted 13 of these audits.

One of the changes the auditor’s office recommended was centralizing control in the public service, police and fire departments, potentially saving the city $562,000. This would mean eliminating supervisory positions through attrition by three in the fire department, four and a half in public services and improving the distribution of staff for police. The audit also said eliminating four other positions in the public services department could save an additional $154,000. Some of these changes have already begun. The city response found in the audit said “a plan for the reorganization of the Department of Public Service was approved by Council in 2010, reducing full-time employees from 53 to 46, including reduction of four managerial positions and three non-supervisory positions.” The response also indicated that the city would take further restructuring of the public service administrative staff into consideration. Jezak said he doesn’t believe any drastic staffing changes are in order, however, and that the city has been making minor staffing changes for a while. “All that stuff will add up over time and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of savings,” he said. Carr emphasized the city does not plan on reducing the number of police officers. “I do not believe we would even consider reducing our officers. We feel it’s very important

to maintain a very strong police presence in the community,” he said. As for the fire department, he doesn’t believe the audit took into account the fact that the division is staffed with 55 volunteers. However, the city response to the audit did say a plan for reorganization of that department was submitted to council in December. The city has also recently made changes to how it charges criminals. By charging offenders under the Ohio Revised Code instead of the Maumee Municipal Code, the city stands to save as much as $300,000, Carr said. This means instead of the city incurring incarceration charges, the county would, Jezak said. The audit also recommended limiting overtime to save $355,000. Carr said the overtime issue was dealt with through collective bargaining last year. The 2011 amendments cut back on double time in the city and updated the right of first refusal for overtime assignments for police sergeants. The city also already increased health care insurance contributions from city employees to 15 percent up from 10 percent, another suggestion made in the audit, Carr said. Adjusting the health care insurance contributions to peer levels could save the city $85,000 per year, according to the report. The auditor’s office also suggested creating

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“a comprehensive multi-year strategic plan that outlines its long-term vision” in addition to a fiveyear financial forecast. The city’s response said it had purchased a CIPFA-GFOA FM Model, an online tool via the Government Finance Officers Association, to help create the plan and an Authority Performance Managers software system to help with the forecast. “This business information system software will provide greater financial reporting and analysis capacity,” according to the audit. Although Jezak was unsure of the costs of these new computer programs at press time, he it would be “minimal.” Also as part of the audit’s recommendations, the city plans to start an audit committee “to improve overall financial reporting, address issues or concerns from external and internal audit reviews and educate key stakeholders about the city’s financial activities” by the end of 2012, according to the audit. State Auditor Dave Yost praised the city for its undertaking of the audit in a news release. “It takes courage and character to conduct a full examination of your own operations,” Yost said. “The city had that courage, and it’s paid off with some real opportunities.” Jezak and Carr believe the results show the efficiency and security of the city. “We’re very pleased that they came out and said we’re financially sound,” Carr said. O

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What moves gold?



Hart named one of nation’s top ad agencies by BtoB Magazine By John Rasche

Toledo Free Press Staff Writer

BtoB Magazine has recently named Hart as one of the top advertising and marketing agencies in the country. The agency, located in Maumee, has been recognized as the best small agency in BtoB’s annual list of the top best agencies across the country for the eighth consecutive year. Hart is Northwest Ohio’s largest integrated marketing communications agency, according to the company’s website. The ad agency, operated by fewer than 50 employees, is responsible for the ad campaigns of the Ohio Lottery, the Certified Angus Beef brand, Paramount Health Care and many other companies. BtoB, “the Magazine for Marketing Strategists,” is a monthly publication with more than 45,000 subscribers and is maintained by Crain Communications Inc. Every year, the magazine rates the country’s top 50 marketing firms based on the total percentage of the firm’s business that is “business-to-business,” a marketing term that describes the transactional relationship between two companies. According to Hart’s news release, approximately 63 percent of Hart’s work is business-to-business, including several new clients that were added in 2011. The agency’s business grew by 15 percent last year, said President and CEO Mike Hart. “We had a great year,” he said, “but by the end of the day, we don’t talk about the numbers, but about the satisfaction of our clients.” Other factors, such as revenue growth, new client wins, innovative work and expanded service capabilities,

are considered when BtoB Magazine determines the best agencies for the list. Agencies are judged in categories based on the size of their operation: small, midsize, large and interactive. Hart’s submissions for the magazine’s judges included an interactive ad campaign, a program guide and tool kit for franchises, and an event designed to promote a company’s brand to its investors. “We are so pleased to be on this list,” stated Hart in the agency’s news release. “We work hard every day to bring value, strategic thinking and creativity to our clients’ marketing efforts, and this award is an affirmation of that.” The BtoB’s rating is not the only award Hart has received this spring. At this year’s ninth annual Service Industry Advertising Awards, Hart was given a Best of Show Award for its “Gas Guzzler” ad campaign for TARTA as well as a handful of other awards. Hart also recently received three bronze awards at the 33rd Annual TELLY Awards for the agency’s ProMedica television spots and its HCR ManorCare television ad campaign. Hart’s success derives from the agency’s ability to build relationships with its clients in a personal and hospitable way ever since its founding in 1965, Hart said. “Three words can illustrate the Hart experience: involvement, empathy and integrity. Those three words set us apart. We take the golden rule — treat others as you would like to be treated — and apply it to our business. You can still be a great business, but those fundamental Midwestern values and a creative approach make us, and many other local businesses, special. It’s a great community, that’s why we love to call Toledo home.” For more information regarding Hart’s services, visit the agency’s website at: O

More businesses are banking with Key. Shouldn’t you?

want to discuss the different factors that affect the price of precious metals in the open market. In a nutshell, the price of precious metals is driven strictly by supply and demand. The variable in the equation is that many things influence demand. For the sake of this discussion, let us limit our thoughts to gold. Gold has a few main uses in the world. Jewelry, electronics, medical, aerospace, decoration, Olympic medals and, of course, as a store of value — these are the primary Gary L. uses for gold today. About 78 percent of the gold consumed each year is used in jewelry. It is easy to see that as global economics worsen, this use of gold could diminish greatly. After all, none of us really need jewelry to survive; it is merely decoration and a fashion statement. On the other hand, there are countries in the world that place a high priority on purchasing jewelry during specific times of the year for commemorating events and holidays. Just about everyone’s cellphone or other small electronic device, as well as every computer and laptop, has a small amount of gold in it. Gold is an excellent conductor of electricity and these small devices use very low amounts of voltage; therefore these devices need conductors that have very little resistance and are not subject to corrosion. This is the biggest industrial use of gold today. Very small amounts of gold can be used in the treatment of certain ailments. Rheumatoid arthritis, for example, has been treated with weak solutions containing gold. Radioactive gold is used in some diagnostic procedures as well. We all remember seeing pictures of astronauts with their helmets on, the face shield coated with gold to protect their eyes from the sun. Gold film reflects infrared radiation very well and is used to stabilize the temperature of spacecraft. Finally, what would the Olym-

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pics be without the handing out of gold medals for the champions? It just wouldn’t be the same to take first place and get a medal made of steel, lead or tungsten. The use of gold on everyone’s mind in this day and age, however, is gold as a financial store of value. What makes gold a good store of value is that everyone in the world recognizes its rarity and its use in financial transactions. There is only so much gold in the world RATHBUN and it is not a large amount by global standards. According to Wikipedia, the total amount of known gold in the world is roughly 5.3 billion troy ounces or put another way, a solid cube 20.4 meters on a side. (And you thought that high school geometry would never be useful in your life.) While if we saw this amount all in one place it would look like a lot of gold, it is not much when you consider the scale of the world’s economy and how many people want and do own some. This rarity instills the widely held view that it is a store of value. Gold, as a store of value, is used as ultimate insurance in the case of a financial meltdown or turmoil. Just ask the people of Zimbabwe if their paper money, which has the same backing as ours, i.e. none, if they would rather use gold for their commerce. Every day we are bombarded with news and rumors about life as we know it and how it is changing and not for the better. Gold has the ability to offer a little comfort in difficult times so people can take care of their families. O Gary L. Rathbun is president and CEO of Private Wealth Consultants, LTD. He can be heard every day on WSPD at 4:06 p.m. on “After the Bell with Brian Wilson and the Afternoon Drive” and every Wednesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. on “Eye on Your Money.” He can be reached at (419) 842-0334 or email him at garyrathbun@privatewealth


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A12 n Toledo Free Press

APRIL 1, 2012

Congratulations Class of 2012 Glass City Leadership Awards

Erin Betz

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The National Multiple Sclerosis Society Northwest Ohio Chapter kicked off its inaugural MS Society Glass City Leadership Class on March 29. “The class is great for us in terms of the MS Society because we’re able to help more people. It also allows us to honor the up-and-coming leaders in Northwest Ohio,” said Jacque Pratt, chapter President. Members of the Glass City Leadership Class have been challenged to raise $1,000 each for MS by May 27. Money generated by the class will provide services, assistance and research to individuals and families affected by MS. Members are encouraged to network with fellow classmates to raise funds, as well as phone and e-mail family and friends. The Glass City Leadership Class of 2012 is part of the National MS Society’s National Award program. Members of the class were nominated and chosen based on excellence in their profession and volunteerism, Pratt said. The leaders will each be presented with a Glass City Leadership Award on May 24. For more information, visit www.nationalms and click on fundraising events.

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APRIL 1, 2012

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Editor’s statement

Let’s go, Hens!

Welcome to the 2012 Toledo Free Press Mud Hens Opening Day special section! As Fifth Third Field looks back on 10 successful years, we hope you are as excited as we are about All Things Muddy. This is our seventh year celebrating Opening Day; thanks to all of the Toledo Free Press writers, photographers, sales representatives and advertisers for working with us on this special section. Special thanks

to the Mud Hens organization for the interviews, photos and insights. Please send your feedback and suggestions for next year’s Opening Day section to sottney@toledofree Now, let’s hope for warm weather and get ready to play ball! — Sarah Ottney, Special Sections Editor


Toledo Free Press Photo By James A. Molnar

APRIL 1, 2012


Sarah Ottney, Toledo Free Press Special Sections Editor, with Muddy.

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APRIL 1, 2012

By Jason Mack


The Toledo Mud Hens are excited to get the party started April 6 for Opening Day. “It has definitely taken on a life of being a big community party,” said Michael Keedy, Mud Hens manager of special events. “People come down early. They are Downtown at all the establishments. We get a big crowd every year. It’s a lot of excitement, and we’re looking forward to it again this year.” Gates at Fifth Third Field will open two hours early at 3 p.m. as the Mud Hens host an Opening Day Bash pregame party. The admission price of $30 for the Home Run Terrace and $32 for The Nest includes admission to the game, a buffet and live music by 56DAZE. The band will perform from 3-4:30 p.m. and the buffet will be available from 3:30 p.m. until game time at 5 p.m. The buffet includes hamburgers, hot dogs, fish sandwiches, baked beans, coleslaw, chips and cookies along with beverages and drink specials, such as $3 drafts. For those already attending the game, wristbands for admission to the party are available for $17. Tickets can be purchased at, at the ticket office or by phone at (419) 725-HENS (4367). Opening Day is also an opportunity for fans to see the improved suite lounge, which has been renovated with glass so fans can see the field. The lounge will feature a two-man band on Opening Day. It will be the second opportunity to see the renovations following the charity game against the Detroit Tigers on April 4.

toledo free press photo by joseph herr

Hens to host Opening Day pregame party


Michael Keedy is manager of special events for the Toledo Mud Hens.

“This year is going to be unique with the exhibition game two days before Opening Day,” Keedy said.

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“It just goes to show how big the community is with sports and how much they rally around the Toledo

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The first pitch of the 2012 season is set for 5 p.m. April 6 as the Mud Hens take on the Indianapolis Indians. O

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APRIL 1, 2012

Second-year Hens manager putting pieces into place By Jason Mack


The Mud Hens are looking to improve on a tough 2011 season as the team wraps up spring training in manager Phil Nevin’s second year on the job. “It’s been a great camp,” Nevin said. “We have new leaders in place as far as our minor league director and field coordinator, and they’ve done a heck of a job. The preparation and attention to detail has been smooth for camp. The players have been very receptive to everything and working hard. I really enjoy the people involved here. Everybody has come to camp in great shape and ready to go. We’ve added some pieces that will help our Triple-A roster out, mostly on the offensive side, guys like Jerad Head and Quintin Berry.” Nevin said he is excited about additions to the roster, but there are still some questions about who will be with the team. “We still have some major decisions going on with the roster,” he said. “Quintin Berry is still with the major

league team and you don’t know what’s going to happen. Jerad Head, Eric Patterson and Matt Young have already come down. Those are quality players that have had success in Triple-A in the past and for the time being will help us out quite a bit in Toledo.”

Second nature

Adjusting to an ever-changing roster is second nature to Nevin after last season. “We have an idea of when things are going to happen,” he said. “You can’t account for injuries on any level, but we have an idea of who is going to be where, and we have from the beginning of spring. It’s just a matter of getting pieces in place toward the end and getting everybody ready for the season.” The Mud Hens went 67-77 in Nevin’s first season with the team. First baseman Ryan Strieby paced the offense with team highs of 19 home runs and 76 RBI, but Toledo finished with only 586 total runs, the third-fewest in the International League (IL). With the Detroit Tigers two deep at first base, Strieby should be a mainstay with Toledo in 2012. Left-hander Duane Below

led the pitching staff last season, with nine wins, finishing 9-4 in 18 starts with a 3.13 ERA in 115 innings. The team finished 21 games back in the division behind IL champion Columbus. In its attempt to close the gap with the Clippers, Toledo will rely on a young pitching staff and veteran leadership on offense. “Columbus always has a veteran mix with sixth-year free agents and prospects,” Nevin said. “That’s along the lines of what we’re doing this year. Most of our younger guys are on the mound, and having veterans in the lineup is really going to help our offense.”

Opportunity to expand

Nevin said he is eager for the opportunity to expand on his first season. “For me, it’s the familiarity with different people,” he said. “It’s going to be nice going back to the same place for the first time. I won’t have to learn new names, whether it’s in the front office, umpires or clubhouse people throughout the league. It will be more familiar for me. It makes the season start off a little smoother.” Despite the advantages of another

year on the job, Nevin is not ready to speculate about how it will translate on the field. “It’s hard to predict championships and rosters and records and things like that until you go throughout the league,” he said. “I’m excited going into the season. I think we have a chance to be pretty good. There’s a good mix of veteran guys on offense, and we’ll have some solid young starting pitching and a good bullpen. It’s our job to have them prepared to play every day and we’ll see where it goes.”

Tigers tune-up

Toledo will tune up for the season with a charity game at Fifth Third Field against the Detroit Tigers at noon April 4. “It’s an exciting time for the city,” Nevin said. “It will be an exciting atmosphere the first time you get into the stadium and see a packed house. It will be neat for the players to get a taste of Toledo before we start our season a couple days later.” The Mud Hens open the season 5 p.m. April 6 at home against division rival Indianapolis, which went 76-68 last season.

“It’s hard to predict championships and rosters and records and things like that until you go throughout the league. I’m excited going into the season. I think we have a chance to be pretty good.” — Phil Nevin “This is about the time where you’re starting to count down the days,” Nevin said. “Guys are getting antsy to get out of spring training. A lot of guys have been here over a month now and are ready to get the season started.” O

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APRIL 1, 2012

Famous Chicken, country musician among special nights By Erik Gable


Baseball may be what draws crowds to Fifth Third Field every spring and summer, but it’s far from the only attraction that will be offered during the 2012 Mud Hens season. Michael Keedy, manager of special events for the Mud Hens, said fans of country music will want to turn out on June 2, when Jonalee White and the Late Nite Drivers will perform before, during and after the game. The following week will bring the ZOOperstars to the field June 8. Dubbed the “sultans of silly” by BusinessWeek, this troupe of inflatable mascots includes wackily named characters like Alex Frogriguez, Clammy Sosa, Nolan Rhino, Cow Ripken Jr. and Donovan McCrabb. Rockin’ Ray and the Amazing Skyy Dogs, a troupe of canine entertainers, will perform June 23. This will be followed on June 24 by Team Autograph Day, in which the whole team will be available to sign autographs for fans before the game. “Pink in the Park,” in which players wear pink jerseys that are auctioned off to raise money for the Northwest Ohio affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure returns July 20. Then, on July 22, fans who show up early can have their pictures taken with Mud Hens players before the game.

The Famous Chicken

The Famous Chicken, a traveling mascot, will perform Aug. 5 during the Mud Hens game against the Rochester Red Wings. Ted Giannoulas has been playing the chicken since 1974, when he agreed to don a rented suit as part of promotional gimmick for a San Diego radio station. Keedy said the chicken has been performing in front of Toledo crowds for more than 20 years, but this will be

his first visit to Fifth Third Field. “He has really become an icon as far as entertainment at sports games,” Keedy said. “He has traveled and performed at every level, for nearly every sports team. He’s very sought after to have an appearance. People are going to be very excited to see him. He’s still a very big draw for people.”

Honoring Casey

The Famous Chicken’s visit will coincide with a weekend devoted to Toledo baseball history. The first 2,000 fans through the gate on Friday, Aug. 3, will receive a bobblehead of Casey Stengel, who managed the Mud Hens before his Major League career, most notably with the New York Yankees. This year marks the 85th anniversary of the 1927 Mud Hens championship team managed by Stengel, Keedy said. “We really wanted to celebrate our history and we knew the 1927 championship team would be having a significant anniversary,” Keedy said. “With Casey Stengel being one of the most famous managers in baseball history to have his start in Toledo, that’s something we thought was really cool and a nice way to kick off the baseball history celebration.” The following night, the team will play in replicas of 1883 jerseys from Toledo’s first professional baseball team, the Toledo Blue Stockings, which existed for only a few years in the 1880s. The jerseys will be sold in a charity silent auction during the game.

Animal acts

Some unusually talented simians and canines will perform Aug. 30. Keedy said the act, called Team Ghost Riders, consists of monkeys riding dogs and herding sheep. “It’s a lot of fun and people genuinely enjoy seeing them,” Keedy said. Three heritage nights will celebrate different cultures, with Polish Heritage Night on June 23, Latino Heritage

Night on July 22 and Irish Heritage Night on Aug. 12. Senior Days will take place on May 21, June 25 and July 31, all of which are day games. Discounted tickets are available for groups of senior citizens. Veterans Appreciation Night, honoring both veterans and current members of the U.S. Armed Forces, is Aug. 25, with a pregame ceremony, discounted tickets for military personnel who place their orders in advance and other recognitions during the game.

Back by popular demand

In addition, some popular features will return. As in past years, kids can run the bases after every Sunday home game and the traditional postgame fireworks shows after each Friday, Saturday and Sunday game will start May 18. “That’s something that happens year after year that fans really look forward to,” Keedy said. Throughout the season, area youth will have chances to learn about baseball from Mud Hens players during the club’s baseball camps. Aimed at youth ages 7 to 14, the camps are part of the Mud Hens’ efforts to work with local groups to give back to the community. Other such programs include Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts campout nights, when local scout troops spend a night on the outfield. “We are a big part of the community, so reaching out and working with these groups is important to us,” Keedy said. Five camps are scheduled: O May 19: A one-day camp will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. O June 2: A clinic for children with special needs is scheduled for noon-1:30 p.m. “That camp has really grown over the past four or five years,” Keedy said. O June 24: An adult-and-child camp is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Jonalee White “They look up to the Mud Hens O June 19-21 and Aug. 2-4: Keedy said these three-day camps are usually players and they admire them,” he said. Participants in all of the camps will the most popular ones. Jeff Barton, founder and president receive a T-shirt, a souvenir baseball of Miracle League of Northwest Ohio, for autographs and a ticket to a future a baseball league for kids with special Mud Hens game. Register online at needs, said the clinic is a fun expericamps. ence for the children who take part. For more information, visit www. “They love it,” he said. Barton added that Mud Hens and click on promoplayers often volunteer at the Miracle tions. All theme nights and promotions are subject to change. O League field during the season.

Wishing the Mud Hens a great 2012 Season!


APRIL 1, 2012


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By Brandi Barhite


Mud Hens ticket sales are keeping pace with last season’s, according to Erik Ibsen, assistant general manager of ticket sales and operations. Approximately 285,000 tickets have been presold for the Mud Hens season so far — slightly ahead of the past two seasons. “It had been higher before the economic downturn, but we are heading back to those ranges we were in previously,” Ibsen said. By Opening Day, 300,000 tickets are expected to be bought, which is consistent with last year and includes everything from game plan ticket packets to group reservations. “Ticket sales are really going great. You can tell the season is around the corner,” he said. “The weather hasn’t hurt, probably has people thinking about it.” Ibsen said the 27 suites leased on a multiyear basis are sold out. Last year marked the 10th season in the ballpark, so many of the suites were up for renewal. “Just about every organization did come back to us,” he said. “We are in a great situation. The corporate community has supported the ballpark since before it was built.” The four party suites that can be rented on a game-by-game basis are also keeping pace with previous seasons. These suites are used for surprise parties, reunions and when companies want a suite for their employees, but don’t need it every game. “In the course of a season, we rent out more than 200 times per year. We still have availability if people are interested in that,” Ibsen said.

Last year, 214 were rented, a suite record, and 99 percent of the suites were filled after Memorial Day. Speaking of records, Ibsen would like to set a new one. Elliston native and “American Idol” runner-up Crystal Bowersox helped set an attendance record of 13,200 when she performed at a game on May 14, 2010. The second largest attendance record was made Opening Day on April 16, 2009, with 13,100 fans. Many of the 10 games with the highest attendance are from Opening Days, Ibsen said. “We are hoping to be right in line and the fact that Opening Day is on a Friday this year, [attendance] should be in that 13,000 range,” he said. Justin Hemminger of Columbus, who graduated from St. Francis de Sales High School in 1997, is returning to Toledo to see the home opener. He has attended every Opening Day game since 2002 when the new stadium opened. “My family’s from Toledo originally,” he said. “It is a heritage thing, a hometown pride thing.” The stadium seats 8,943, in addition to picnic areas and standing room-only locations. Most Fridays and Saturdays, the ballpark attracts at least 10,500 people, Ibsen said. In 2011, the Mud Hens ended the season with a total attendance of 549,438 and have boasted 5.5 million in the first 10 years at Fifth Third Field. One reason the organization does so well with ticket sales is its commitment to affordability, Ibsen said. Opening Day tickets are $13 for seats and $10 for standing room. Regular season tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for children 12 and younger. On fireworks nights, tickets are $9 for everyone. Ibsen said the regular season ticket price has increased just


Ticket sales returning to pre-recession levels


Erik Ibsen is assistant general manager of ticket sales and operations for the Toledo Mud Hens.

$1 in the past decade. “Minor league baseball prides itself on family fun entertainment. There are a lot of activities for family, friends and companies,” he said. “The blueprint has to be affordable.” Attendees range from families, younger friends and teens and empty nesters on date nights. “We really run the whole spectrum as far as people, which is another reason the affordability is so

important,” he said. Last year, the team attracted 139,296 attendees through group sales, down from the record of 143,226 established in 2007. The largest groups in 2011 were ProMedica, YMCA, First Solar and HCR ManorCare. Online ticket sales keep growing as well. “The technology makes that a huge part of our business. We sell about 60,000 tickets online and that has in-

creased each year,” Ibsen said. New for this year are mobile apps for iPhones and Droids to purchase tickets. “The idea with the technology is to make the purchase easier,” Ibsen said. “Not having to wait to get to the ballpark to see if it is a sold-out game, not even having to wait to get home to your computer.” For more information, visit www. and click on Tickets. O





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A24 n Toledo Free Press

APRIL 1, 2012

By Mike Bauman


Growing up in the small town of Britton, Mich., Duane Below was the little brother with big dreams. The youngest of seven with four brothers and two sisters, Below was the baby of the family who was seldom indoors growing up, an active child who frequently played on the fields and stayed in the gym until they kicked him out when it was time to lock up. He managed his brother’s junior high basketball team as a third-grader and always talked about wanting to pitch in the big leagues. On July 20, 2011, Below wasn’t so little anymore; it was the day the baby brother made his big league dream come true, taking the mound as the starting pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, his favorite baseball team growing up. “As soon as I took the mound the first time, I felt like I belonged,” Below told Toledo Free Press from spring training in Lakeland, Fla., recounting his major league debut against the Oakland Athletics. “But my mind said as I threw my first pitch, I was like, ‘Just don’t throw it to the backstop.’” Though the Tigers lost 7-5 that night, Below didn’t throw his first pitch to the backstop. Instead, he recorded a no-decision in a solid outing against Oakland. In five-plus innings,

photo by lad strayer, courtesy toledo mud hens

From little to big: Below fulfilling childhood dream

DUANE BELOW Below threw 51 strikes in 77 pitches, allowing three runs (one earned) and five hits as he struck out two batters and walked another for an ERA of 1.80. When Lester Oliveros came in to relieve Below in the sixth inning after he surrendered a homer to Hideki Matsui, the Detroit crowd — which included many family members and friends — gave him a standing ovation as he left the field. “It was exciting. I’ll never forget it,” Below said.


While that day marked the culmination of a lifelong journey to play in the majors, Below is not content to let it be his only day in the sun. Not after how hard he’s worked to have the chance to be a mainstay on the Tigers roster. Below was a three-sport athlete back home in Britton, a town of approximately 700 people that sits off M-50 between Tecumseh and Dundee. But the 6-foot-3, 220-pound lefty was not heavily recruited out of Britton-Macon High School in

2004 and did not have any college offers. He ended up playing for Blissfield American Legion, where he was discovered by Lake Michigan College (LMC), which offered him a scholarship. “I liked it out there, so I ended up going out there and having two good years,” Below said of the school in southwest Michigan. “It was my freshman year when I realized that there’s a possibility [of going pro].” Following his freshman year at LMC, Below signed to Central Michigan University in the early signing period. After reaching the regionals in a solid sophomore campaign at LMC, however, his big league dreams started to come to fruition and, by June 2006, CMU was in the rearview mirror. “In June, my brother [and I] went to Chicago for the Tigers-White Sox game because that was the second day of the draft,” Below said. “We knew I was going to get drafted, we just didn’t know what round and what [pick]. But my brother was like, ‘You’re not going to go in the first day, so let’s go to the Tigers game on the second day.’ “We were just driving in downtown Chicago, and I got the call while we were in the car.” Detroit drafted Below in the 19th round of the 2006 amateur draft. By 2007, he was the team’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year and Single-A West Michigan’s Pitcher of the Year after he tied for a Midwest League-best 13 wins and led the league with 160 strikeouts. n BELOW CONTINUES ON A25

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APRIL 1, 2012 n BELOW CONTINUED FROM A24 As he was working his way up the ranks of the Tigers organization, however, Below’s progress came to a halt in 2009. Just 10 days after being assigned to Double-A Erie from Single-A Lakeland on May 15 of that season, Below landed on the disabled list for the rest of the year. He tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm and required Tommy John surgery. “That was actually the first time I’ve ever been hurt to miss a game,” Below said. “The only time I missed a game was [because of] my mom’s rules for the grades, and I missed one week; that was during football season. But I never missed a game due to injury.” Before he left to have the procedure done, Below received some words of encouragement from teammate Mike Hollimon. Hollimon told Below to make the best of it and work his tail off. That way, if he didn’t come back at least he would know he tried, and if he did, he’d be that much better. “I’ll never forget it,” Below said of Hollimon’s words. “I’ve got to give him credit as well.”


Below came back strong in 2010, finishing second on the Erie roster with 103 strikeouts. His big break came last season, when he started 18 games with the Mud Hens before Detroit called him up in late July. At the time of his callup, Below had a 3.13 ERA and was tied for second place in the International League with nine wins. “It was great,” Below said of his time with Toledo. “The fan base is unbelievable there. They come out and support you. Just being able to have a park of that caliber and the fans that support you no matter what, and being able to be that close to home and having support in my family.” Below credited the combination of that atmosphere along with the tutelage of Mud Hens pitching coach A.J. Sager for helping prepare him for the majors, where he started two games for the Tigers in 2011 and spent the rest of the regular season as a reliever. Since December, Below has been in Lakeland preparing for the upcoming season, where he is competing for the fifth starter spot in the rotation with the Tigers. It just wouldn’t be like Below to not get a head start on spring training. Below made it to the big leagues, but he’ll always be the active little brother from Britton. “I just figured getting down here early, giving myself the best opportunity to make the team, I felt it was to be here in Lakeland and working with the staff that’s here,” Below said. “It’s mainly from my rehab. When I was here, I was working out and I was in the best shape, and [the] arm’s ready to go to start the year.” O


Duane below, photographed by paul nelson. photo courtesy toledo mud hens.


n A25

A26 n Toledo Free Press

APRIL 1, 2012

Batboy job not glamorous, but good teaching tool


Other times, I would prepare the eah, I was that “lucky kid.” I was a batboy for the To- game balls instead of helping out ledo Mud Hens from 2007- with batting practice. The baseballs 10, and it was a great experience I are coated with rubbing mud to take highly recommend to anyone who is out any imperfections in the balls and willing to put in a lot of work from to give them a consistent feel for the pitcher. Lighter balls are easier for the April to September. And I am serious when I say work. batter to see, while darker ones benefit Contrary to popular opinion, the pitcher. On an average day, we used being a minor-league batboy is not about seven dozen but prepared 10 or 11 dozen just in case. a glamorous job. ReAfter the game trieving bats at Fifth came my least favorite Third Field was by far FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT part of the job: cleaning the least strenuous part FOR HEALTHY LIVING the cleats. Warm, of my eight-hour day, FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY sunny days were the and wearing the home best. But on some rainy uniform in 100-degree days, the cleats were so temperatures is not all dirty I could not see the it’s cracked up to be. spikes on the bottom But what my time of the shoes. That was as a batboy taught me has served me well as Michael STAINBROOK the difference between ending my day at 11 a journalist and as an employee. It’s easier to appreciate p.m. or well past midnight. If a team was leaving town, we the game when you are a part of the preparations, which begin hours be- were responsible for making sure everything from the trainer’s equipment fore the first pitch. For a 7 p.m. game, I arrived at Fifth to each batting glove made it onto the Third Field by 3 p.m. and had plenty team’s bus. That added another hour of work to do immediately. Hundreds to the end of the workday. I was paid for my work, but after of towels in the laundry room needed to be folded. Chewing gum, several taxes took home less than minimum varieties of sunflower seeds, 10-gallon wage. It really was not a glorious job. water jugs, plastic cups, batting hel- But it was worth it. At times, the job mets and medical supplies had to be was monotonous, but every day still delivered to each dugout before bat- had some unique element that set it ting practice. There were errands to apart from all of the others. A batboy has to be around the run, food to pick up, items to restock and sometimes personalities to avoid. players to take care of any needs, but My favorite part of the job was shag- he is almost never with the players. ging home runs during batting practice. Autographs are prohibited. Also After I stopped playing in eighth grade, prohibited is talking to a player unthat was as close as I got to taking part less he approaches you first. We were in live action. On a cool day with few not allowed to take home any souvehomers, I would simply enjoy the rela- nirs from the clubhouse — though tive quiet of the empty ballpark com- it would be hard to tell if a baseball disappeared here or there. By the end pared to the busy clubhouse.


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n A27


High school teams compete at Fifth Third Field By Erik Gable


Twenty-two high school teams from across the region will play on the same field as the Mud Hens this season

as they take part in the club’s “Play a Game at Fifth Third Field” promotion. “It’s very popular,” said Michael Keedy, manager of special events for the Mud Hens. “We get teams from both Ohio and Michigan, and depending on how many dates we have

available, we typically have 20 or 30 teams per year.” Due to a heavy concentration of home games in the Mud Hens’ schedule for April and May, Keedy said Fifth Third Field won’t be able to host as many games as the club would



like. But 22 teams will still get the opportunity, playing 11 games on six different dates. Keedy said the high school games started several years ago with just a few teams, but grew quickly. “The feedback is always incredibly positive,” he said. “The kids get to come in, get to use the dugout, the facilities that they’ve been seeing since they were kids, and they get to come out and play on a professional baseball diamond.” Anthony Wayne High School baseball coach Mark Nell will be bringing his team to Fifth Third Field for the third straight year. The Whitehouse team will face Sylvania Southview High School on May 9. “If you’re a baseball person, to have an opportunity to play on a Triple-A field — not only a Triple-A field, but from my understanding one of the best Triple-A fields — they’re just thrilled,” Nell said. Nell said play seems to move a little faster because the grass is so short and the field so well-groomed. “We have a nice facility ourselves, but nothing like that,” Nell said. Sylvania Southview baseball coach Ed Mouch said many players are used to watching games at Fifth Third Field from the stands, so it’s a fun experience to get to play on the field instead. “It’s a great experience for the kids, being able to play at a facility like that,” Mouch said. Mouch said his team played Defi-

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ance High School at Fifth Third Field in 2010. The students who were underclassmen two years ago and didn’t get much playing time are now seniors and will have their chance to come out of the dugout and take the field, he said. Playing at Fifth Third Field doesn’t cost the schools any money up front. The only requirement is that they sell 300 ticket vouchers, which are good for any regularseason Mud Hens game except Opening Day, Keedy said. The teams can either sell the vouchers at face value, which is $9, or they can add a markup and use it as a fundraiser. Admission to the high school games is free. “Nobody needs a ticket to enter the high school games at all,” Keedy said. atch w e For more information, visit o www. IN C m under Promotions. ORAM


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A28 n Toledo Free Press

APRIL 1, 2012

Mud Hens official scorers call it like they see it By Jason Mack


Just like long snappers in the NFL, baseball’s official scorers work a thankless position where they’re only recognized if something goes wrong. Nobody knows this better than Toledo scorer Ron Kleinfelter, who splits his time between the Mud Hens and the Detroit Tigers. He was on duty in Detroit last year as Brad Penny went for a no-hitter. “In the seventh inning, Brent Morel from the White Sox hit a chopping ground ball down the third-base line,” Kleinfelter said. “Brandon Inge is one of only a couple third basemen that could even get to that ball. He stabbed it into foul territory and almost into left field. Inge tried to set himself to make the throw across the diamond. He didn’t really make a good throw, but it was a tough chance and Morel was safe. I called it a hit. A lot of people believed it was a hit, but as soon as they put that on the scoreboard, 37,000 people collectively booed me.” One fan went beyond booing and threatened Kleinfelter on Facebook. “My name was in the papers for making that call,” he said. “This guy took the time to look me up on Facebook and send me a message. It said, ‘That was the worst call ever. You should never be allowed to score another major league game. You are a clown and should be killed.’ I still remember it word for word. That’s why they’re called fanatics I guess.” He was also booed in 2007 when he temporarily cost Detroit’s Placido Polanco his errorless streak. After conferring with umpires the next day, he charged the error to Marcus Thames.

Polanco went on to set an MLB record as the first everyday second baseman to play an entire season without an error. “Every year there are a couple calls that somebody isn’t going to be happy with,” said Guy Lammers, another Mud Hens scorer. “You just try to make the best call you can and go with it.” Kleinfelter has scored with the Tigers since 2005 and joined the Mud Hens in 1999 after Lammers alerted him to an opening. They might have both missed out on the opportunity to be scorers if Lammers hadn’t been listening to a radio broadcast in 1995. “I was listening to the Hens on the radio in 1995 and Jim Weber said they were looking for an official scorer,” Lammers said. “I called the Mud Hens and talked to someone in the front office. They said they had found somebody but put my name on file. In 1996 I got a call before the season started that they were looking for somebody. It was luck that I fell into this position. I was just a fan who watched and listened to a lot of games.” At every Mud Hens game there is one official scorekeeper and one data caster who provides live stats for MLB. com. Lammers and Kleinfelter rotate between the positions with three other employees. “The more you do it, the more you get a feel for the game and what kind of calls should be made,” Lammers said. “There isn’t too much pressure because I’ve been doing it for a while.” Kleinfelter has played baseball his entire life and has been coaching his son’s teams for the past four years, but he cautions it takes more than that to be an official scorer. “A lot of people play baseball and know a lot about it, but not a lot of people could sit down and be an offi-

cial scorer or do data casting,” he said. “You have to have a feel for the game and understand how to apply things like ordinary effort in determining hits and errors. You have to watch the game with intense concentration.”

Another advantage to scoring games at Fifth Third Field is the quality of the field itself, Lammers said. “Ron and I have the perspective of having been official scorers at Ned Skeldon Stadium,” Lammers said. “The

field at Fifth Third Field is in immaculate condition. There are rarely any bad hops. Back at Skeldon, the field wasn’t in as good of shape. You’d have to decide if it was a bad hop. It was more difficult being an official scorer there.” O

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A30 n Toledo Free Press

APRIL 1, 2012

Mexican hot dog, garlic fries among new food options By Joel Sensenig


Although the Mud Hens sell almost 200,000 hot dogs each season, the organization is not about to rest on its laurels when it comes to eating options at Fifth Third Field — not without spicing up the sausage-on-asliced-bun recipe a little, anyway. The Mud Hens are rolling out six new items in the concession stands at the ballpark this year, including the Mexican Hen Dog. The brainchild of 13abc meteorologist Jay Berschback, the Mexican version of the American standby is essentially a heaping pile of nachos on a bun. It’s a hot dog topped with nacho cheese sauce, chili, diced onions, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream. Craig Nelson, assistant general manager of food and beverage at Fifth Third Field, said the dog was the winner of a “Create Your Own Dog Night,” where local celebrities chose from more than 30 toppings — including unlikely options such as guacamole, baked beans and bacon — to create their dogs, which were then put to a vote. Berschback’s south-of-theborder creation was the winner. Another new sandwich this year will be the We Are Ribs pulled chicken sandwich, from We Are Ribs Catering on Wenz Road in Toledo. The sandwich features slow-smoked chicken, hand-pulled and mixed with We Are Ribs’ award-winning barbecue sauce, served on a Kaiser bun. Those looking to vary their sidedish options will be interested in checking out the new garlic fries. “They’re the French fries we’ve been serving at the park with a garlic sauce we added for a new option,” Nelson

said. “It’s been popular at other ballparks. Fries are a popular item already at the ballpark, so this is just a variation on one of our more popular items.” For when it’s time to cool down after a few innings in the sun, Fifth Third Field is adding six new flavors to its already stellar lineup of Toft’s Ice Cream. Available in pints, the new offerings are: Cherry Amaretto Fudge, Butter Pecan, Cookie Dough, Mint Chocolate Chip, Blueberry Waffle Cone and Black Raspberry Bugaboo Fudge. “Our number one dessert item in the ballpark is hand-dipped ice cream and ice cream sundaes,” Nelson said. “We now have 14 flavors of ice cream at the park.” The third most popular item (hot dogs and popcorn take the first two spots) at Fifth Third Field is the giant pretzel, so the Mud Hens are adding pretzel braids to complement the traditional offering. It’s a 7-ounce braided piece of dough, buttered and topped with salt or tossed in cinnamon sugar or parmesan cheese and garlic. Cheese sauce, marinara and sweet cream cheese sauce are available for dipping. Those with sweet tooths in need of a fix will want to dig into the Mini Apple Pie Bites, which are deep-fried pieces of apple tossed in cinnamon sugar. To sweeten the already sinful deal, hot fudge for dipping and vanilla ice cream for a topping will be available. The new offerings aren’t limited to food, however. The team is in talks with Toledo’s own Maumee Bay Brewing Company to develop a special beer for the Mud Hens faithful this season, possibly in time for Opening Day. While details and the name of the brew are still being worked on, Nelson said the beverage will be a summery, Germanstyle beer perfect for warm afternoons and evenings at the ballpark.

Nelson said the club always has a running list of new food options, which it develops from going to trade shows or browsing Facebook and the Internet to see what other ballparks are having success with. TheDevers_TFP_MudHens_Layout desires and eating habits of 1 3345 Mud Hens fans drive the culinary di-

rection of dining services at the park. “We’re seeing a lot more fans wanting to come down early and want more of a meal, more of a sandwich with a side,” Nelson said. “We try to pick items with that in mind. One of our philosophies, and1it’s worked 3/27/12 10:21 AM Page well for us, is we like to have a lot of

choices. That’s what people enjoy. They don’t want to have only one kind of this, one kind of that. What we’ve heard from fans is they like to have choices in picking their menu items.” For more information, visit www. and click on Food & Beverage. O

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Social networking drives Mud Hens’ marketing game By Caitlin McGlade


Thanks to modern technology, you can get your fill of Mud Hens anytime, anywhere — as long as you have a smart phone. More than 48,500 people “like” the Mud Hens on Facebook while nearly 9,000 people follow the team on Twitter. This allows the Mud Hens to not only connect with fans on a regular basis, but it also allows for fans to score some hot deals. The team recently opened up a block of Opening Day tickets to Facebook fans only, a marketing tool that sold a

few hundred tickets quickly, said Nathan Steinmetz, manager of online marketing for the Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye. The Mud Hens have more than twice as many Facebook fans as any other minor league baseball team, according to, which tracks and ranks the social media usage of sports fans. The Mud Hens rank No. 8 in number of Twitter followers. Other tools Steinmetz wants to use in the future at Mud Hens games are already active at Walleye hockey games. With a goal of fans interacting with each other as well as with the team, Facebook and Twitter posts from fans have been featured

in-game on the big screens. Fans can also win prizes by answering trivia questions via the two social networks and are encouraged to take photos of themselves in their Walleye garb so the team can post the shots to its Facebook page. “We’re looking to take that online conversation and bring it into the arena,” Steinmetz said. The Mud Hens had an “app” for the iPhone last year, but will not this season because the business conducting the app backed out. Steinmetz said he wants to reinstate a new app for future seasons, but it is unlikely to happen this year. An exciting new piece of social

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media that might hit the market will include the ability to log in with a Facebook account to see where other people are sitting in the park and whether they have checked in yet, Steinmetz said. That is still in the dream stages. But until then, the Mud Hens’ mobile site works just as well. At the site, fans can check the latest headlines and stats. Steinmetz said the mobile site is run by the minor leagues and he did not have a measure of how many hits it garners. However, he expects that popularity is similar to the Walleyes’ mobile site, which represents 15 to 20 percent of Internet traffic to the site. But what if you’re old-fashioned

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and you just want to sit back and soak in the nuances of a ball game — the clap of the ball as it hits the glove, the smell of peanuts and Cracker Jack or the slow, drawn-out nature of the sport? For those fans, Steinmetz points out that the Mud Hens are one of the only minor league teams with two high-definition score boards. “While there are fans that appreciate the romance of baseball and all that it is, there is a big percentage of people that get into the bells of whistles of going to a game in the modern age,” he said. “Fans don’t have to get on their mobile phones and look up stats if they want to have a conversation and just enjoy the game.” O

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Area Hens, Tigers fans gear up for exhibition game By Sarah Ottney


Lowell and Shirley Hinkle have been collecting baseball memorabilia for nearly six decades. Their massive collection started in the 1950s with programs Lowell collected from Toledo Sox games at Swayne Field. “When we got married, I said, ‘If you’re going to keep all this stuff, we’re going to display it.’ And it just grew and grew and grew,” Shirley said. Today the collection includes a couple thousand signed baseballs — which line the walls of their Perrysburg home nearly floor-toceiling — as well as signed bats, posters, photos, ornaments, magazine covers, baseball-themed record albums, bobbleheads, menus from restaurants named after famous ballplayers and much more. They focus mainly on collecting autographs from minor leaguers, studying stats to try and gauge which players will make it to the majors. “We evaluate the minor league players as a scout would,” Lowell

said. “We say, ‘Yeah, we want him,’ and then we try to get him. It’s fun doing. It’s a hobby.” Sometimes they guess wrong. One case in their collection is devoted to balls signed by players who never made it to the majors. “We still keep them,” Shirley said. “You never know. Sometimes it’s amazing and a couple years later, they’ll come back.” Shirley keeps a meticulous inventory of their collection, which fills several notebooks. “Mainly we like to follow the players,” she said. “When we get their autograph, I keep a list of where they go. It’s a lot of work, but knowing all these names, I think that keeps our brains moving.” The Hinkles, who are members of the Society for American Baseball Research, have been to 10 induction ceremonies at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and have visited the spring training camps of numerous teams. They spend their summers touring ballparks and have been to about 130 so far. “We’ll take a five-day trip and see four stadiums,” Shirley said. “We’ll

keep doing it as long as we’re able.” Lowell is retired from a 45-year career with the Bostwick-Braun Company, where he served as vice president and director of transportation. Shirley is a retired office manager at Harbor Behavioral Healthcare. They have four children and eight grandchildren. “We don’t go to Mancy’s for dinner; we’ll get two autographs instead,” Shirley said. “Everyone has a different way of looking at things. Whatever you do to have fun.” For the Hinkles, fun is scouring antique shops, flea markets and garage sales in search of baseball treasures.

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Once, they found a poster for the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers vs. New York Yankees World Series, which they later had signed by Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford and Dodgers pitcher Don Newcombe. “Whitey Ford was amazed. He said, ‘Where did you get that at?’ I said, ‘I picked it up at a flea market,’” Lowell said proudly. Another discovery was two framed 1931 Toledo News-Bee ar-

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they are especially looking forward to seeing. They got the first baseman’s autograph years ago when he played in the minors, but have never seen him play in person. For Shirley, the most memorable part of the 2000 exhibition game, which the Tigers won 6-3 in front of a crowd of 7,150, was how available the Tigers players were. “I remember how the players hung out afterward and signed autographs. They were so nice about it,” Shirley said. “This time, my gosh, they are selling standing-room only tickets. I don’t know. It’s going to be a zoo.” Both Lowell and Shirley attended their first Toledo baseball game at Swayne Field. Lowell’s first was in 1948, where the highlight was watching one-armed former major leaguer Pete Gray play first base. “That was a beautiful park,” Lowell said. A standout pitcher for Anthony Wayne High School, Lowell was a member of the first All-Ohio baseball team along with classmate Larry Morrison, now commissioner of the Northern Lakes League. n HINKLES CONTINUES ON A36

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ticles about the Mud Hens, including quotes from manager Casey Stengel, who would go on to become a legendary Yankees manager. Friends from across the country also donate to their collection. A former Mud Hens batboy gave them several bats after taking a tour of their “museum.” “He said he just had them up in the attic,” Shirley said. “We’ll donate them all back to the Mud Hens someday.” The Hinkles have held Mud Hens season tickets since the mid-1990s. “We loved Ned Skeldon Stadium,” Shirley said. “It was more personal. Our seats were near the [players’] wives, so we talked to the wives and saw their children. It was just a totally different atmosphere. It was a close-knit group.” They were in the crowd at the Maumee ballpark in 2000 when Detroit last visited Toledo, and they have tickets to the Tigers-Mud Hens exhibition game April 4. “We’re looking forward to the game because it’s been so long,” Shirley said. “They’ve promised every starter will at least go to bat one time.” Detroit’s Prince Fielder is one

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Lowell and SHirley Hinkle of Perrysburg have been collecting baseball souvenirs for six decades. photographed by joseph herr.


n A35


A36 n Toledo Free Press n HINKLES CONTINUED FROM A34 Sometimes after baseball practice in Monclova, he and a friend would hitchhike into Maumee, where they would catch the bus into Downtown Toledo and walk to Swayne Field. Then Lowell’s father would pick them up on his way home from work. “That was quite a hike, but worth it,� Lowell said. “One night, we had a couple neat little girls we were running around for and missed our ride home,� he added, grinning as his wife protested the story. “We walked from Swayne Field to Maumee where the Trail comes in, and here comes my dad and my mother. Oh golly, was he mad. I’ll never forget that.� After high school, Lowell played for a year in the independent Ban Johnson league. A few years later, he got the chance to work out with the Tigers at Briggs Stadium. “I worked out in the outfield and then pitched along the side,� Lowell said. “If you’ve ever been in that stadium and looked at that green background and looked at the ball coming off the bat, it was just unbelievable. I’ve never been in anything like that. That was the most awesome thing I have ever done.� “He’s still mad no one was there to take his picture,� Shirley added, laughing. “So we only have his word for it he was there.� Lowell, an Indians fan, was at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland in 1959 when the White Sox beat the Indians to clinch the American League pennant, its first since 1919 and what would be its last until 2005. Cleveland


“I could see [Babe Ruth] so plain. He had his hat and his collar up. He was so hoarse talking that day, but he did it. Some guy came down and asked a couple of kids if they wanted to get his autograph. I could have went with them, but I was shy then.� — Lowell Hinkle had the bases loaded in the ninth inning with one out when the White Sox made a double play to win the game. “Bedlam broke out,� Lowell said. “We went down by the locker room and it was just awesome, just unbelievable.� One autograph missing from the Hinkles’ collection is Babe Ruth’s. Lowell had the chance to get the famous slugger’s signature as an 11-year-old batboy for a Monclova legion team, which heard Ruth speak at Detroit’s Briggs Stadium shortly before he died of cancer in 1948. “I could see him so plain,� Lowell said. “He had his hat and his collar up. He was so hoarse talking that day, but he did it. Some guy came down and

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asked a couple of kids if they wanted to get his autograph. I could have went with them, but I was shy then.� Lowell said perhaps his favorite ball in their collection is one signed by Willie Mays. The legendary outfielder helped the New York Giants defeat Cleveland in the 1954 World Series, in which standout Indians pitcher Bob Feller did not play. “I asked him, ‘Willie, if Bob Feller would have pitched against you in the ’54 World Series, would he have beat you?’� Lowell said. “He said, ‘He lost those fastballs, curve ball wasn’t breaking; we would have hit him all over the place.’ Then he said, ‘If you see Bob uptown don’t tell him I said that.’ That was my favorite. That was awesome.� One of Shirley’s most memorable autographs came from major leaguer Nomar Garciaparra. “We were up in Detroit and I was standing there all by myself. He was there doing calisthenics and he walked over and signed a ball,� Shirley said. “Immediately I had 50 people on top of me, rushing over. But I was standing all alone and he came over and I thought that was so neat.� Gazing around the room at their collection, Lowell said he ought to write a book. “There are so many stories,� Lowell said. “Every ball has a story.� “We have definitely run out of room,� Shirley added. However, they don’t plan to stop anytime soon. “It’s an amazing hobby. We just love it,� Lowell said. “I don’t know what we would do if we didn’t do this.� n FANS CONTINUES ON A38



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A38 n Toledo Free Press n FANS CONTINUED FROM A36

The Ringleins

toledo free press photo by sarah ottney

Jane Ringlein has been a diehard Tigers fan from a young age. “I remember going to bed with a little transistor radio and every night I listened to the Tigers games and scored them. Every night I went to sleep with the Tigers,” said Jane, who saw her first Tigers game in fourth grade. She remains as devoted today as she was as a girl growing up in Toledo. “I’d be at the Tigers every day if it didn’t take me an hour to get there and back,” she said. “I don’t drink; I’m not there for the food; I go for the game. When the Tigers lost 100 games in a season, I would still go. You always go with who you grew up with.” When she heard Detroit would be coming to town to play an exhibition game with the Mud Hens, she

snapped up the maximum number of tickets allowed. “I knew the tickets were going on sale at 11 a.m. [Jan. 7],” Jane said. “I got on my iPad and got four tickets. I talked to someone else who got on right after me and didn’t get any. I think they sold out within 15 minutes, so I was fortunate I got them.” After season ticket holders were given the opportunity to purchase tickets, a limited number was released to the general public on Jan. 7 and all 1,000 did indeed sell out within 15 minutes, said Erik Ibsen, Mud Hens assistant general manager of tickets and operations. Standing-room only tickets went on sale March 3 and there are a limited number still available, he said.

‘I have to be at this game’

Pharmaceuticals, where she works as a medical science liaison in oncology, Jane was able to arrange her work schedule to be free for the game. “I said, ‘I have to be at this game,’ and they said, ‘We’ll work around you,’” Jane said. “If it gets rained out and doesn’t happen, I’m going to be really disappointed.” Ringlein’s husband Paul, their daughter Chelsea and Chelsea’s fiancé will join her at the April 4

APRIL 1, 2012

game, which will be broadcast by FOX Sports Detroit. Jane said she is most excited about seeing the Tigers’ newly acquired first baseman Prince Fielder, son of legendary Tigers player Cecil Fielder. “Our seats are on the firstbase side, so I’ll get to see a lot of Prince,” Jane said. “I was a huge Cecil Fielder fan.” Her husband is also curious to

see Fielder play. “He’s like a modern Babe Ruth in terms of his swing and his power and just his personality,” Paul said. Paul, a project manager with Toledo’s division of code enforcement, said he is more of a Mud Hens fan than a Tigers fan. He was at the inaugural Opening Day Mud Hens game at Fifth Third Field in 2002. n RINGLEINS CONTINUES ON A39

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Also “I rememberlook the weather was cold and almost ready to rain, but it was fun to be there,” he said. “Everyonefor: was there. They didn’t want to turn anyone away.”

Displays Both Paul and Jane were at the 2005 and at Toledo2006 games when the Mud Hens won their International League titles. They recalled Fifth Lucas Third Field erupting with excitement, with players lapping the field, giving high fives and County interacting with fans. “The players who did not understand the culPublic ture of Toledo were like, ‘My God, these people loveLibraries us,’” he said, adding that most Detroit fans also back the Mud Hens. High fives with fans


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“When Detroit people see you with anything that says Mud Hens, they always give you a nod and a cheer,” Paul said. The Ringleins enjoy visiting major league stadiums, especially if the Tigers are playing. They’ve had great experiences, but traveling has also made them appreciative of Toledo. “I don’t think Toledoans realize how good they have it,” Paul said of Fifth Third Field. “If you could hit the easy button and [let people visit another stadium], I think they would be surprised at how good we have it in terms of the quality of the game, the players, the food, the parking, the price and really how good the stadium is. They’d come back and say, ‘My god, we’ve got a great deal here,’ and I’d say, ‘Well, no kidding!’” Jane said she most enjoys going to Mud Hens games when Detroit players are rehab-

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bing with the team. “Like when they sent Brandon Inge down last year — that was bad for him, but cool because we got to see him play all the time,” Jane said. The couple attended a 2006 World Series game in Detroit when the Tigers played the St. Louis Cardinals. “We were up in the nosebleed section, but that was really cool,” Paul said. “I love going to live games.”

Upset to be missing it

The Ringleins’ younger daughter, Maureen, follows the Tigers like her mother, but will be out of town for the exhibition game. “She is so upset to be missing it,” Jane said. The two once took a trip to Detroit’s spring training camp in Lakeland, Fla. “It was awesome because you can get right up there with the players,” Jane said. “Mo has a picture of herself with Justin Verlander. She was happy.” Chelsea’s wedding this spring will include at least one Tigers touch — the ring bearer’s pillow will feature Detroit’s logo. “He’s a Tigers fan, too. That was the first connection between my future son-in-law and my wife. When I heard that, I said, ‘Well, I don’t have to worry about that relationship,’” Paul said, laughing. No matter what happens at the exhibition game, Jane is just happy baseball season is starting again. “It’s so boring in the winter without baseball,” she said. O

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New lounge offers unique view

APRIL 1, 2012

toledo free press photo by sarah ottney

A40 n Toledo Free Press

By Sarah Ottney


A new suite-level lounge and viewing area will offer a behind-thescenes experience for club- and suitelevel ticket holders at Fifth Third Field. From the lounge, located behind home plate, fans will be able to look out over the field as well as observe radio and broadcast teams in action through a new, glassed-in media area. n LOUNGE CONTINUES ON A41


Ray Benjamin is special projects division manager for the Lathrop Company.


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n LOUNGE CONTINUED FROM A40 To create the new space, the former media area was reduced by about half and glass walls were installed around the new space. An interview area on the concourse just outside the press box will allow fans to listen in on pre- or postgame interviews. Mud Hens President and general manager Joe Napoli said he believes the design of the space is unique. “We’ve looked around minor and major league ballparks and we’re pretty sure no one else is doing this,” Napoli said. “This kind of interview space is what you would see on College GameDay or ESPN Zone. You don’t typically see it in stadiums like this except for at special events. Watching interviews from just a few feet away will give fans a bit of that Hollywood feel. It’s very exciting.” Construction started in January and will be completed in time for the exhibition game with the Detroit Tigers on April 4, said Jason Griffin, director of public and media relations. Napoli declined to discuss the cost of the project, but said it was funded through Mud Hens operating revenues. Ray Benjamin, special projects division manager with Maumee-based The Lathrop Company, oversaw the construction process.

“People are literally going to be able to see right into the press box area, which they couldn’t do before,” Benjamin said. Although the renovation reduced the size of the media area, press teams will still be able to do all they did before and more, Benjamin said. Technology has improved since the stadium was built and modern equipment doesn’t require as much space, he said. Napoli said he thinks the viewing area will be popular because the press box is always an area of interest during ballpark tours. “We do a behind-the-scenes tour and the press area is usually one where people ‘ooh and ah,” Napoli said. The idea for the viewing lounge came about in part because of the popularity of a club-level lounge area at Huntington Center, Napoli said. Toledo-based architectural design firm The Collaborative Inc. created the design. “We are honored and excited to be a part of the process,” said lead designer and project manager Matt Pastula, in a statement. “The Mud Hens came to us with a vision for the project and what they wanted to see this area become. We appreciated the opportunity to make the vision a reality and look forward to seeing the fans enjoy the end result.” O


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toledo free press photo by sarah ottney

APRIL 1, 2012


Blueprints for the suite-level media viewing area at Fifth Third Field.

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APRIL 1, 2012

By Sarah Ottney


To walk around Fifth Third Field is to walk amongst the names of Toledo baseball lore. Before leading the New York Yankees to five consecutive World Series titles in the 1940s and ’50s, Casey Stengel cut his managerial teeth in Toledo, leading the 1927 Mud Hens to the city’s first league championship. Moses Fleetwood Walker broke ground by becoming the first African-American to play in the major leagues as a member of the 1884 Toledo Blue Stockings. Ned Skeldon, Jerome Schmit and Henry Morse broke ground more literally — spearheading the transformation of an old Maumee racetrack into a ballpark that would bring baseball back to Toledo. Gene Cook was the visionary responsible for the Mud Hens references on “M*A*S*H” as well as an early advocate of the team’s move to Fifth Third Field. These six names are among those that appear on street signs and markers in the vicinity of the Down-


town ballpark. Their stories and many more make up baseball’s long and storied past in Toledo, which the Mud Hens are planning to honor with a weekend-long celebration of the city’s baseball history Aug. 3-5.

Gene Cook (1932-2002)

Gene Cook — who was the Mud Hens general manager before current president and general manager Joe Napoli — was a master innovator whose most lasting and legendary contribution to Toledo baseball may have been convincing actor and Toledo native Jamie Farr to wear a Mud Hens cap on the TV show “M*A*S*H,” according to Cook’s biography. “USA Today Baseball Weekly called it ‘one of the great public relations moves in the history of minor league baseball,’” according to the site. When Cook took the reins as general manager in 1978, baseball had been back in Toledo for more than a decade, but was floundering, said Mud Hens historian John Husman. Cook’s marketing efforts helped triple average attendance numbers. n SIGNS CONTINUES ON A43


toledo free press photo by sarah ottney

Street signs, markers denote Toledo’s rich baseball history

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n SIGNS CONTINUED FROM A42 “He really turned things around,” Husman said. “One of the first things he did was contact Jamie Farr and get him involved with the Mud Hens. You hear stories of Farr on ‘M*A*S*H’ — that was Cook doing that. Without a shadow of a doubt, we would have lost baseball in those years if not for him. He saved baseball for this city.” Cook threw the last pitch at Ned Skeldon stadium and would have thrown the first pitch at Fifth Third Field, but died two months before the new ballpark opened, Husman said. “He was a visionary about the Downtown ballpark and one of the early proponents of it. You can’t say one man made it happen, but he probably did more than anyone to make it happen,” Husman said. Cook, a longtime city councilman, vice mayor and member of the International League board of directors, came to Toledo after serving in the Korean War to attend the University of Toledo, where he played baseball, basketball and football and later semipro football. “He was a great guy; I knew him,” Husman said. “He was a big man, a very intimidating-looking guy, but you never met a friendlier guy or a guy with a bigger heart.” A baseball-shaped marker fea-

turing the number “1” on it is installed at the far left end of the upper level facade at Fifth Third Field in honor of Cook. Washington Street where it borders Fifth Third Field is Gene Cook Way. The Gene Cook Youth Athletic Foundation gives area children the opportunity to participate in athletics, including the Mud Hens’ annual Gene Cook Foundation Baseball Camp for Kids.

Casey Stengel (1890-1975)

The 2012 season marks the 85th anniversary of the 1927 Mud Hens team that won Toledo’s first league title. The team was managed by Casey who Stengel, would go on to become one of the most famous managers in STENGEL major league history, leading the New York Yankees to seven World Series titles, including five consecutive titles. Many people know his name, but most don’t realize Stengel spent his early career in Toledo, Husman said. “His name is the most recognizable of any Mud Hen we’ve ever had. He was pretty successful here — although

he also had a 200-loss season, so he did it all in Toledo,” Husman said. After a professional playing career as an outfielder from 1912-25, Stengel managed and occasionally played for the Mud Hens for six seasons, from 1926-31. “He was a character. He had a lot of witticisms called Stengelese. He talked in riddles, much the same as [another famous Yankees manager] Yogi Berra,” Husman said. “I often wondered what it would have been like to be a pitcher with Stengel and then have Yogi come out. He wouldn’t know what the heck was going on.” Stengel came to Toledo from a minor league team in Worcester, Mass., where he not only played but served as manager and general manager, Husman said. “One of the stories he liked to tell is how he got here,” Husman said. “To make himself available to Toledo, he let himself go as a player, fired himself as manager and then resigned.” Stengel was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. In 1970, he became the first manager to have his number retired by two major league teams (Yankees and New York Mets); the second was Sparky Anderson (Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds) in 2011.


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photo by sarah ottney/stengel photo courtesy robert koehler

APRIL 1, 2012

Ned Skeldon (1924-1988)

Edward “Ned” Skeldon is perhaps most widely known as the namesake for Ned Skeldon Stadium, the Maumee ballpark that was home to the Mud Hens from 1965 to 2001. Today, North Huron Street where it runs along Fifth Third Field is Ned Skeldon Way. The Toledo politician and businessman was the driving force behind bringing baseball back to Toledo in 1965, Husman said. “He probably did more than anyone else to get a team back in

Toledo,” Husman said. Skeldon’s daughter, Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak, recalls her father’s passion for baseball fondly. “We tried to never miss a game. Even on the cold and rainy spring nights or the hot and balmy summer nights, we tried to be faithful fans of the Hens!” Skeldon Wozniak wrote in an email to Toledo Free Press. “If my father were alive, he would have been a big advocate of building the stadium Downtown. n SIGNS CONTINUES ON A44


A44 n Toledo Free Press n SIGNS CONTINUED FROM A43 “My family was very supportive of giving the team a new home in a state-of-the-art facility and at a perfect regional location, allowing Northwestern Ohioans an opportunity to enjoy America’s greatest pastime. I can’t thank the community enough for continuing to recognize him for his contribution to baseball in Lucas County. I smile every time I see the [street] sign.” A graduate of Central Catholic High School and the University of Toledo and a World War II veteran, Skeldon served as a city councilman, county commissioner, vice mayor and on various boards. After an unsuccessful run for mayor in 1965, he became the head of an organization devoted to cleaning up the polluted Maumee River. His dedication to the project led to a variety of publicity stunts attempting to demonstrate the waterway’s cleanliness, including gulping down a glass of river water in 1972 and swimming across the river in 1973, according to newspaper reports. In an article published at the time of his death, friends recalled Skeldon as an energetic, enthusiastic visionary for Toledo. “Ned was a real institution around Toledo and was the first person you

called on with a problem,” said the late Harry Kessler, Toledo Municipal Court clerk, former mayor and longtime friend of Skeldon’s. “He told me that if something is good for a community, he didn’t want to hear 10 reasons why it should not be done, but one good reason why it should be done.”

Henry Morse (1908-1982)

Henry Morse, a graduate of Scott High School and the University of Toledo, was a respected Toledo banker and civic activist. An executive with Toledo Trust, Morse was part of the committee of local civil and business leaders assembled by Ned Skeldon that brought baseball back to Toledo in 1965. Morse then served as the team’s first president. According to a biography printed in a 1983 Mud Hens program, Morse was quiet and soft-spoken, often seen sitting behind the home plate screen with his trademark unlit cigar. “There is no way to measure the number of individuals whose lives he touched as he counseled leaders in industry, business, education, religion, politics, social organizations and community agencies during 50 years of dedication to his fellow human beings,” the Medical College of Ohio trustees wrote in a resolution upon

Morse’s death. Monroe Street bordering Fifth Third Field is named Henry Morse Way. A number of other local sites also bear his name, including UT’s Henry L. Morse Physical Health Research Center.

Jerome Schmit (1910-1997)

Monsignor Jerome Schmit was a Catholic priest at The Historic Church of St. Patrick in Downtown Toledo and also part of the committee assembled by Ned Skeldon to bring baseball back to Toledo. “He was actually the guy who looked out at the old county fairgrounds (at the present location on Key Street in Maumee) and said we ought to put some ball fields there,” said Skeldon, according to a 1981 newspaper article. A graduate of St. John’s Jesuit High School, Schmit was a member of the board of directors for the Mud Hens and Lucas County Recreation Center and an advocate for youth sports. “He used to go to all the Mud Hens games, but lately he hasn’t been able to because of his other duties,” Morse said in the article. “Sometimes you can see him sitting in his car beyond the foul line outside the left-field fence saying his prayers and watching a few innings.”

APRIL 1, 2012

Schmit, who overcame a speech impediment that nearly prevented him from entering the priesthood, was unrivaled at fundraising, sometimes employing unconventional methods to secure the funds he needed to keep his programs running. Although he felt placing bets himself would be improper, Skeldon said Schmit would sometimes ask him to bet on a particular horse at the racetrack for him. “He has a way of getting you to do things for him. You just want to do things for him,” Morse said in the article. In a letter published in a 1998 Mud Hens program after Schmit’s death, church employee Martha Smith called Schmit “a gem” and “a great man.” “He had the charm to raise money for charity drives, but he would never buy for himself, not even necessities,” Smith wrote. “ He lived as if his money was destined for others. He opened his heart and his pocketbook to everyone. He never refused anybody. Even if he was busy, he was always there for me or anybody else.” North St. Clair Street where it borders Fifth Third Field is named Msgr. Jerome Schmit Way.

Moses Walker (1856-1924)

Ohio-born Moses Fleetwood Walker is widely credited as the first

WALKER African-American to play major league baseball, as a barehanded catcher for the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1884. He also played for Oberlin College and the University of Michigan. Walker was known for his powerful throwing arm and aggressive base-running, according to a historical marker near the home plate gate of Fifth Third Field. The area is known as Moses Fleetwood Walker Square. Walker endured racial prejudice from teammates, opponents and fans. He eventually left baseball to become a writer, inventor, civil rights advocate and entrepreneur. He was inducted into the Ohio Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. O

APRIL 1, 2012



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APRIL 1, 2012

Helping Hens offer helping hand to area nonprofits By John Rasche


The Mud Hens have a longstanding history of contributing generously to local charities. The team awards tens of thousands of dollars in grants to nonprofit organizations through its charitable fund each year, but the team’s contribution to the community does not end there. Whether it be player appearPASTULA ances, ticket sale fundraisers or charity jersey auctions, the Mud Hens offer Toledo’s nonprofit organizations moral and financial support year-round. The Helping Hens Charitable Fund, formed in 2005, is the minor league team’s official charitable fund and is administered through the Toledo Community Foundation. The goal of the Helping Hens fund is to make a positive impact on the community, said Cheri Pastula, community relations manager for the Mud Hens. “The Mud Hens are appreciative of all the support they’ve received from the community, so they try to give it back,” Pastula said. Last season’s focus was on pro-

viding Toledo’s youth with opportunities to learn, play and love being a kid. The Hens donated $30,000 in grants to seven local nonprofits that gave underprivileged children the chance to play sports or enjoy recreational services in a safe environment. The Spina Bifida Association of Northwest Ohio was another nonprofit that received a grant, allowing the organization to send seven children with spina bifida to Camp Courageous, a summer camp in Whitehouse designed for children with special needs. “We believe that a kid should have the common experience to go to summer camp,” the association’s executive director Jennifer O’Brien said. “Children with spina bifida often have trouble relating to other people, so bringing all these kids together in camp and building those peer relationships is an important process. Without the help of the Mud Hens, we wouldn’t be able to send them.” The Monroe Street Neighborhood Center also received a grant that helped keep the organization’s Open Gym Program available to area students. The after-school program allows any student free access to the center’s full-court gym and computer lab. Students have the opportunity to play basketball or volleyball and receive help on homework from staff. “Our main goal was to keep the doors open and to let the kids have a safe environment to go to after

school,” the center’s executive director Clara Petty said. “We were able to keep that program open with the grant we received from the Mud Hens.” Other grant recipients were the Ballet Theatre of Toledo, the Inter-

For more information call 419.259.5370

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national Boxing Club, Judan Judo of Toledo, Central City Ministries of the Diocese of Toledo and the Lenawee County Education Foundation. Muddy’s Knothole Club is another way the Mud Hens hope to leave a lasting

impact. Through this initiative, local businesses partner with the team to purchase game tickets for children, many of whom have never had the experience of attending a professional baseball game. n HELPING CONTINUES ON A49

Toledo Mud Hens President/General Manager Joe Napoli and his wife Annette take a break from baseball activities to read to their five children.


players visit with Miracle League of NW Ohio. Photo courtesy Mud Hens.


APRIL 1, 2012 n HELPING CONTINUED FROM A48 Through this partnership, the Knothole Club has helped thousands of kids from Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan see America’s favorite pastime up close and personal. “There are 72 baseball games in the season, from April to September,” Pastula said. “We feel we

have so many opportunities during the baseball season to help the community more.” Some games at the Fifth Third Field are designated to support local charities by allowing the organizations to sell marked-up tickets and keep the profits. Charities are also welcome to help the staff during many of the


silent and live auctions held at the ballpark. Fans can bid on sports memorabilia, such as game-worn jerseys, while the participating charities receive a portion of the proceeds. Among this season’s scheduled charity benefit events are: O On July 20, Mud Hens players will wear pink jerseys during Pink




at the Park to support breast cancer awareness. The jerseys will be auctioned off after the game. O On Aug. 4, players will wear vintage “throwback” jerseys that will be auctioned during the game. O The popular Bat and Memorabilia Auction will be Aug. 25. Charity volunteers are also able to work concession stations at Fifth Third Field to raise money for their favorite causes. Since 2002, the Mud Hens’ concession company has donated more than $1.6 million, or about $160,000 a year, to local nonprofits, according to a news release from the club. Of the 38 nonprofits that volunteered last season, Kids World Gymnastics and Cheerleading raised the most, about $13,000. Four groups raised between $7,000 and $9,000 and eight groups raised between $4,000 and $6,000. “Mud Hens concessions has helped our cheerleaders get new uniforms, pom-poms and signs for both our special needs cheerleading squad and our competitive squads,” said Mike and Lonna Meadows of Kids World Gymnastics and Cheerleading in a statement. “Along with competitions, travel and hotels, some of our parents would not be

able to have their child compete in cheerleading or gymnastics without financial support.” The arrangement is “a win-win situation,” said Corey Pleasant, food and beverage manager at Fifth Third Field. “We have a good core of groups that come back each year and it is a pleasure working with the different organizations and meeting so many people through this program,” Pleasant said in the release. “Fundraising efforts have helped groups purchase uniforms or equipment, as well as offsetting sports tuition fees for kids who wouldn’t be able to participate if it wasn’t for this program. It’s truly a win-win situation for all parties involved.” To participate, groups must be nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations as defined in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and must operate for civic, charitable, religious and/or educational purposes. For more information, visit the website under Team Info. To donate, call (419) 725-HENS (4367) or contact Cheri Pastula at To learn more about working concessions, contact Corey Pleasant at O


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APRIL 1, 2012

New pubs and eateries abound Downtown

toledo free press photos by SARAH OTTNEY

Toledo’s Downtown entertainment district has no shortage of great options for grabbing a bite to eat before or after a Mud Hens game, including a variety of new places to try out this season. A half-dozen new pubs and eateries have opened within the past year in the vicinity of Fifth Third Field with several more slated to open this spring, some as early as April though not in time for Opening Day. The new venues will join current Downtown staples including The Blarney Irish Pub, Table Forty4, Packo’s at the Park, Grumpy’s, the Spaghetti Warehouse, Glass City Cafe, Bronze Boar, Quimby’s at the Park and more. O — Sarah Ottney





Owner Mike Scott of 151 on the Water.





B. 329

329 N. Huron St., 419-241-3777 Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. MondayWednesday, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Thursday-Saturday, closed Sundays for now.

A. 151 on the Water 151 Water St., 419-725-2151

Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 151 on the Water, 11 a.m . to midnight Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a Chicago-style a.m. Friday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday. Closed restaurant and music Sunday and Monday for now, except for special cafe, offers “fine dining engagements or rentals. Will be open Mondays without the price, in starting April 23. Reservations suggested on an upscale atmosphere weekends. with a casual attitude,” according to owner Mike Scott. The eatery opened in October near Promenade Park at the former location of Murphy’s Place. “Sweet bourbon salmon, marinated for 18 hours, is our signature dish and to die for as well as our steaks, and we have the best chicken wings in town,” Scott said. On Mud Hens game days, show your ticket to get half-off chicken wings or chicken sandwiches, or try the Muddy Dog. “It’s the best dog in Downtown; you’ll love our sauce,” Scott said. The eatery also offers a $5.99 lunch special, a nightly chef ’s feature and happy hour from 2-6 p.m. featuring $5 martinis, $3 draft beers and $2 domestics beers. The eatery’s signature rock candy martini features crushed rock candy around the glass rim. “Everybody loves it,” said Scott, who hosts a jazz show on WCWA-AM (1230) from 6-9 a.m. weekdays and formerly owned several night clubs and an ice cream/deli shop in Toledo. The venue also features smooth jazz and R&B on Tuesdays, live music over lunch and acoustic open mic night on Wednesdays, blues on Thursdays and top 40 dance bands on Fridays and Saturdays. O

The three-level 329, which opened in November, features restaurant and martini bar Studio Martini on the main level, contemporary dance music at Volume Nightclub on the top level and Government Club, a lounge for private parties, on the lower level. Featuring a bar on every level, 329 offers a full selection of draft and bottled beers, wine and liquor. Happy hour is 5-7 p.m., featuring half-off appetizers and half-off drinks. Volume Nightclub features a DJ on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays while the restaurant hosts a live band. Menu options include appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, steak and more. Dress is casual at lunch, but more dressy on nights and weekends, said owner Moe Tawfik. “People are talking about this place, that it’s nice and classy and fun,” Tawfik said. “I want people to have a good time, get home safe and talk to their friends about us.” O

C. The Bar

513 Jefferson Ave., 419-252-6528 Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, noon to 11 p.m. Sunday. Will also open two hours prior to all Downtown games and events. The Bar, which opened in September across from the Huntington Center, features two full bars and five pool tables, including an upstairs pool room. More than 40 pool league teams play at the venue each week as part of the Northwest Ohio American Poolplayers Association. The recently opened kitchen serves “upscale bar food,” including steak and chicken sandwiches, burgers, wings and more, said owner Jeremy Mitchell. Happy hour is weekdays from 4-7 p.m. The venue also offers live entertainment, including a DJ and karaoke on Saturday nights and the occasional live band. The Bar will be open at 10 a.m. April 4 when the Tigers play the Mud Hens and at noon on April 6 for Mud Hens Opening Day, Mitchell said. O


D. Lazeez Mediterranean Cuisine 337 N. St. Clair St., 419-243-8485

With a name meaning “delicious” in Arabic, this family-owned eatery will offer Lebanese cuisine, including gyros, in a casual, fast-food style format, said Nader Salami. The recent Whitmer High School graduate, along with his brother Sam Salami, will run the business, which is under construction and set to open sometime in April at the former location of Andrew Z’s Pizzeria. Their father, Jawdat Salami, will be chef, using his own recipes from his childhood in Lebanon. Lebanese food is known for being healthy and flavorful, Salami said. The eatery will take both dine-in and carryout orders, with all dishes made from scratch and cooked to order. O


APRIL 1, 2012


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A52 n Toledo Free Press

E. Our Brothers Place 233 N. Huron St., 419-244-5552

Our Brothers Place, which opened in June across from the Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m. Huntington Center, to 2:30 a.m. Friday, 6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Saturday, 6 p.m. to midnight Sunday aims to fill a dining and entertainment niche for the 30 and older n Al Garmon and professional crowd. The atmosphere Mike Johnson co-own Our is “casual with a little beat of Brothers Place upscale,” said Mike Johnson, who along with owns the venue with his brother Glenn Johnson Glenn Johnson and brother-in-law (not pictured). Al Garmon. Shrimp is the most popular item on the menu, which also features crab cakes, burgers, wings, tilapia, chicken, club sandwiches and salad, Garmon said. The two-story eatery offers two fullservice bars, happy hour 4-8 p.m. daily except Saturday, 50-cent wings and $1 draft beer on Mondays, free ballroom dancing on Wednesdays, comedy night and $3 sex on the beach drinks on Thursdays and live jazz and R&B on Saturdays. “Usually the compliment we get is ‘We needed something like this for a long time,’ Mike said. “We want people to take in the atmosphere and have a nice night out with good music, good food and good conversation.” O


APRIL 1, 2012

Registry Bistro, slated to open this spring, will feature a dinner menu of contemporary American bistro cuisine with an emphasis Secor Building, 144 N. Superior St. on “shared plates,” said chef Erika Rapp, who 419-725-0444, co-owns the eatery with her mother Vickie Hours: 4:30 (bar)/5 (dinner) to 10 p.m. Rapp. Shared plates, similar to appetizers, Tuesday-Thursday, 4:30 (bar)/5 (dinner) are designed as an option for diners on their to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, closed way to a game or show without the time Sunday-Monday except on game days to commit to a full dinner, Erika said. The “casual elegant” eatery will also serve full dinners as well as lighter fare such as entree salads and sandwiches. The menu will change seasonally and the full bar will feature American craft cocktails, craft beer and boutique wine, said Erika, who was formerly chef at the Toledo Museum of Art and executive chef at Diva. The venue is on the first floor of the Secor Building, which connects to the Huntington Center, SeaGate Centre and the Port Lawrence Garage via skyways. Rapp said she hopes diners experience great food and exceptional service. “We want to make sure everyone feels comfortable and has a great time,” Rapp said. “That’s really what we’re focusing on.” O

F. Registry Bistro

Slap Shots, which reopened in March under new management, offers a full-service bar, happy hour 4-9 p.m. daily and a bar menu of burgers, sandwiches, wings and more. The venue also features a club area, including a dance floor, mirrored walls and another full-service bar, where owner Corey Hughes, a 22-year-old Sylvania Northview High School graduate, hosts monthly theme parties. Live bands and DJs perform regularly and Hughes said he plans to start hosting rooftop parties as well. G. Slap Shots “I just want people to have fun and leave 319 N. Superior St., 419-246-9966 happy,” Hughes said. O Hours: Opens 11 a.m. Monday-Friday, opens 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday


APRIL 1, 2012


n A53

H. Weekdays

614 Adams St., 419-244-8771 Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday, closed Saturday-Sunday This casual, family-owned diner opened in February, serving breakfast and lunch, and offering a dine-in area as well as carryout. The breakfast menu includes omelets, pancakes, French toast, eggs, biscuits and gravy, muffins, bagels, Caribou Coffee and more. For lunch, the eatery’s homemade soups and Detroit-style coney dogs are among the most popular, said manager Sean Shikwana, whose father Yousif Shikwana, a longtime Toledo business owner, owns the eatery. “People have been going crazy for those,” Sean said. The lunch menu also offers sandwiches, burgers (including a vegetarian-friendly black bean burger) and salads. “For just opening, it’s been going better than we could have expected,” Sean said. “Everybody loves the food, everybody loves the prices. We see the same people in here three to four times a week, so we must be doing something right.” O


I. Ye Olde Cock n’ Bull Tavern 9 N. Huron St.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday-Sunday

Ye Olde Cock n’ Bull Tavern, set to open in April, will be a casual pub featuring a covered, four-season patio facing the home plate gate at Fifth Third Field. “I wanted a name that was quirky, urban and fun,” said owner Jim Mettler, a Toledo native who was formerly general manager at Table Forty4. “You see a name like that and you know what you’re getting into. It’s going to be a fun, friendly place.” The menu will feature soups, salads, hot and cold sandwiches, appetizers and daily specials and the fully stocked bar will offer 34 draft beers plus wine, liquor and bottled beer. Mettler also plans to offer live entertainment. “I hope people find a fun, relaxed atmosphere to meet with friends, make new friends and have a bite to eat,” Mettler said. O

J. Ye Olde Durty Bird

Manager Sean Shikwana of Weekdays.


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Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday. Hours subject to change Named after The Durty Bird, one of the space’s most popular former tenants, Ye Olde Durty Bird opened Downtown on St. Patrick’s Day and is open daily for lunch and dinner. The casual eatery offers fresh soups, salads and sandwiches as well as a grill menu that include burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches and more, all made with fresh, locally grown produce, said general manager Julie Ketterman, who owns the business with her sister Linda Ball. The venue — most recently the location of Jed’s At The Yard — offers daily specials, a full bar including a Bloody Mary bar every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. The decor is “warm, cozy and a tribute to Toledo,” Ketterman said. O


K. Italian restaurant 611 Monroe St.

An Italian restaurant is under construction at 611 Monroe St. No further details were available. O


Grounds crew keeps ballpark at its best

APRIL 1, 2012

toledo free press photo by joseph herr

A54 n Toledo Free Press

By Vincent D. Scebbi


As fans begin to pour into Fifth Third Field on April 4 for the exhibition game against the Tigers and for Mud Hens Opening Day two days later, they may notice the grass inside the stadium is greener than their backyards. This is partially thanks to the warmer-than-average winter Toledo experienced, but it’s mostly due to almost constant maintenance by Sports Turf Manager Jake Tyler and the rest of the Mud Hens grounds crew. Tyler said the crew fertilizes the grass 11 months out of year, including November and December, when the crew does work on the warning track. n FIELD CONTINUES ON A56


Jake Tyler is sports turf manager for the toledo mud hens.

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A56 n Toledo Free Press n FIELD CONTINUED FROM A54

baseball diamond, “you get a sense of how much moisture you lose,” he said. Ideally, a baseball cleat should go into the dirt and not take any chunks out with it, which Tyler tests by wearing his own and running in the dirt. “Until you put on a pair of cleats, you have no idea how [the infield] feels,” he said. Tyler said the red infield dirt is from Alabama and is a mixture of sand, silt and clay. In March, the crew takes the new mix and cultivates and tills it into the ground. Next, they laser-grade the infield to within one-thirtieth of an inch lower than the outfield. “Ideally, you would be able to walk from the infield into the outfield blindfolded and not notice the difference,” Tyler said. At night, the crew adds about one inch of water to the infield dirt, allowing it to seep in overnight and save water usage during the day. The crew also sprays the dirt with light coats of water on game days. While many fans think they are settling dust, the truth is the grounds crew is keeping the moisture levels consistent, Tyler said. The warning track, which is composed of crushed brick and shell stone, is watered twice a day to prevent dust. The difference in the material helps outfielders hear when they are close to the wall and adjust accordingly, Tyler said. “We have to maintain moisture in every inch of this ball park,” he said. Tyler, a native of Jackson, Tenn., who has worked with organizations

such as the Louisville Bats and New York Mets, earned the International League’s Sports Turf Manager of the Year award from 2006-08 while the Mud Hens earned the Triple-A Field of the Year in 2006 and 2007. “I know a lot of people are proud of Fifth Third Field and they bring visitors to the games and show them how beautiful it is,” said Jason Griffin,

director of public and media relations for the Mud Hens. The ballpark was also selected as a set for the film “Homerun Showdown” in 2010 because the film’s producers said it “looked like a major league facility,” Griffin said. He added that the actors from California said Fifth Third looked better than some major league stadiums like Los Angeles’ Dodger Sta-

dium and Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Tyler said he used to be more focused on awards and recognition, but is now mostly concerned with maintaining the field. “I just like taking care of a baseball field because that’s the way I would want it,” he said. “I’d like the fans to take a sense of pride in their hometown.” O



toledo free press photo by joseph herr

The crew also adds a winter feed containing nutrients such as magnesium and nitrogen that help the field “pop.” This year, not all of the grass went dormant over the winter months, which Tyler said made the work this spring easier. He and the crew began mowing the grass Feb. 28, almost a week before their typical start date. “It’s been really easy this year, knock on wood,” he said. Because of the head start, most of the major work was done by midMarch, meaning the work to be done between then and the first pitch will be “fine, minute details,” such as grooming the pitcher’s mound and the infield slope, Tyler said. While grass is what most fans notice first when walking into the ballpark, Tyler said the majority of the crew’s work is done in the infield. “Seventy percent of the game is played on the dirt,” he said. Tyler said part of his job is working with weather conditions and scheduling around Mother Nature. “I monitor the weather every hour of the day,” Tyler said. “You have to adapt to the surroundings.” The field has to maintain a constant moisture level, which is always changing because of shifts in heat, humidity and rain. On humid days, for example, the dirt needs less moisture because not as much is being evaporated into the atmosphere. The goal is to tweak the field and keep it as consistent as possible for players on a day-to-day basis, Tyler said. After 16 years of maintaining a

APRIL 1, 2012


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n A57

Muddy Shuttles offer ‘convenient, affordable’ ride By Sarah Ottney


More than a dozen Park-N-Ride locations in Toledo and the surrounding area offer area residents the

option to catch a bus to or from games at Fifth Third Field on one of TARTA’s Muddy Shuttles. It’s an option worth checking out, said Steve Atkinson, director of marketing for TARTA. “It’s very easy to use, very user-

friendly,” Atkinson said. “It saves on gas and saves on parking. With the several Park-N-Ride locations surrounding Toledo, you can basically park your car and climb aboard the bus and be dropped off steps away from the field. It’s a safe,

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convenient, affordable and worryfree way to travel.” There are 13 Park-N-Ride locations in Toledo, Maumee, Ottawa Hills, Perrysburg, Rossford, Sylvania and Waterville where Muddy Shuttles stop. Muddy Shuttles will continue to operate to and from Perrysburg for the duration of the 2012 Mud Hens regular season despite the community’s vote March 6 to opt out of TARTA bus service, Atkinson said. Rossford and Sylvania Township are also considering an opt-out vote. TARTA service to Perrysburg will continue until at least October, or for six months from the date the results are certified by the Wood County Board of Elections and then finalized by the TARTA board of trustees, Atkinson said. The final Mud Hens home game of the season is Monday, Sept. 3. “No matter what, we will fulfill Muddy Shuttle service to Perrysburg for the remainder of this Mud Hens season,” Atkinson said. There will no longer be Walleye Shuttle service from Perrysburg to hockey games at Huntington Center this fall or to Mud Hens games next season. Muddy Shuttle ridership numbers have remained fairly consistent since the service started in 2002 when Fifth Third Field opened, Atkinson said. In 2011, there were 19,583 passenger boardings on Muddy Shuttles, counting trips both to and from games, Atkinson said. That’s down from the 21,692 passenger boardings recorded for 2010. Waterville Plaza again had the highest ridership in 2011, with 3,588 passenger boardings, Atkinson said. Next most popular was the Lucas County Recreation Center in Maumee with 2,751, followed by Centennial Terrance in Sylvania with 2,558.

River Place Shopping Center in Perrysburg had the fourth-highest number of boardings, with 2,136. No. 5 was Toledo’s Miracle Mile with 1,586, No. 6 was Toledo’s Southland Shopping Center with 1,232, No. 7 was Toledo’s Alexis Road Meijer with 1,224, No. 8 was Perrysburg’s Country Charm Shoppes with 1,218, No. 9 was Ottawa Hills’ Westgate Sears ATKINSON with 1,018, No. 10 was Rossford’s All Saints Catholic Church with 796 and No. 11 was St. Luke’s Hospital in Maumee with 748. Westfield Franklin Park had the lowest ridership in 2011 with 728. Muddy Shuttle ridership statistics are not kept for the Adams Street stops because, unlike the others, it’s part of a regular TARTA route, not a special route for game days, Atkinson said. Muddy Shuttles leave from each location one hour before home game start times and go directly to Fifth Third Field. Riders can be dropped off on either the first-base or third-base sides of the field. Return trips leave from the firstbase side of the field on Washington Street 20 minutes after the end of the game. For games that feature postgame fireworks, buses leave 20 minutes after the display. TARTA supervisors are on hand after games to make sure riders find the right bus, Atkinson said. The bus marquee displays the name of the Park-N-Ride destination while loading or unloading and reads “GO HENS” while in transit, Atkinson said. Cost is $1 per trip ($2 for a round trip), the same as regular bus fare. For more information, visit www. O


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O Maumee: Lucas County Recreation Center (2901 Key St., north lot ) O Maumee: St. Luke’s Hospital (5901 Monclova Road) O Ottawa Hills: Westgate Sears (3474 W. Central Ave., west of Sears) O Perrysburg: Country Charm Shoppes (106 W. South Boundary, near shelter) O Perrysburg: River Place Shopping Center (26597 Dixie Hwy., at stop sign near Walt Churchill’s Market/Charlie’s) O Rossford: All Saints Catholic Church (628 Lime City Road, near Schreier Road) O Sylvania: Centennial Terrace (5773 Centennial Road, main parking lot) O Toledo: Alexis Road Meijer (1500 E. Alexis Road, main parking lot) O Toledo: Miracle Mile Shopping Center (1727 W. Laskey Road, near shelter) O Toledo: Southland Shopping Center (3320 Glendale Ave., behind Fifth Third Bank) O Toledo: Westfield Franklin Park (4121 Royer Road, shelter across from Kohl’s) O Toledo: Uptown on Adams (1815 Adams St., three stops between 14th and 20th streets) O Waterville: Waterville Plaza (1320 Michigan Ave., near shelter at Kroger) O


A58 n Toledo Free Press

APRIL 1, 2012

Muddy’s Buddies caters to youngest Hens fans By Brigitta Burks


Young fans of the Mud Hens are eligible for some special perks if they join Muddy’s Buddies Kids Club. The popular, free program draws

in about 2,000 kids every season, said Emily Croll, special events coordinator for the Mud Hens. “Muddy’s Buddies has turned into a ballpark staple for sure,” she said. “We even get requests from Connecticut, the East Coast, the South. We get requests from kids all over, not just

kids at the games.” Perks include $1 off kids’ tickets to Monday and Tuesday games, a free prize upon signing up at guest services, opportunities for autographs and chances to run the bases. McDonald’s, a sponsor, offers members three free Hamburger

Happy Meals with the purchase of one Extra Value Meal or Premium Entree Salad. The Muddy’s Buddies membership also gives families 10 percent off select gear at the Swamp Shop, which parents love, Croll said. “Nothing’s better than getting their

kid a prize and being able to go and get something for cheaper,” she said. Club members can also attend an open field day. In the past, the program has been more of a skills clinic, but is now moving toward a different structure. n MUDDY CONTINUES ON A59

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Muddy with a fan. Photo by Lad STrayer, courtesy Toledo Mud hens.


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APRIL 1, 2012 n MUDDY CONTINUED FROM A58 â&#x20AC;&#x153;This year, we are changing it to more of a field day,â&#x20AC;? Croll said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are just trying to get people not to be like, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Oh, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a baseball camp, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to take my kids there.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? The date for the field day is still to be decided. Other events are also in the works, Croll said. Children are important to both the Mud Hens and the Walleye, Toledoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hockey team, but while chil-

dren get involved with the Walleye, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t at the same level as with the Mud Hens, Croll said. That could be because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easier to get children involved in the summer and the fact that the Huntington Center isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own facility so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s harder to do events there, she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kids are just a huge part of [the Mud Hens],â&#x20AC;? Croll said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re always looking for new ways to get

kids involved and get them on the field and to meet players.â&#x20AC;? Mud Hens players can also serve as good role models for the children. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a very positive environment. A lot



of players who come to these events have gotten here because theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made the right decisions along the way, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done things and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked hard,â&#x20AC;? Croll said. To join, children must pledge: â&#x20AC;&#x153;As an Official Member of the Muddyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Buddies Kids Club, I pledge to uphold the highest standards of honesty, fairness and good DANCING as demonstrated by Muddy the Mud Hen. I further

n A59

pledge to remain a lifelong Mud Hens fan.â&#x20AC;? Children age 12 and younger can join Muddyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Buddies. Registration is free. Parents can sign their children up for Muddyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Buddies at guest services at Fifth Third Field, select McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s restaraunt locations in the Toledo area or online at www. under the listing for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fan Center.â&#x20AC;? O

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O 1. April 14: vs. Columbus (Opening Day): 12,825 O 2. July 9: vs. Columbus: 12,000 O T3. July 16: vs. Scranton: 11,500 O Aug. 20: vs. Louisville: 11,500 O T5. June 25: vs. Louisville: 11,000 O July 30: vs. Syracuse: 11,000 O Aug. 27: vs. Buffalo: 11,000


8. June 11: vs. Rochester: 10,700 9. Aug. 11: vs. Louisville: 10,500 T10. May 24: vs. Pawtucket: 10,300 June 22: vs. Columbus: 10,300 June 27: vs. Louisville: 10,300 July 15: vs. Scranton: 10,300 July 29: vs. Norfolk: 10,300 Aug. 21: vs. Louisville: 10,300 Aug. 26: vs. Buffalo: 10,300 O â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Source: Toledo Mud Hens


A60 n Toledo Free Press

APRIL 1, 2012

Tigers’ relationship with spring training city longest in MLB By Mike Bauman


Down in Lakeland, Fla., the boys of summer actually start arriving prior to the onset of spring and have been doing so since 1934. Save for three seasons during World War II, when the team played its spring ball in Evansville, Ind., Lakeland has been the spring training home for the Detroit Tigers. It is a relationship that’s in its 76th season, the longest between a major league team and a spring training city. MYERS Tigers fans from across the country flock to “Tiger Town” each spring to take in the historic atmosphere surrounding Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. “Every day, you come across people that this has been something they’ve wanted to do their whole life, is come to Joker Marchant Stadium and see a game, or come to Tiger Town and just see it,” said Ron Myers, the Tigers’

director of Lakeland operations, who started as an intern with the organization in 1981. “The exciting part is to see how many people know about this place, and it’s always been on their list of things to do. Once they see it, they feel it, they experience it, you can see the smile on their face, and I think any time I see that, it just makes you feel pretty special.”

‘Smokeless factory’

In Lakeland, the Tigers represent more than just a professional baseball team to check out each spring. Since Detroit first started playing spring ball at Henley Field in 1934, the organization has became a fixture in the community. “We’re a smokeless factory in the community,” Myers said. “And our job is to produce major league players.” “The real magic, I think, to the Lakeland and Detroit relationship has been the longevity,” said Bill Tinsley, who serves as liaison to the Tigers and manager of community resources development for Lakeland. “Jim Campbell as the [former] president and CEO for the organization had a great relationship with the

parks and recreation department and other city officials.” Tinsley has worked for the City of Lakeland since 1971 and became the city’s parks and recreation director in 1993 prior to his current position. With more than 40 years of experience, he has seen the relationship between Lakeland and the Tigers grow into what it is today. “The Tigers have been engaged in the community since their inception here, or their first arrival here, back in the days when they came in on a train,” Tinsley said. “The chamber of commerce and TINSLEY the city have recognized their value to the community and the contributions here. They used to meet them at the train and carry their bags to the hotel downtown that they stayed in back in the early years.” As times have changed and baseball has evolved during the past century, so has Detroit’s relationship with Lakeland. What used to be an eightweek spring training process is now

a yearlong courtship between the city and the Tigers. “Now, 12 months out of the year the Tigers have a presence in the community with operations and activities that are going on,” Tinsley said. “They’re engaged, and the facility operates as a great sports revenue source. We call it our ‘smokeless factory,’ if you will, in that there is a tourism element that is 12 months out of the year with teams coming in and everything from college to high school to amateur sports, pro sports and activities that are going on that the Tigers are playing host to.”

Mutual respect

The common thread between Lakeland and the Tigers in their 76 seasons together is a mutual respect for the other. “It’s just something that if we all walked in the same room together, if nobody had a logo on, you wouldn’t know who worked for the City of Lakeland or the Detroit Tigers,” Myers said. “It’s an all for one, one for all. It’s a relationship that’s very hard to describe because it’s so good.” For Tinsley, that level of respect for the Detroit organization grew from

the way the Tigers front office has treated city officials. “Dave Dombrowski, Al [Avila] — these are folks that treat us as partners and equals, not as in service to them,” Tinsley said. “There is a reasonableness that’s brought to our relationship, an understanding of the economics that we have.” According to Tinsley, all the facilities in the state of Florida are managed, run and owned by either municipal or county government, except for those operated by Disney. The Tigers, he said, have brought a give-and-take nature to their relationship with Lakeland and stay true to their word. “If you’re looking for what really is the key to the sustainability of an organization, it’s having excellent business people that whatever they say, you can take it to the bank,” Tinsley said. “And that’s the open, honest relationship we’ve had from the Tiger organization, from the owner down to the people in the front office.” That mutual respect at the top has had a trickledown effect on the many players Myers and Tinsley have seen over the years, including Toledo’s 2011 Pitcher of the Year Duane Below. n LAKELAND CONTINUES ON A61

Good luck to the 2012 Mud Hens!


APRIL 1, 2012 n LAKELAND CONTINUED FROM A60 “From here in Lakeland to every level, everybody’s been great,” Below told Toledo Free Press from Lakeland, where he was spring training with the Tigers. A native of Britton, Mich., Below was drafted by Detroit in 2006 and has worked his way up the ranks of the organization, from Single-A ball to competing for a spot in the rotation with the Tigers.

“They want you to succeed,” Below said. “They help you in any way they can, and I think that goes a long way to say for Mr. Ilitch, in hiring the staff that he has.” Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers as well as the Detroit Red Wings. Lakeland has been such a special place that several Detroit players either keep a residence there or call it home, including star pitcher Justin Verlander.

“These guys learn to love this city because quality of life has always been important in our city,” Tinsley said. “No small part is the contribution that’s made by the Tigers’ residence here.”

The early years

Since the time Clare “Doc” Henley and the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce approached the Tigers in 1933 about making the city their spring


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training destination, making the Detroit organization and its players feel at home has been a priority for the city and its parks and recreation department, which maintains the Tiger Town facilities. “Our parks and recreation department, we’re so proud of them,” Tinsley said. “They do have almost a sinful pride in the complex, in its history. I don’t think you can plan well without taking a good look back.” Detroit’s early years in Lakeland were spent at Henley Field, a 1,000seat ballpark which saw the likes of Al Kaline, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams in its heyday. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 and is still used by Florida Southern College and Lakeland High School. In 1966, the Tigers began playing at their current spring training home, Joker Marchant Stadium, named after Lakeland’s former Parks and Recreation Director Marcus Thigpen Marchant, who went by “Joker” and played a vital role in making sure Detroit was taken care of in Lakeland. With an original seating capacity of 4,900, Joker Marchant Stadium has undergone several expansion and renovation projects to bring the ballpark up to date. Including the estimated 1,000 lawn seats on the berm, the stadium now has an approximate capacity of 9,000. “The city has just been great in bending over backward to make sure that our facilities don’t take a backseat to anybody, even though our age is a lot more than some of the newer complexes being built,” Myers said. Among the criteria discussed when considering any upgrades to Joker Marchant Stadium and Tiger Town are player development and fan enhancement, the latter of which was brought to the table by Tigers’ President and General Manager Dave Dombrowski, Tinsley said “Our leadership has been able to focus on the big picture and view and recognize that $35 to $40 million of economic impact — our stimulus that comes from having a major league team spring train in your city — are real dollars that are vested into your community,” Tinsley said. Development of Tiger Town started in the 1950s at the location where the Lodwick School of Aeronautics and Lakeland Municipal Airport once stood. Sprawled across 85 acres and home to both the Tigers and their Class-A advanced affiliate, the Lakeland Flying Tigers, Tiger Town features a three-story dormitory, cafeteria, recreation hall and administrative building, making it both a historically unique and comfortable facility for players. “The city officials, the city manager

n A61

Doug Thomas, going all the way back throughout the years the city has been a great supporter of ours,” Myers said. “They understand what a great relationship this is, along with the county. So we have a city, the county, that are these great backers of our organization. It’s just been a great relationship all the way around.”

Keeping it going

Neither party sees the historic relationship between Lakeland and the Tigers ending in the foreseeable future. “I was not in every discussion that’s taken place over the 76 years, but I can tell you the relationship between the Detroit Tigers and the City of Lakeland and Polk County would be hard to be replaced,” Myers said. The team’s current contract with Lakeland expires in 2016, but Tinsley said he doesn’t think anybody on either side wants the relationship broken. “The way that you do that and keep that from happening is keep surprises out of the relationship,” Tinsley said. “Open, honest communication exists, and then future planning to anticipate needs before they become emergency needs that can’t be taken care of. So we’re always looking at ‘How are we going to improve ourselves and make ourselves better and stay on top?’” Not to mention he and Myers have had a lot of fun at their respective jobs over the years. Myers, who grew up in Michigan with a college baseball coach for a father, has had baseball in his blood since he was a batboy for his dad. He has cherished the opportunity to work with the many players he’s seen over the years, including Verlander, Below, the longest-tenured Tiger and fan favorite Brandon Inge and Michigan native John Smoltz. “There’s too many to name,” Myers said of memories created over the years. “Every day, I consider it a blessing. I’ve had a great career. I enjoy what I do. I mean, I could go for days as far as [memories go], and I’d leave one out and that would probably be better than the next one. I’m very grateful, and I’m very lucky to have the position that I have.” Tinsley, meanwhile, has formed friendships with many Tigers over the years and has taken great pride in showing them what Florida has to offer, from fishing and wild hog hunting to catching an alligator with Bo Schembechler’s son. “I will tell you I love the people that I’ve met and have learned to appreciate that although they are big celebrities on the national front, many of these folks one-on-one, they’re good people,” Tinsley said. “I’ve just met so many quality people through that relationship that it’s just been a gift to me. “I hit the job lotto 42 years ago.” O


A62. n Toledo Free Press

APRIL 1, 2012

Princely visitors: Tigers to play Hens in exhibition for charity By Zach Davis


For the first time since 2000, the Detroit Tigers are coming to Toledo. The Mud Hens will host Detroit in an exhibition game at noon April 4 at Fifth Third Field, with all proceeds set to go to charity. Half will go to the Detroit Tigers Foundation and the other half to the Helping Hens Charitable Fund. Gates open at 10 a.m. The meeting will mark the first exhibition game between the Tigers and Mud Hens since they played at Ned Skeldon Stadium in Maumee on June 1, 2000. The game is scheduled to be broadcast on FOX Sports Detroit. Such exhibition games between a parent club and its affiliate team are rare, said Dan Lunetta, Tigers director of minor league operations. “These types of games are a rarity anymore; clubs now oftentimes go to a major league venue to conclude the spring training portion of the schedule,” Lunetta said. “It’s not a common occurrence.” While the practice of minor league teams hosting their major league af-

Good Luck Mud ! Hens

filiates has become uncommon, it was not always that way. In fact, as part of the affiliation agreement between Major League Baseball and its minor leagues, the parent company used to be required to play its Triple-A club in an exhibition or pay the club $10,000. Around 2000, however, that rule was negotiated out of the agreement and the game became optional, leading to the 12-year hiatus since the Tigers have been to Toledo. “Over the years, [Tigers general manager] Dave Dombrowski, Dan Lunetta and I have always had conversations about the possibility,” said Mud Hens President and General Manager Joe Napoli. “The Tigers are kind of in a tough spot because everyone would love to host a Tigers exhibition game, including other communities, Double-A, Single-A and rookie ball clubs. All those cities would love to have them too.” In order to bring the Tigers to town, Napoli made an offer they couldn’t refuse. He suggested Toledo host the game and the teams could split the proceeds between their respective charities. n TIGERS CONTINUES ON A64


The Detroit Tigers take the field at ned skeldon stadium in 2000. photo courtesy lowell and shirley hinkle.


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A64 n Toledo Free Press n TIGERS CONTINUED FROM A62 “That was the deal-maker,” Lunetta said. “Even absent of that, we most likely would have still scheduled the game, but when Joe made that proposal to us, that really allowed us to say, ‘Let’s play the game this year.’ What a wonderful thing to do for the charitable organizations that will benefit from the game.” “They got back to us and said they loved the idea,” Napoli said. “That’s the notion that persuaded the Tigers

to consider it and we can’t be more thankful. The Toledo community has responded in outstanding fashion, as they always do, so we are going to have a huge crowd and, as a result, over time there will be many charitable organizations that will benefit from the net proceeds.” The exhibition game is set for the day before Detroit’s 1 p.m. April 5 season-opener at home against the Boston Red Sox. The Tigers will travel to Toledo by bus and will take batting

practice prior to the game, which will be open to the public. That type of exposure to Detroit’s fans in Toledo is exactly what Lunetta and the Tigers are looking to bring. “When you have your Triple-A club located so close to your major league club, there is going to be a natural strong fan base because of the close proximity,” Lunetta said. “At least now with the exhibition game, it gives the fans the opportunity to see the club live in a one-time game.”

APRIL 1, 2012

The game will give some fans the opportunity to see players they once watched play in a Mud Hens uniform.

Toledo veterans

Among the Tigers’ 40-man roster, 19 have played in Toledo. Those players are Al Alburquerque (pitcher), Duane Below (pitcher), Brennan Boesch (outfield), Phil Coke (pitcher), Andy Dirks (outfield), Brandon Inge (third base), Don Kelly (utility), Luis Marte (pitcher), Victor Martinez (catcher), Andy Oliver


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(pitcher), Rick Porcello (pitcher), Ryan Raburn (outfield), Ramon Santiago (second base), Max Scherzer (pitcher), Daniel Schlereth (pitcher), Jacob Turner (pitcher), Brayan Villarreal (pitcher), Adam Wilk (pitcher) and Danny Worth (third base). “There’s no question there are going to be guys that played for Toledo that most likely will never see Toledo again,” Lunetta said. “I’m sure it presents some nice memories for them.” n TIGERS CONTINUES ON A65

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APRIL 1, 2012 n TIGERS CONTINUED FROM A64 Another connection is Tigers manager Jim Leyland, a native of Perrysburg. Leyland’s son, Patrick, was drafted by the Tigers in 2010. The Tigers and Mud Hens have the fifth-longest affiliation between a major league team and its Triple-A affiliate, behind the Atlanta Braves/ Gwinnett Braves (1966), Kansas City Royals/Omaha Storm Chasers (1969), Boston Red Sox/Pawtucket Red Sox (1973) and Chicago Cubs/Iowa Cubs

(1981). The Tigers and Mud Hens joined forces in 1987. “We have a tremendous longstanding relationship with the Toledo Mud Hens,” LEYLAND said Tigers president, CEO and general manager Dave Dombrowski in a news release. “This exhibition game


gives Mud Hens fans an opportunity to see the Tigers at Fifth Third Field, which is one of the finest ballparks in all of minor league baseball.” With it having been 12 years since the Tigers last came to Toledo and no word when the next meeting might be, Tigers fans who want to see their team play at Fifth Third Field may be waiting a while if they cannot get tickets to this year’s game. “There are no guarantees this will happen again,” Napoli said. “The Ti-

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gers were gracious enough to do it and we as a community are lucky enough to have the timing work out where they have a fantastic team. We are talking about arguably three of the top 10 players in the game being on the Tigers with Prince Fielder, [Miguel] Cabrera and [Justin] Verlander. How often does that happen? We are incredibly excited.” Season ticket holders were given the first opportunity to purchase tickets before about 1,000 tickets

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were offered to the general public Jan. 7, selling out within 15 minutes, said Erik Ibsen, Mud Hens assistant general manager of tickets and operations. A limited number of standingroom only tickets, which went on sale starting March 3, are left for the game, he said. The Mud Hens will follow up the game with its home opener April 6 against Indianapolis at 5 p.m., kicking off a three-game weekend series with the Indians. O

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A66 n Toledo Free Press

APRIL 1, 2012

Detroit Tigers to host law enforcement appreciation night

On April 19, the Detroit Tigers will host its annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers and their families. The event, which will take place during the 7:05 p.m. game against the Texas Rangers, will help raise awareness and funds for the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C., projected to open in 2014. The privately funded, 55,000-square-foot museum will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibits, collections, research and education, according to a news release. A $39 ticket package includes a ticket to the game, a food and beverage voucher and a co-branded

Detroit Tigers and National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund commemorative coin. The Tigers will donate $10 from each ticket sold to the memorial fund to support the museum. Craig W. Floyd, chairman and CEO of the memorial fund, said the organization is proud to partner with the Tigers. “Coming together in Michigan for food, fun and championship baseball in honor of our nation’s law enforcement officers is sure to be a great evening — and a great way to raise awareness and funds for the museum,” Floyd said in a statement. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private nonprofit organization that maintains a memorial in Washington, D.C., containing the names of 19,298

officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The organization is now working to create the first-ever National Law Enforcement Museum. For more information, visit So far, the museum has raised more than $56 million of its $80 million capital campaign. Former presi-

dents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton serve as co-chairs of the museum’s national honorary campaign committee, which also includes seven former attorneys general of the United States, other former government officials and celebrities, including honorary chairman Clint Eastwood. For more information,

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A68 n Toledo Free Press

APRIL 1, 2012

International League offers Hens strong competition By Zach Davis


Entering its 128th year, the International League (IL) is readying for another season, with opening days beginning April 5. Thirteen teams in the 14-team league, home to the Toledo Mud Hens, will look to dethrone the Columbus Clippers, Governors’ Cup champions for the past two seasons. The league is full of talent from top to bottom and ready to entertain area fans who visit Fifth Third Field this year.

up the minor league ranks after competing in Double-A last season. On the pitching staff, the Mets have two top hurlers in their system. 2009 sixth-overall pick Zack Wheeler leads the group after being acquired last season from the Giants for AllStar Carlos Beltran and may be able to reach Triple-A by the end of the season. He is the league’s 28th-overall prospect in 2012. Also approaching the Bisons rotation is the major league’s No. 37 prospect Matt Harvey, who pitched in Double-A Binghamton last year. Harvey was the seventh-overall pick in 2010 and recorded a 3.32 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 59 innings.

At the plate, most of Chicago’s top hitting prospects are still in Single-A, including outfielders Trayce Thompson and Keenyn Walker and infielders Tyler Saladino and Juan Silverio. Charlotte does have shortstop Osvaldo Martinez, one of the team’s top prospects, penciled into the lineup. An 11th round pick in 2006, Martinez hit .245 for the Knights last year and saw limited action for the White Sox. Chicago traded closer Sergio Santos in the offseason, making way for Addison Reed, the MLB’s No. 99 top prospect, to move up from Charlotte to the major leagues to compete for the closer’s role. The Knights, however, obtained Nestor Molina in the Santos deal and he instantly became one of their top prospects. Molina, a prospect out of Venezuela, racked up a 2.21 ERA in the Blue Jays minor league system last year.



pects, including third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and second baseman Jason Kipnis, the Indians loaded up on veterans that could provide depth. The Indians’ top overall prospect is 19-year-old Puerto Rican Francisco Lindor, the No. 32 prospect in the league. The shortstop was Cleveland’s eighth-overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft and has the talent and potential to reach the Triple-A level by the end of the season. Leftfielder Nick Weglarz should make a big impact in the Clippers lineup and could have a shot at the Indians roster at some point this year. Nick Hagadone leads the pitchers in Columbus as he continues to battle for a spot in the Indians bullpen. The 26-year-old lefty was traded to Cleveland along with Justin Masterson from Boston for Victor Martinez in 2009.

by their 2011 trade of pitcher Matt Garza to the Cubs, bringing back the top hitting and pitching prospects in their system. Hak-Ju Lee may not start the season in Triple-A Durham, but should be there by season’s end. Lee hit .190 in 100 at-bats in Double-A Montgomery last season after racking up a .318 average in Single-A and is the league’s 45th overall prospect. Durham lost Matt Moore to the Rays; their top prospect will look to contend for the American League Rookie of the Year award in 2012. The Bulls still have pitching talent in the system, led by starter Chris Archer and Alexander Torres. Archer started his career in Cleveland before being traded to the Cubs for Mark DeRosa. Chicago then moved Archer as part of the Garza deal. He had a 4.09 ERA in the minors last season, including a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings of Triple-A, and is the MLB’s No. 74 prospect. Torres, meanwhile, led all Triple-A pitchers in strikeouts (156) and walks (83) in 2011.


Last season: 61-82 (5th IL North) Best hitting prospect: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, center field Best pitching prospect: Zack Wheeler, starting pitcher The Buffalo Bisons struggled last season, finishing with the third worst record in the IL. Although the team has lacked depth in recent years, some of the Mets’ top prospects will be reaching the Bisons soon. At the plate, 24-year-old center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis headlines the group after hitting .298 in Buffalo last season. He played just 53 games before being sidelined with an oblique injury. Cesar Puello, a 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic, is also moving

(Chicago White Sox)

Last season: 69-74 (3rd IL South) Best hitting prospect: Osvaldo Martinez, shortstop Best pitching prospect: Nestor Molina, closer As the White Sox transition from contender to rebuilding team, the minor league roster is becoming more and more important to the team’s future success. Much of the top-end talent is still on its way to Charlotte, N.C., but the Knights will see some of that talent by the end of the season.

(CLEVELAND INDIANS) Last season: 88-56 (1st IL West) Best hitting prospect: Francisco Lindor, shortstop Best pitching prospect: Nick Hagadone, reliever In 2011, the Clippers ran away with the IL, picking up seven more wins than any other team and earning back-to-back Governors’ Cups. Columbus is in an interesting position, with most of the Indians’ top prospects either moved on to the majors with Cleveland or low in the minors. Despite losing many top pros-


Last season: 80-62 (1st IL South) Best hitting prospect: Hak-Ju Lee, shortstop Best pitching prospect: Chris Archer, starter Durham had a fantastic season last year, finishing with the third best record in the IL. The Bulls are loaded with near major league talent and will again be one of the contenders for the Governors’ Cup. The Rays’ top prospects are framed


Last season: 73-69 (3rd IL North) Best hitting prospect: Austin Romine, catcher n LEAGUE CONTINUES ON A69


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APRIL 1, 2012 n LEAGUE CONTINUED FROM A68 Best pitching prospect: Manny Banuelos, starter Equipped with the longest name in baseball, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Empire State Yankees lost one of the top prospects in baseball when New York traded catcher Jesus Montero to Seattle in a move for dynamic young starter Michael Pineda. While their home field is being renovated, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees will spend the 2012 season on the road, primarily in New York state. For this reason, they have taken on the temporary moniker Empire State Yankees. The loss of Montero was tough, but the organization has the personnel to replace him. Twenty-three-year-old catching prospect Austin Romine isn’t to the level of some of the other hitting prospects in Single-A, including another catcher in 19-year-old Dominican prospect Gary Sanchez, but Romine has already reached Triple-A. The former 2007 second-round pick hit .279 in the minors last season and could be an option in New York if injuries hit. The Empire State Yankees are flush with pitching prospects led by their two top prospects Manny Baneulos and Dellin Batances. Both players reached the majors briefly at the end of the year, combining for 11 starts, and should make a significant impact this season. Baneulos is the league’s 11th-best prospect while Betances is ranked No. 40.


(ATLANTA BRAVES) Last season: 78-65 (2nd IL South)

Best hitting prospect: Tyler Pastornicky, shortstop Best pitching prospect: Julio Teheran, starter The Braves have one of the most potent teams in the IL thanks to a stacked major league rotation. After finishing 13 games over .500 and placing second in the IL South Division, the Braves are looking to take the next step forward in 2012. Tyler Pastornicky leads the Gwinnett prospects offensively after hitting .314 last season, including a scorching .365 for Gwinnett. He was acquired from Toronto in 2010 as part of their trade that sent shortstop Yunel Escobar to Toronto. The pitching staff is where Gwinnett is dangerous, due to the depth in Atlanta’s rotation. The MLB squad has a starting five of Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson and Brandon Beachy, with Mike Minor favored for the final spot. That leaves a ton of talent in Gwinnett led by Julio Teheran, who is the No. 4 prospect in baseball. Teheran posted a 2.55 ERA in Triple-A last season, earning Triple-A Starting Pitcher of the Year honors.

Best hitting prospect: Starling Marte, center field Best pitching prospect: Gerrit Cole, starter As the Pirates have started the process of getting younger, Indianapolis has continued to get better in IL play. Pittsburgh has a lot of talent moving up and some will be seen with the Indians this year. While the majority of the system’s depth is in pitching, Starling Marte is a solid prospect in center field. The 24-year-old from the Dominican Republic was signed as a nondrafted free agent in 2007 and made a significant impact in Double-A Altoona in 2011, leading the Eastern League in average (.332) and doubles (38) while setting a team record with 178 hits. Pitching is where the Pirates are exceptionally strong, boasting two of the top 10 prospects in all of baseball. The biggest question, however, will be whether the Indians will see them in their lineup by season’s end. Gerrit Cole is the team’s top prospect after being the top pick in last year’s draft. The Pirates also have Jameson Taillon, the second overall pick in 2010. Both players are in Single-A but have enough talent that reaching Triple-A by the end of the year isn’t unattainable.


Valle, catcher Best pitching prospect: Phillippe Aumont, starter After finishing with the fifth best record in the IL, Lehigh Valley made a run in the playoffs to face Columbus in the Governors’ Cup. Unfortunately for the IronPigs, they were unable to dethrone the reigning champions. This season many of the Phillies’ top prospects lie in the low minors, but there is some future talent that could make its way through Lehigh Valley. At the plate, Sebastian Valle is an intriguing prospect. The catcher from Mexico was selected to the 2011 Futures Game and could reach the IronPigs by season’s end. On the mound, Phillippe Aumont rebounded from a poor 2010 showing, recording a 5.68 ERA in 122 innings to put himself back among the top prospects in Philadelphia. The former centerpiece of a trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle in 2009, Aumont lowered his ERA to 2.68 last season and struck out 78 batters in 53.2 innings.

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in the deal included two of three top prospects in catcher Yasmani Grandal and first baseman Yonder Alonso, both of whom would have played in Louisville this season. The organization’s top prospect, however, still remains catcher Devin Mesoraco, the 15th overall pick in the 2007 Draft. Named the MLB’s 14thbest prospect entering this season, Mesoraco should move up to Cincinnati by the end of the year. The Reds’ top pitching prospects, led by 22-year-old Daniel Corcino of the Dominican Republic, however, are nearly entirely based in Single-A and will probably not see Lousiville this season. Former reliever Brad Boxberger would have been the organization’s top pitching prospect to wear a Bats uniform this season, but he was also included in the Latos deal.




Last season: 76-68 (2nd IL West)


(PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES) Last season: 80-64 (2nd IL North) Best hitting prospect: Sebastian

(CINCINNATI REDS) Last season: 73-71 (3rd IL West) Best hitting prospect: Devin Mesoraco, catcher Best pitching prospect: Daniel Corcino, starter While the Reds strengthened its roster, adding one of the top frontline starters in the majors in Mat Latos from San Diego, its farm system took a major hit in the process. Among the hitters sent away

(BALTIMORE ORIOLES) Last season: 56-87 (4th IL South) Best hitting prospect: Manny Machado, shortstop Best pitching prospect: Dylan Bundy, starter The Tides struggled mightily last season, just as their parent organization Baltimore did in 2011. Norfolk finished with the second-worst record in the IL as former top prospects, such as starters Brian Matusz and Zack Britton, advanced to the Orioles. n LEAGUE CONTINUES ON A70


2012 PRIUS

2012 PRIUS V

2012 PRIUS C

6123 W. Central Ave.










A70 n Toledo Free Press



Last season: 53-91 (6th IL North) Best hitting prospect: Chris Par-

From Staff Reports O O O O

1987-present — Detroit Tigers 1978-1986 — Minnesota Twins 1976-1977 — Cleveland Indians 1974-1975 — Philadelphia Phillies


1967-1973 — Detroit Tigers 1965-1966 — New York Yankees 1953-1955 — Milwaukee Braves 1952 — No Affiliate 1949-1951 — Cleveland Indians 1940-1948 — St. Louis Browns


(WASHINGTON NATIONALS) Last season: 66-74 (4th IL North) Best hitting prospect: Bryce Harper, center field Best pitching prospect: Dan Rosenbaum, starter The Chiefs might not be one of the most talented Triple-A teams in the IL, but they may have the best player. Syracuse boasts 19-year-old phenom Bryce Harper, who was named the second-overall prospect in baseball. Harper was the top pick in the 2010 draft and hit .297 with 17 home runs in his first season of professional baseball last year. He should be joining young pitcher Stephen Strasburg in the majors at some point this season. The Washington Nationals’ top pitching prospects, including Alex Meyer, Matt Purke and Sammy Solis, are all a while away from Syracuse, but the team does have 24-year-old Daniel Rosenbaum, who should be a threat for the Chiefs rotation this season. The 22nd-overall pick in 2009 out of Xavier, Rosenbaum has never totaled higher than a 2.52 ERA in his three seasons in the minor leagues. O


1936-1939 — Detroit Tigers 1932-1935 — Cleveland Indians 1914-1931 — New York Giants 1907-1913 — Cleveland Indians 1905-1906 — Cincinnati Reds O — Source: Toledo Mud Hens

Upcoming Events at WCM! LENTEN SHRIMP & FISH FRY Last Fish Fry of the season!



$ 99

6th Annual! WCM LENTEN SHRIMP & FISH FRY every Friday during Lent

• 6 oz. Hand Breaded Pan Fried Cod with Sides for $6.99 • New This Year! 5 Pieces of Hand Breaded Deep Fried Large Shrimp with Sides for $9.99 • Both meals comes with WCM In-House Made Mac & Cheese and Creamy Coleslaw. •Every Friday during Lent from 4-6 p.m. at both locations


Last season: 81-61 (1st IL North) Best hitting prospect: Will Middlebrooks, third base Best pitching prospect: Alex Wilson, starter/reliever The Pawtucket Red Sox, or PawSox, had a fantastic year in 2011 with the second-best record in the IL. The Red Sox farm system is talented, but is composed mostly of hitters rather than pitchers. Will Middlebrooks headlines the PawSox lineup this season and is the organization’s top prospect. The 23-yearold third baseman is the league’s 55thoverall prospect, but his path to the majors remains blocked by Kevin Youkilis. Still, he should make his presence known in Triple-A for the PawSox. Alex Wilson is most likely the Red Sox’s top pitching prospect and should see time in a PawSox uniform this season, but he is reportedly not a topshelf prospect on the roster.

Toledo Mud Hens league affiliations

melee, first baseman Best pitching prospect: Kyle Gibson, starter Like its parent organization in Minnesota, Rochester had a rough season last year and finished with the worst record in the IL. The Twins’ major prospects at the plate lie in Single-A, including infielders Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario and outfielders Joe Benson, Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Arcia. The Red Wings do have some talent on the way, however. Twenty-four-year-old first baseman Chris Parmelee led the entire Twins organization in hits (179), RBI (97) and walks (80) and should be in Rochester soon. Shortstop Brian Dozier also should reach the Red Wings soon, after being named the team’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2011. Kyle Gibson leads Rochester’s pitching prospects, but is recovering from Tommy John surgery last season. The 22nd-overall pick of 2009 is on the mend with hopes of recovering enough to play for the Red Wings again this year.


Our 3rd Annual Post-Lent BURGER DOWN FRIDAYS return April 13th! 4-6 p.m. at both locations Diner-Style Griddled Angus Burgers, Strawberry or Chocolate Milk Shakes & Hand-Cut Fries to go with that Shake! • Included: Grilled Onions & Pickle Chips • Upon request: Lettuce, Tomatoes or Raw Onions • Extra charges apply: Cheese or Double Burger




Baltimore’s farm system is still lacking depth, but does have two of the top 10 prospects in baseball in Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado, though each will have to work to reach Norfolk. Machado has been pegged the next great Orioles shortstop, but hit just .257 last year in Single-A. You can bet, however, that Baltimore would love to see him in Norfolk by the end of the year. He is the league’s No. 6 overall prospect. Bundy was the fourth-overall pick in 2011 and has the talent to reach the Tides by the end of the season, but he still may be a year or so away. He is the No. 10 prospect in baseball.


Serves 6-8 People

• Fully Cooked Spiral Sliced Ham (With your choice of Apricot or Maple Brown Sugar Glaze) • Scalloped Au Gratin Potatoes Please • Green Beans or Steamed Asparagus order by • 1 Dozen Dinner Rolls (Wheat or White) Thursday, • 1 Pineapple Upside Down Cake • 1 Dozen Deviled Eggs April 5th • 1 Betty’s Salad Note: Some cooked items require re-heating.

1 dozen only



Short on Time? Pick-Up Decorated Easter Eggs

Cooked & Colored in our kitchen PRE-ORDER NOW to assure your supply Perrysburg - 419-872-6900 Maumee - 419-794-4000 3320 Briarfield Bld., Maumee 26625 N. Dixie Hwy., Perrysburg 419.794.4000 419.872.6900

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Hours: Mon-Sat 7:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun 8 a.m.–9 p.m.

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APRIL 1, 2012

APRIL 1, 2012




There is a New Restaurant in Town Star Bar and Grille now open

It’s kind of hard to nd, but once you’ve been there, you’ll be back. Star Bar and Grille is the new restaurant just opened by Joe Skaff. The Skaffs have a long history of operating ne restaurants in Toledo, including The Willows on Monroe Street and Ricardo’s Downtown. The third-generation Skaff started Avenue Bistro in 2000 and sold it in 2003. He also runs all of the very successful Star Diners and owns and operates Premier Catering. This new venture, Star Bar and Grille, follows the same standard of class as its predecessors. When you walk in, you know you are in a cool place. A sunken bar area gets your attention immediately; then you see a wall of glass overlooking a huge patio — to be open in the spring. The glass wall will open up to the patio when weather permits. The atmosphere is casual with a sense of energy, with a mix of cultured stone work, beautifully varnished woods and contemporary art completing the décor. It is very clean, very cool. Of course Star Bar and Grille features entertainment every Wednesday through Saturday. Another cool feature is the new patio that allows direct access from the bar and restaurant. The large newly designed patio will seat up to 150 people and is equipped with a full outside bar. The patio is set to open the rst week of April weather permitting. But the main feature is the food. Made with a Southwestern air, the menu contains 50 items: everything from appetizers, pizza, quesadillas, sandwiches, salads and main dinners dot the menu. The prices are inexpensive, starting at just $4.95. Among the appetizers are a seared tuna tostada, crab cake, calamari and a great spinach queso dip. There are four different pizzas and four quesadillas to choose from, all $5.95-$9.50. There are 12 sandwiches to pick from, starting at $6.95 and including a side item. If you are a salad person, you’ll love Star Bar and Grille’s ve salads — ahi tuna, salmon, shrimp, chicken and tenderloin — all different and all with their own dressing. Dinners start at $9.95 and range from grilled chicken, tenderloin and a large bone-in pork chop to salmon, tuna, short ribs and a very popular surf-and-turf taco. The Star Bar and Grille is hard to nd. Asked

why he picked the location for the restaurant, Skaff replied, “I had two prerequisites: unlimited parking and most important, a large patio with a bar. This was the only place around with both and I wanted to be by the mall. The patio will be great in the spring.” Asked about the inspiration or theme, Skaff said, “I wanted to create a cutting-edge, contemporary, high-energy place that makes people feel good when they come in. I also wanted to create a menu that would not kill the wallet. You can eat here for two people for $10-20 (excluding drinks) if you want and have a great meal. I don’t care how much money you have — no one wants to spend $100 every time they go out. I want people to enjoy the restaurant a couple of times a week, like a neighborhood place.” All in all this is a rst-rate eatery that should be a must on the list of restaurants you go to. The

Star Bar and Grille is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner at 11:30 a.m. It is located at 5215 Monroe St. in the back of Beverly Hills Plaza between Target and Bed Bath and Beyond. Reservations are accepted at (419) 724-7901, but not necessary. Remember — try us once, you’ll be back! Visit us at

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A72 n Toledo Free Press

2012 Roster Toledo Mud Hens



Born: Jan. 19, 1971 (41) Resides: Poway, Calif. Managing Career: Returns for his second season with the Mud Hens and third in the Tigers organization…managed Double-A Erie in 2010 and Orange County of the independent Golden Baseball League in 2009. Playing Career: Drafted No. 1 overall in 1992 by the Houston Astros out of Cal State-Fullerton…Most Outstanding Player in 1992 College World Series...played 12 seasons in the majors with seven teams including Detroit (1995-97)…played with Toledo briefly in 1995 and 1997.


Born: July 31, 1957 (54) Resides: Cincinnati, Ohio Coaching Career: Returns for his 12th season with the Mud Hens and his 17th season overall in coaching, including five seasons with the Anaheim Angels. Playing Career: Spent 10 seasons in the majors with three different teams, mainly the Chicago Cubs.


PITCHING COACH Born: March 3, 1965 (47) Resides: Perrysburg, Ohio Coaching Career: Entering his fifth

season with the Mud Hens and 11th in the Tigers organization… pitching coach for Double-A Erie in 2007 and SingleA West Michigan 2002-06 Playing Career: Played baseball and football at the University of Toledo...Pitched for 12 professional seasons, five in the major leagues, including Detroit…pitched for Mud Hens in 1996 and 1998. .


ATHLETIC TRAINER Born: Aug. 1, 1971 (40) Resides: Toledo, Ohio Coaching Career: Beginning his 12th season with Mud Hens and 16th with the Tigers organization…spent two years with Single-A Lakeland.


STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH Born: June 16, 1986 (25) From: Chicago Ridge, Ill. Career: Beginning second season with the Mud Hens and fourth with the Tigers organization…spent one year with the Single-A West Michigan and one year with the Double-A Erie.



PITCHER Born: Nov. 15, 1985 (25) in Britton, Mich. Height: 6’3 Weight: 218 Bats: Left Throws: Left Obtained: Selected by Detroit

in the 19th round of the 2006 draft Full name: Duane Arthur Below 2011: Assigned to Triple-A Toledo to begin the season, starting 18 games with the Mud Hens before being recalled by the Tigers July 20 for the remainder of the season... compiled a season-best four-game winning streak with Toledo April 22May 13...tabbed the International League Pitcher of the Week for May 2-8...fanned a season-high 11 batters on May 8 versus Charlotte... posted a 3-0 record, 2.08 ERA (26.0IP/6ER) and 18 strikeouts over his final four starts with Toledo June 26-July 15...made his major league debut on July 20 versus Oakland... after two starts with the Tigers, he spent the remainder of the season in relief for Detroit...retired the first 23 batters he faced as a reliever.


Born: Oct. 24, 1978 (33) in LaPorte, Ind. Height: 6’5 Weight: 210 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Signed by Detroit as a free agent on Dec. 11, 2011 Full name: Christopher Brandon Bootcheck 2011: Started the season with Triple-A Durham, making 16 appearances (seven starts)...struck out a season-high seven batters on June 25 versus Scranton/WB...longest outing of the year was 7.1 innings on June 25 versus Scranton/WB (took the loss and struck out seven)…left the team at the end of June and signed with the Lotte Giants in South Korea.


Born: Sept. 17, 1988 (23) in Kaneland, Ill. Height: 6’5 Weight: 218 Bats: Right Throws: Left Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 5th round of the 2007 draft

APRIL 1, 2012 Full name: Casey W. Crosby 2011: Spent the season with Double-A Erie in the Eastern League, going 9-7 with a 4.10 ERA (60 ER/131.2 IP) in 25 starts...won four straight decisions from May 23June 27...longest outing of the year was 8.0 innings on Aug. 19 at Harrisburg...struck out a season-high eight batters on two occasions... was a mid-season all-star in the Eastern League...led the league with 77 walks... named as the third best prospect in the Detroit organization following the season by Baseball America.


Born: Dec. 26, 1984 (27) in Southfield, Mich. Height: 6’3 Weight: 210 Bats: Right Throws: Left Obtained: Signed by Detroit as a free agent on Nov. 5, 2011 Full name: Darin Burton Downs 2011: Split the season between Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans in the Florida Marlins system...started the year with Jacksonville and appeared in 22 games (13 starts)...was promoted to New Orleans on July 21...longest outing of the year was 8.0 innings on Aug. 31 versus Oklahoma City...struck out a season-high eight batters on Aug. 14 versus Reno.


Born: Nov. 18, 1988 (23) in Tulsa, Okla. Height: 6’1 Weight: 225 Bats: Left Throws: Left Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 26th round of the 2007 draft Full name: Matthew Christopher Hoffman 2011: Started the year with Double-A Erie, appearing in just one game before being promoted to Triple-A Toledo...appeared in 49

games with Toledo (all relief)...longest outing of the year was 3.1 innings on Aug. 14 at Lehigh Valley... struck out a season-high four batters on July 17 versus Scranton/ WB...was 0-3 in save opportunities on the righthanded batters to a .224 average (34-152) and lefties hit .306 (2685) against him.


Born: Aug. 26, 1986 (25) in San Cristobal, DR Height: 5’11 Weight: 170 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Signed by Detroit as a non-drafted free agent on Nov. 16, 2005 Full name: Luis Alfredo Marte 2011: Spent the majority of the 2011 season with Double-A Erie before he saw his first major league action with the Tigers in September...sidelined April 7-June 3 (right shoulder)...posted five straight scoreless outings June 21-July 4, fanning 11 batters in 7.1 innings...had his contract transferred to Triple-A Toledo on July 29 and appeared in two games with the Mud Hens before he was transferred back to Erie on Aug. 3...struck out a season-high 10 batters on Aug. 29 versus Binghamton...had his contract purchased by Detroit on Sept. 1 and made his MLB debut that afternoon versus Kansas City, posting a scoreless outing.


Born: Nov. 14, 1982 (29) in Taiwan Height: 6’0 Weight: 200 Bats: Left Throws: Left Obtained: Signed by Detroit as a free agent on Jan. 7, 2009 Full name: Fu-Te Ni n ROSTER CONTINUES ON A73


APRIL 1, 2012 n ROSTER CONTINUED FROM A72 2011: Spent the entire season with Triple-A Toledo...made 12 starts and worked 22 games from the bullpen...the starts were his first as a pro...established a career-high with 93 strikeouts... struck out a season-high nine batters on July 10 versus Columbus... won his first five decisions of the year (April 7-July 19)...longest outing of the year was 7.2 innings on Aug. 19 at Buffalo...ERA as a starter was 2.76 while it went up to 4.12 as a reliever.


Born: Dec. 3, 1987 (24) in Vermilion, Ohio Height: 6’3 Weight: 210 Bats: Left Throws: Left Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 2nd round of 2009 draft Full name: Andrew Allen Oliver 2011: Tied for third in the International League with 143 strikeouts as he spent the majority of

the season with Triple-A Toledo... fourth among all International League starters with 8.76 strikeouts per nine innings...second in the league with 80 walks... posted a 4-2 record, 2.89 ERA (43.2IP/14ER) and 43 strikeouts in his first seven starts of the season April 7-May 14...recalled by Detroit on May 28 and started two games before he was optioned back to Toledo for the remainder of the season June 5... fanned a season-high nine batters on June 13 versus Rochester and matched the high with nine strikeouts on Aug. 22 at Louisville...named as the fifth best prospect in the Detroit organization following the season by Baseball America.


Born: Oct. 12, 1988 (23) in Caja Seca, Venezuela Height: 5’11 Weight: 165 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Signed

by Detroit as a non-drafted free agent on July 3, 2006 Full name: Jose Antonio Ortega 2011: Started the season on the disabled list with a right shoulder injury...activated on May 17...spent the whole year with Toledo...picked up a win in his final appearance of the year on Sept. 5 versus Columbus, which was his longest outing of the year (3.0 innings)... struck out a season-high three batters on three occasions.


Born: June 13, 1989 (22) in Little Rock, Ark. Height: 6’3 Weight: 190 Bats: Left Throws: Left Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft Full name: Todd Andrew Smyly 2011: Split the season between Single-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie...started with Lakeland, going 7-3 with a 2.58 ERA (23 ER/80.1 IP) in 14 starts from April 8-July


25...pitched 7.0 innings or more three times with Lakeland...appeared in eight games (7 starts) with Erie from July 30-Sept. 5... pitched a season-high 8.0 innings on Sept. 1 versus Binghamton... struck out a season-high 10 batters three times...named as the third best prospect in the Detroit organization following the season by Baseball America.


Born: Sept. 19, 1986 (25) in Newburgh, N.Y. Height: 6’2 Weight: 210 Bats: Left Throws: Right Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 6th round of the 2008 draft Full name: Tyler Scott Stohr 2011: Started the year with Single-A Lakeland...made 24 relief appearances before a promotion to Double-A Erie on July 2... struck out a season-high five batters on July 26 versus Richmond... was a combined 3 for 6 in save chances on the year.

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PITCHER Born: May 21, 1991 (20) in St. Charles, Mo. Height: 6’5 Weight: 210 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 1st round (9th overall) in the 2009 draft Full name: Jacob Edward Turner 2011: Assigned to Double-A Erie to begin the season and selected to the Eastern League’s midseason all-star squad...earned a spot on the U.S. Team for the Futures Game in Arizona prior to the All-Star Game...fanned a seasonhigh nine batters with Erie on April 7 versus Altoona...recalled by Detroit on July 30 and made his MLB debut that afternoon, taking the loss after allowing two runs in 5.1 innings versus Los Angeles... became the youngest Tigers pitcher to start a game at Comerica Park at 20 years, two months and nine days old...optioned to Toledo following his start...started three games with Toledo, averaging 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings... n ROSTER CONTINUES ON A74


A74 n Toledo Free Press n ROSTER CONTINUED FROM A73 recalled by Detroit on Sept. 1 and did not receive a decision in two starts...named as the No. 1 prospect in the Detroit organization following the season by Baseball America.

on May 22...suffered the loss in each of his first five decisions with Toledo June 2-25...recalled by Detroit on June 30 and saw action in two games before he was optioned back to Toledo for the remainder of the season on July 2...sidelined July 27-Aug. 13 (right rotator cuff strain).



Born: May 10, 1987 (24) in La Guaira, Venezuela Height: 6’0 Weight: 170 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Signed by Detroit as a non-drafted free agent on Oct. 25, 2005 Full name: Brayan Rene Villarreal 2011: Saw his first major league action after making the Tigers Opening Day roster out of Spring Training...made his MLB debut on April 2 at New York’s Yankee Stadium, where he allowed one run in one inning of work...fanned a career-high four batters on April 26 versus Seattle...optioned to Toledo

Born: Sept. 28, 1984 (27) in Lincoln, Neb. Height: 6’2 Weight: 205 Bats: Right Throws: Left Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 16th round of the 2008 draft Full name: Thad G. Weber 2011: Spent the entire season with Triple-A Toledo, going 5-11 with a 5.65 ERA in 27 starts... struck out a season-high nine batters on May 1 at Pawtucket...threw a complete game (took the loss) on Aug. 8 versus Indianapolis...went 1-7 with a 7.00 ERA in 15 home starts...went 4-4 with a 4.04 ERA in 12 road starts...finished second



APRIL 1, 2012

in the International League with 28 home runs allowed.

18...fanned a season-high seven batters Aug. 20 versus Louisville.



Born: Dec. 8, 1985 (26) in Chicago, Ill. Height: 6’2 Weight: 205 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 10th round of the 2008 draft Full name: Robert D. Weinhardt 2011: Split the season between Triple-A Toledo and Double-A Erie after seeing action in two games with the Tigers early in the season...recalled by Detroit on April 7…was optioned to Toledo on April 13...designated for assignment by the Tigers on May 24 and had his contract out-righted to Toledo on May 26...was assigned to Erie on June 13...compiled a 1.13 ERA (2 ER/16.0 IP) over a nine-outing stretch with Erie June 20-July 26...sidelined July 14-22 with unexplained weight loss...was promoted back to Toledo on Aug.

Born: Dec. 9, 1987 (24) in Anaheim, Calif. Height: 6’2 Weight: 185 Bats: Left Throws: Left Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 11th round of the 2009 draft Full name: Adam Robert Wilk 2011: Spent the majority of the season with Toledo, starting 18 games...appeared in five games with Detroit during three separate stints... had his contract purchased by Detroit on May 24...fanned four batters in his MLB debut on May 26 versus Boston...optioned to Toledo on May 28 and started one game before he was recalled on June 5...appeared in three games with Detroit during June before he was optioned to Toledo on June 22...recalled for his third stint with the Tigers on July 3 and made one appearance before he was optioned back to Toledo for the


remainder of the season on July 19... compiled a four-game winning streak with Toledo from July 25-Aug. 15... struck out a season-high nine batters on Aug. 10 versus Louisville...sidelined Aug. 16-31 (left elbow sprain).




CATCHER Born: Nov. 19, 1987 (24) in Dallas, Texas Height: 6’0 Weight: 205 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 6th round of the 2010 draft Full name: John Bryan Holaday 2011: Spent the entire season with Double-A Erie, hitting .242 (80-330) with seven HR and 42 RBI in 95 games...had an 11-game hitting streak from April 29-May 17... drove in a season-best three runs on June 30 versus Akron...hit .267 (66-247) against right-handed pitchers and .169 (14-83) against left-handers...threw out 35 out of 104 potential base stealers (33.65 percent) on the year. n ROSTER CONTINUES ON A76

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APRIL 1, 2012


special paid advertising feature: business showcase

Transforming ‘all aspects’ of the home WS Solutions provides consultation, design and construction services for homes and businesses; including cabinetry, countertops, appliances, ooring installation, bathroom renovations, outdoor kitchens, man caves and more, all at an affordable price. Owners Paul Schlachter and Matt Wilson formed the company in December 2010 in a small Maumee ofce. In April 2011, they moved to their current location at 901 Jefferson Ave. in Downtown Toledo. Schlachter and Wilson, who were classmates at Whitmer High School and the University of Toledo, were later co-workers at a local granite fabrication facility and ooring retailer/contractor for more than two decades. When that company moved to Columbus, they decided to stay in Toledo and go into business for themselves. “We both grew up here, born and raised,” Wilson said. “This is where our roots are. We believe in Toledo.” The owners said their mission is to exceed expectations. “We want customers to feel they got everything they imagined and more at a betterthan-fair value, and we want to make the process as enjoyable as possible,” Wilson said. “We look at every job, no matter what the scale, as custom and unique. We sit down with each individual and understand their taste, how they want to utilize the space, how it can function for them and then detail it to their needs and specications.” WS Solutions offers, stateof-the-art showroom allowing prospective clients the opportunity for hands-on experience. They actually encourage clients to come in and cook a meal to see how the appliances function. They offer all level

of products from entry level to full custom. There is something available to suit everyone’s needs. One popular segment of the business has been outdoor kitchens, the owners said. “Those are big right now,” Schlachter said. “It’s more than just putting a grill outside; we incorporate design into a patio with walls, seating areas, lighting, replaces, wood-red ovens and more. It’s a true living space, bringing the inside out.” WS Solutions also periodically hosts cooking demonstra-

tions by local chefs in the showroom’s three fully functional kitchens and will host an art show this spring highlighting local artists. “We’re just trying to promote all the things Toledo has to offer,” Schlachter said. “We’re excited to be here.” For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call (419) 469-2294 or visit Check out “WS Solutions LTD” on Facebook or join the mailing list to be updated on upcoming events.

Schedule a free consultation • 419-469-2294 •

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A76 n Toledo Free Press n ROSTER CONTINUED FROM A74


Born: April 29, 1981 (30) in Bayamon, Puerto Rico Height: 6’0 Weight: 213 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Signed by Detroit as a free agent on Dec. 6, 2010 Full name: Omir Rios Santos 2011: Saw action in 11 games during four separate stints with Detroit...sidelined April 7-14 to begin the season (left great toe fracture)...had his contract purchased from Toledo on April 19 and saw action in two games with Detroit before he was optioned to Toledo on May 3... sidelined May 27-June 3 (concussion)...recalled by Detroit on June 3 and then optioned back to Toledo on June 7...compiled a seasonhigh seven-game hitting streak with Toledo June 9-18...forced to the disabled list for a third time July 5-Aug. 16 (right quadriceps contusion)...recalled by Detroit on Aug. 25 and started behind the

plate that afternoon at Tampa Bay before he was optioned back to Toledo following the game…recalled by Detroit for the remainder of the season on Sept. 5.



SHORTSTOP Born: June 16, 1987 (24) in San Pedro de Macoris, DR Height: 6’3 Weight: 195 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Signed by Detroit as a non-drafted free agent on Feb. 16, 2005 Full name: Audy Alexander Ciriaco 2011: Split the year between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo... started the year with Erie and played in 101 games from April 7-Aug. 38 games during July and August with Erie, hit .333 (49-147)...had an 11game hitting streak from July 24-Aug. 9...had four hits on July 20 at Trenton... went 5-54 at the plate in 14 games with Toledo...committed 17 errors on the season…played 105 games at third base and five at shortstop.


INFIELD Born: Feb. 12, 1987 (25) in Guatire, Venezuela Height: 6’0 Weight: 201 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Signed by Detroit as a free agent on Dec. 12, 2010

APRIL 1, 2012

Full name: Argenis Jose Diaz 2011: Spent the entire season with Toledo...hit .342 (25-73) in 19 games during May...had four hits on Aug. 11 versus Louisville...had a nine-game hitting streak from July 9-20...committed 17 errors on the year...played 42 games at shortstop, 39 games at third base and 17 at second base…hit .302 (71-235) against righties and .229 (24-105) against lefties.


SECOND BASE Born: Aug. 27, 1985 (26) in St. Charles, Iowa Height: 6’0 Weight: 198 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 11th round of the 2008 draft n ROSTER CONTINUES ON A77

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APRIL 1, 2012 n ROSTER CONTINUED FROM A76 Full name: Brandon Casey Douglas 2011: Spent the entire season with Double-A Erie, hitting .281 with 30 doubles and 22 stolen bases in 124 games...had four hits on May 14 at Altoona...swiped three bases on May 27 versus Reading...put together a 13-game hitting streak from Aug. 12-24...hit .315 (53-168) after the All-Star break...stole 22 bases in 26 attempts...committed 15 errors on the season.


Born: July 12, 1980 (31) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Height: 6’6 Weight: 270 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Signed by Detroit as a free agent on Jan. 20, 2012 Full name: Bradley Ross Eldred 2011: Spent the entire season with Triple-A Fresno, hitting .278 (103-371) with 23 doubles, 23 HR and 57 RBI in 111 games...



smacked two home runs on May 26 versus Oklahoma City...collected four hits on June 26 at Tucson...drove in five runs on June 27 at Tucson...pitched 1.2 innings on Aug. 19 versus Round Rock (allowed 2 hits and struck out 2)...hit .302 (19-63) during August.

eight at second base, six in center field, five in right field and two in left field...hit home runs in back-to-back days on May 3-4...over a 14-game stretch from May 3-21 for San Diego, he hit .323 (10-31)...over a 25-game stretch for Tucson from July 18-Aug. 27, he hit .326 (31-95).



Born: April 8, 1983 (28) in Tallahassee, Fla. Height: 6’0 Weight: 170 Bats: Left Throws: Right Obtained: Signed by Detroit as a free agent on Jan. 4, 2012 Full name: Eric Scott Patterson 2011: Began the season on the disabled list (strained left hamstring)... had a rehab stint with Single-A Lake Elsinore before being reinstated on April 10, making his season debut that day vs. Los Angeles (NL)...was designated for assignment on June 9 and out-righted to Triple-A Tucson on June 16...spent the remainder of the season with Tucson...made 21 starts for San Diego, including

Born: Aug. 9, 1985 (26) in Seattle, Wash. Height: 6’6 Weight: 245 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 4th round of the 2006 draft Full name: Ryan Kristoffer Strieby 2011: Spent the whole season with Triple-A Toledo, leading the team in games (130), at-bats (487), runs (66), HR (19) and RBI (76)...had a nine-game hitting streak from May 19-29...smacked seven HR and drove in 27 runs during the month of July… committed just six errors on the year... led the International League with 171 strikeouts…established career-highs in games, at-bats, runs and doubles.





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Born: Sept. 30, 1985 (26) in Northridge, Calif. Height: 6’1 Weight: 195 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 2nd round of the 2007 draft Full name: Daniel Weston Worth 2011: Split the season between Toledo and Detroit, seeing action in 30 games during four separate stints with the Tigers...assigned to Toledo to begin the season…sidelined April 24-May 9 (right hamstring strain)...compiled an eight-game hitting streak May 12-20...recalled by Detroit on May 27...established a career high with three RBI on June 6 at Texas...optioned to Toledo on June 27...recalled by Detroit on July 10 and saw action in one game before being optioned back to Toledo on July 15...hit safely in 10 of his final 11 games with Toledo Aug. 22Sept. 4...recalled by Detroit on Aug. 26 and appeared in one game before he was optioned back to Toledo on Aug. 27...joined the Tigers for his fourth stint with the club after being recalled from Toledo on Sept. 6.


OUTFIELD Born: Nov. 21, 1984 (27) in San Diego, Calif. Height: 6’0 Weight: 175 Bats: Left Throws: Left Obtained: Signed by Detroit as a free agent on Dec. 6, 2011 Full name: Quintin Lonell Berry 2011: Spent most of the year with Double-A Carolina with four games with Triple-A Louisville in September (both Cincinnati Reds’ affiliates)...played in 93 games with Carolina, led the Southern League in stolen bases (40) and was fourth in on-base percentage (.399)...had four hits on May 20 versus Chattanooga...had four stolen bases on Aug. 7 at Mississippi...had a 15-game hitting streak from Aug. 7-24...hit .341 (29-85) against left-handed pitching and .281 (66-235) against right-handers... hit .377 (29-77) with runners in scoring position. n ROSTER CONTINUES ON A78


Mu Goo d Hd Luc ens k !


A78 n Toledo Free Press n ROSTER CONTINUED FROM A77

optioned to Toledo on Aug. 19…recalled by Detroit on Sept. 1.

Born: Jan. 24, 1987 (25) in Houston, Texas Height: 5’11 Weight: 180 Bats: Right Throws: Right Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 19th round of the 2008 draft Full name: Benjamin James Guez 2011: Spent most of the year with Triple-A Toledo with 38 games played for Double-A Erie from April 7-May 10 and again from July 2230...collected four hits on July 21 at Norfolk...hit .349 (15-43) with Toledo during July...drove in four runs on Aug. 10 versus Louisville.

Throws: Right Obtained: Signed by Detroit as a free agent on Nov. 21, 2011 Full name: Jerad Lee Head 2011: Spent most of the season with Triple-A Columbus with a 10-game stint with Cleveland late in the year...hit two home runs with four RBI on April 17 versus Toledo... collected four RBI on June 5 versus Louisville...had four RBI on June 26 versus Gwinnett...had 11 RBI in four games from July 30-Aug. 2...finished second in the International League in slugging percentage (.526) and third in home runs (24)...also finished third in the league in HR/AB ratio (homered once every 17.58 at-bats)...made his Major League debut Aug. 28 versus Kansas City and collected a single in his second at-bat against Bruce Chen.




Born: Jan. 24, 1986 (26) in Hutchinson, Kan. Height: 6’0 Weight: 195 Bats: Left Throws: Left Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 8th round of the 2008 draft Full name: Andrew Lee Dirks 2011: Saw his first action at the major league level, playing in 78 games during two separate stints with the Tigers...assigned to Triple-A Toledo to begin the season...tabbed the International League Player of the Week for April 25-May 1... selected the Tigers Minor League Player of the Month for April, hitting .330 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 24 games...had his contract purchased by Detroit on May 13...made his major league debut on May 16 versus Toronto and collected his first major league hit, a single off Kyle Drabek...homered in three straight games June 2830, becoming the first Tigers rookie to hit a home run in three straight games since Jeff Larish in 2009...

APRIL 1, 2012



Born: Nov. 15, 1982 (29) in Topeka, Kan. Height: 6’0 Weight: 210 Bats: Right


Born: April 30, 1985 (26) in Houston, Texas Height: 6’3 Weight: 180 Bats: Left

Throws: Right Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 9th round of the 2007 draft Full name: Justin Taylor Henry 2011: Spent most of the year with Double-A Erie with a short stint with Toledo...had four hits on May 12 at Altoona...had an 11-game hitting streak from July 27-Aug. 9...hit .340 (34-100) in 29 games during May... promoted to Toledo where he hit .421 (8-19) in six games from Aug. 26-Sept. 5...appeared at all positions except pitcher and catcher… committed 11 errors on the year.


Born: Nov. 14, 1983 (28) in Jacksonville, Fla. Height: 5’11 Weight: 205 Bats: Left Throws: Right Obtained: Selected by Detroit in the 6th round of the 2005 draft Full name: Michael Clete Thomas 2011: Spent the season with

Triple-A Toledo, hitting .251 in 113 games...drove in six runs on April 18 at Columbus...had a seven-game hitting streak from July 20-27...hit .309 (38-123) after the all-star break... collected four hits on Sept. 3 at Columbus...hit .323 (32-99) on the year with runners in scoring position... committed just two errors on the year.


Born: Oct. 3, 1982 (29) in Temple, Texas Height: 5’8 Weight: 175 Bats: Left Throws: Right Obtained: Signed by Detroit as a free agent on Nov. 9, 2011 Full name: Matt E. Young 2011: Spent most of the season with Triple-A Gwinnett with two trips (20 games total) to Atlanta in April and June...had back-to-back two hit games with Atlanta in June 10 and 11 at Houston...hit .362 (17-47) with Gwinnett in June...hit .404 (21-52) with runners on and two outs with Gwinnett...did not commit an error all season in the outfield (119 games). O



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any years ago, I (Mark) was a young kid of 9 years old and found myself being driven through the city of Seoul, South Korea. I couldn’t believe I was there and was excited to find out more about a city and country that I had heard a lot about, but was now in the middle of. There were wall-towall people, taxicabs and city buses everywhere, and very heavy traffic on the city streets. Drivers honked their horns at each other (which in Korea is not considered rude), and mothers carried their babies on their backs amid the hustle and bustle of the big city. My parents had made the lifechanging decision to go to this foreign country to become missionaries and to help various South Korean communities start new churches. In South Korea there was such a different view of personal space and so many people packed into the area that it was not considered rude to bump into or brush against someone. My friend Lorne and I would later play a game that involved walking


Think global

in a straight line down a busy street bumping into as many people as we could for a laugh. We Americans used to laugh at how many South Korean people would cram into an automobile. When we thought the car had five more people than would be comfortable, they would cram in five more. To this day when I get into an elevator and the people inMark side seem to get nervous about their perNolan sonal space, I laugh to myself and think of South Korea. I left there in 1975 and, if I remember correctly, the population of the city of Seoul was about 6-7 million. The population today is more than 10 million. I guess they are cramming even more people into cars and elevators. As you might expect, living for five years in a foreign country from age 9-14 had a profound effect on

my life. First of all, while I was there I realized there were many things I took for granted in my home country. At that time, you could not pick up the phone and get a pizza. American food was not readily available. Ladies from our home church had canned for us what was supposed to be a four-year supply of Fritos corn chips that did not last a year. No more Fritos? Nope. CLAIR You have to eat rice today. Aw, mannnn! BAKER Come on! American television? One channel on Armed Forces Television aired the bad, rejected, boring documentaries that no one wanted to watch here in America. I was so desperate for American TV that when we did finally make the trip back to America five years later, my parents decided it would be a good idea to stop and visit beautiful Hawaii on the way. I stayed

in the hotel room almost the entire time watching TV. I couldn’t tell you much about Hawaii. We are now in a global economy rather than just limited to our own country. Amazing how a small country about the size of Indiana has affected us. I now own a Samsung TV (how ironic) and see Hyundai and Kia automobiles everywhere. As The Retirement Guys, Nolan and I try our best to stay up on what is going on in the world to better advise our clients. We are now seeing an extremely high correlation between what is happening in foreign countries and our economy. Steve Hanley, who is in our portfolio management department, shared with me how it is now important to understand that everything globally can be correlated. It is important to know what is going on in places like Greece and the rest of Europe. We Americans think our country has a spending problem when we consider our current national debt, but Europe has the same problem that is about five years ahead of our own.

n A81

This continues to play itself out, affecting markets around the world. Hanley said that even when considering American companies, close attention is paid to their international operations in order to get a better handle on what may be yet to come. We can all learn things from our childhood and past experiences. It is amazing how the experience of a little kid living for a brief time in a foreign country can still have an effect on his life today. Time goes by quickly and the world seems to get smaller. O For more information about The Retirement Guys, tune in every Saturday at 1 p.m. on 1370 WSPD or visit www. Securities and Investment Advisory Services are offered through NEXT Financial Group Inc., Member FINRA / SIPC. NEXT Financial Group, Inc. does not provide tax or legal advice. The Retirement Guys are not an affiliate of NEXT Financial Group. The office is at 1700 Woodlands Drive, Suite 100, Maumee, OH 43537. (419) 842-0550.

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plication to making sure bills get paid, the lawn gets mowed and the dog gets to the vet. “For the long-distance family member especially, the benefit is peace of mind,” Roidl said. “They know someone is here in town who’s on call 24/7 in case mom slips and falls, has a heart attack, goes to the hospital or just gets locked out of her house.” Independent Care Solutions works with clients of all ages and situations, from short-term crises to long-term needs. “There are 40-some home health agencies in town. There are dozens of nursing homes. How do you pick one?” Roidl said. “I don’t work for a home health agency, a nursing home or a hospital; therefore, my recommendations are based on what you need.” Roidl has been in the care

management business for 12 years and is affiliated with the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in social work. “I help family members understand sometimes the best thing you can do is let someone else do the caregiving and you be the husband again, you be the daughter again,” Roidl said. “Wouldn’t it be nice to go visit your mom and instead of having to take her to the doctor and clean her house, you could just visit and do something other than worry about her health?” For more information, visit or contact Debra Roidl at 419367-8835 or debra@independent

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n A83


By Vicki L. Kroll

Toledo Free Press Staff Writer

Steve Smith plays the affable and adventurous handyman Red Green, whose crazy creations and passion for duct tape are legend at Possum Lake, a fabled locale in Canada’s cottage country. The plaid-wearing, bearded character with red and green suspenders shares do-it-yourself tips and philosophies on life. “[‘The Red Green Show’] was supposed to be a six-month summer job in 1990 — endless summer,” Smith said and laughed. Instead, Smith was on the air for 15 seasons and made 300 episodes. The show is broadcast on more than 80 PBS stations, including WBGU 27, and is the longest-running Canadian comedy in America. Smith won three Gemini Awards (Canada’s Emmy Award), and the government named him a member of the Order of Canada, its highest civilian honor. In syndication, Red Green and his wacky regulars still make folks laugh. “We never talked about what was going on at the time because, actually, we weren’t aware of what was going on at the time,” he joked. “The things the shows talk about are timeless, like men’s attitudes and problems — I’m wrong but not in doubt.” Smith will bring Red Green’s Wit & Wisdom Tour to Stranahan Theater on April 11 for a 7 p.m. show. Tickets are $45.50. “I tell you how to make a reclining chair out of a stove, that’s valuable.

And lots of marital advice and sometimes just one-liners: The longest journey starts with not looking at the map,” he said during a phone interview from Florida. As Green, the Toronto native often offers secrets to a happy marriage. It’s a subject Smith knows well. “This year it’ll be 46 years in November,” Smith said of his union with his wife, Morag. Remember, he said: “If your wife is having fun and you’re not, you’re still having way more fun then when you’re having fun and she’s not.” Green has a knack for finding sticky situations. His tool of choice: duct tape. “We’d start with a gross [of rolls] a season, and in a season we might do 20 episodes, so that’s 144 rolls divided by 20, which is, let me get my shoes off here, a little over seven rolls a show, but some shows wouldn’t use any, and some shows would use 30. And we usually had to reorder; the gross wasn’t enough,” Smith said and laughed. And the funnyman thinks big. “When they make duct tape, they actually make it in a 4-foot width and they cut it into the 2-inch rolls that you buy in the store,” Smith said. “We got a 4-foot width of it, and I used it to waterproof a boat. The whole 4-foot thing, it took 12 guys to unroll it, but we got it on there.” The humorist’s career as Green continues to sail. He’s working on another book. “It’s the next Red Green; it won’t be out until the fall of 2013,” he said. “It’s a beginner’s guide to women, so that should be something.” O

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‘Red Green’ to give advice at Stranahan Theater


Steve Smith plays the affable and adventurous handyman Red Green.

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By Caitlin McGlade

Toledo Free Press Staff Writer

Meet Ethel. At 7 years old, she has no qualms about table manners or her voracious appetite. She and her boyfriend come running at the first sight of their trusted human companion Kelly Meister, and Ethel is the first to stuff her entire face in the bag of feed. When her boyfriend finishes eating, he waits for her before descending back into the pond. They’ve gone steady for a few years, so he’s grown accustomed to her pace. Ethel is, after all, getting fairly elderly for a duck. Reaching that ripe old age meant defying all the odds that worked against her from the day she was dumped at Perrysburg’s Three Meadows Park. Ethel’s story began when a couple purchased her and her sister as an Easter present for their grandchildren. A few months later, the pair was bigger, smellier and louder so the grandparents dumped them. Because Ethel and her sister were domesticated, as are all store-bought mallards, they could not fly and had little defense against wild animals. Ethel’s sister didn’t last long. Ethel, on the other hand, is one of Meister’s success stories. The brown and white mallard is one of 11 domesticated ducks that have taken refuge at the park. Since 2000, Meister has made regular trips with a 25-pound bag of dried, cracked corn to keep the ducks nourished. In the winter she goes through one bag in three days but during the summer she can stretch it over about a week and a half. The months following Easter have typically meant an influx of dumped ducks because parents might think it’s cute to place a baby duckling in their

kids’ Easter baskets, Meister said. But here’s another success story: The last duck to join Meister’s circle arrived a few years ago. “The reason they’re not dumping out there at Three Meadows anymore is because of Kelly,” said Jeff Studer, animal control officer for the City of Perrysburg. Meister has written countless letters to the editor before the holiday every year. Meister has seen ducks disappear, likely to hungry coyotes. She’s seen people at the park release their dogs to chase the ducks. She’s seen yards of fishing wire, wadded up in the grass, get wrapped around a duck’s leg and tear it off. She’s seen hooks get caught in ducklings’ feet. “It’s a shame that people think they’re disposable,” she said. “People really don’t get that they’re just condemning these poor creatures to a nasty death.” She and her volunteers try to scoop up all the sick ducks they can. Meister receives donations for feed but she covers all of the medical costs, which can run her up to about $60 per animal. Kerry Ackerman, owner of J&B Feed Co., said his business sells a variety of ducks but that customers must preorder them and purchase at least six at a time. Each duckling costs $5. The minimum purchase rule tends to deter people from buying ducklings merely for Easter purposes because its a relatively large investment. Customers typically buy ducks to add activity to their backyard ponds or to raise for food. The white pekin, for example, is often used for meat because it grows to a large size, Ackerman said. But a quick Craigslist search reveals a couple of local opportunities to purchase a duckling or two for an Easter morning surprise. One Maumee-based post advertises “the perfect Easter gift” for $10 a duckling. It costs $15 if you want two.

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Duck-dumping curbed in Perrysburg


Kelly Meister feedS ducks at Three Meadows Park in Perrysburg.

Another post from Millbury, added March 26, is taking orders for Easter chicks and ducks that will be ready when they are a couple of days old. One Michigan listing, Michigan, markets ducklings for $4 — and those guys will be dyed neon for Easter. Even if no one dumps ducks after Easter this year, Meister and Studer still must be on the lookout. The domesticated ducks lay an exorbitant number of eggs in a season — one duck laid 40 last year alone. The two collect all the eggs they find because if they hatch, that means more ducks inept at dealing with nature’s brutal re-

alities. That also creates more ducks to mate with the wild ducks — over time altering the gene pool of the population altogether, Studer said. The ducks are also a drag on the city. Studer said Perrysburg keeps the fountain running to prevent the pond from freezing over. The city would otherwise be able to shut off the valve during the winter. Spend just a half-hour with Meister’s duck buddies and you’ll quickly understand why some people might want to own one. They’re friendly once you get to know them; Ethel practically stands on Meister’s lap while eating. And they wobble as they

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run in a goofy swagger, squeaking or honking or nipping at their partners as they bump into one another. This of course makes them a source of entertainment for park-walkers. “If nobody did anything here, there would be hundreds of ducks here and they’d be dying,” Meister said. “And nobody knows about all of this. They’ll come here and think, ‘Oh, look at the cute ducks at the pond.’” Donate to Meister’s “Luckey Duck Fund” by calling Luckey Farmers Inc. at (419) 874-3525 or stopping by the location at 11330 Avenue Road in Perrysburg. Check out Meister’s website at O

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APRIL 1, 2012



n A85


Tigers vs. Hens: 11 years too many, a lifetime to some


he Toledo Mud Hens would love for you to believe that the 2012 Opening Day is April 6, and officially it is. But the real kickoff to the season starts 53 hours earlier. The Detroit Tigers announced in December that the 11-season hiatus was over; they were finally going to renew the most fun rivalry in Toledo sports, and play for the first time at Fifth Third Field. This announcement also proved to my 11-yearold son (who turns 12 on April 9) that I am not a liar, it was not my imagination nor a dream that told him tales of the Tigers playing the Mud Hens. On April 9, 2002, my son Brady celebrated his second birthday with 12,000 people at the inaugural game at Fifth Third Field. By this date we already knew how gifted and different

he was going to be. It was in his eyes, to the business of understanding his curiosity, his attention to detail, his “Braden-ese,” the language he spoke. The true fear of being lack of words. a parent of a one in 110 We had no idea what child is wondering it was called, we were what will your son’s life just hoping it would become and how will go away and he would he socially survive at just act like any other school and in the world: two-year-old. It never We were determined to did and it never will. A do whatever we could year-and-a-half later, we to get him “normalized” found out Brady was the for school and life. one in 110. Like Lord Every father dreams Voldemort in “Harry Jeremy BAUMHOWER of playing catch with his Potter,” you’ll never see me write the name because it carries son, it’s a rite of passage, an activity a stigma and does not capture the that opens lines of communication beauty of its gift. Once we understood and a overall great bonding experihow different Brady’s brain is, a plan of ence. Our game of “catch” began after action was set forth and we got down his fourth birthday, except it was more

of a game of “throw.” Brady showed zero interest in catching or throwing the ball, but he had a weakness: He loved money, or the thought he could buy something with it, mainly candy. I made a game of it — $1 for every ball he caught, and he earned $1 for every ball thrown to my mitt. Eventually the money was not needed; he loved the game of baseball and the process gave me a way to talk to him. One in 110 children are blessed to have a brain that runs at a different speed than the rest of us. The trick to raising such a child is to understand how their “program” works and what their needs are. Once you speak the same language then you can decide what data/information you can input. The Detroit Tigers proved to be the

perfect “data” for my son, with the long season, the daily stats and their relationship with the Toledo Mud Hens. Brady’s love of the sport really took hold when he was introduced to baseball cards. Beautiful action photos on the front, loaded with stats on the back. He would study the cards and commit them to memory. The baseball cards tricked him into reading, something he was not a fan of during kindergarten or first grade. Now, money once being spent on candy was being spent on Topps. When Magglio Ordonez hit the walk-off home run in the 2006 ALCS, my son had found his Tiger. He would and still does emulate Dan Dickerson’s radio call of “Waaaay back,” as Dan delivered it a full octave higher. Having a speech delay and various pronunciation issues, he challenged himself to say the player’s name correctly, to copy what he heard being discussed. He became more confident while speaking, another life obstacle the game of baseball was helping us with. Once Brady found his voice, his conversations never stopped. We discuss everything from every Tigers’ World Championship, who my favorite player was, the Curse of the Bambino and the relationship between the Tigers and Mud Hens. I can still recall the shriek of joy he made when he saw Mike Hessman play on a Sunday for Detroit, and that was before he clobbered a 450-foot home run! Being able to see your favorite future Tiger or current rehabbing one may be Toledo’s best known secret. April 4, my son’s worlds will collide, his dreams will come true. That MLB 2K11 Wii game where he plays the Hens against the Tigers will become a reality. My favorite player Cecil Fielder’s son, Prince, will make his Toledo debut, and the full starting lineup of the Tigers is expected to play. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports Detroit and MLB.TV, Mario Impemba and Rod Allen will have the play-by-play; a child could not picture it any better. This last January my dreams came true, as my son’s second quarter grade card put him on the Honor Roll. for the first time. For some students the Honor Roll is expected, even demanded, but for a child who is one in 110 it was a wish granted. The Tigers unknowingly granted a lot of fathers’ wishes by agreeing to come back to Toledo. I know it’s just one game, but it’s been 11 seasons and for some that’s been a lifetime. Thank you, Joe Napoli and Dave Dombrowski, for not making me a lifetime “liar” and for giving one more lifetime memory. O


A86 n Toledo Free Press



pring seems to have sprung, which means birthday season in our house is about to commence (“Birthday Season: Part Deux” runs almost continuously from October through December). However, I didn’t quite realize that this year we would be including one more special day in our vernal celebrations. After perusing the paperwork that arrived with our newlyadopted canine, Rex, we discovered that we have actually added another Aries to the mix. I suppose it shouldn’t have surprised me that we had somehow welcomed in yet another someone with a March/April birthday. My side of the family seems to have started an Aries collection with the birth of my first child, Jack. In fact, since April 2003, five of the eight individuals added to the family roll call have been born under the sign of the ram. Rex makes six. I especially shouldn’t have been surprised considering the way our flat-coated retriever has fit our family like a glove since the moment he arrived. The similarities are uncanny in many a way, some good and some not so good. Within the first few weeks, it became obvious that Rex has our dry skin, loves the snow, likes to be outside (but not for long) and appreciates

APRIL 1, 2012

Rex and effects

almost five years of worldly experia good meal. As we head into our fourth ence under his collar when he joined month together, Rex’s characteris- our tribe, so our family is apparently a constant magnet for tics have started getthe Nervous Nellies of ting even more eerily the world. similar to members of We also seem to our clan. Upon adophave a magnetic attion, we were informed traction to Murphy’s that he had some Law and spend a good storm anxiety and deal of time proving some separation anxits validity. After 13 iety. However, during years of convincing the initial adjustment my husband, Mike, it was hard to tell what Shannon SZYPERSKI that a dog would not was just a dog in a new necessarily impose situation and what was Rex. Time has proven that he is, in- the financial burden he had built deed, an anxious fellow who prefers up in his mind, Rex quickly reincompany nearby, especially during forced his fears. On a day when I was dealing with my youngest’s a storm. A smorgasbord of anxieties is stomach flu, Mike kept calling to something we are all too familiar ask me if I had seen Rex pee lately. with in our household, so our Um, no, but I’ve seen Lucy puke frightened friend of the furry kind twice. Does that help you out? In fact, the sarcasm in my head certainly found the right people to love him and hold his big ol’ paw did not help him, so he came home in times of trouble. Of course, we at lunch to check on the Rex uridon’t actually hold his paw, because nation situation (or lack thereof) that really freaks him out. I’ve al- himself. After reluctantly returning ways felt somewhat responsible for to work, I finally joined in on the the obsessive-compulsive tenden- “Keep Track of Rex’s Every Move” cies displayed by Sebastian, a cat game. Huh, I guess despite wanting we adopted as a young kitten (e.g., to go out every five minutes, he rerefusing to eat if even the slightest ally wasn’t peeing. Yet, he was conspeck of the bottom of his food dish tinuing to drink water. Indeed, a is visible). However, Rex already had dangerous state of canine affairs

seemed to be upon us. As I arose from my stomach flu caregiving stupor and out of my the-dog-also-has-a-problem denial, I began to realize that Rex was even refusing to sit or lie down and was now just pacing the house with a concerned look on his face (even more so than usual). “Um, yeah, Honey, this isn’t looking too good. You better come take him to the vet.” An X-ray, urinalysis, sedation, catheterization, ultrasound and hundreds of dollars later, the vet discovered ... nothing. Aside from a very slight urinary tract infection, there were no blockages, no obvious anatomical anomalies and no definitive answer. Well, that seems about right.

My personal diagnosis is that something scared our gentle giant, he became too scared to “go” for a while and then kind of forgot how, a classic anxiety episode if I’ve ever seen one. The only confusing part for me is that our family Scorpios are usually the anxious ones, being tested for everything and finding nothing. Our Aries are usually the ones breaking bones by jumping in a single bound and, in the tradition of the ram, stopping car doors with their foreheads. Fingers crossed that this dog isn’t a little (or a lot) of both. O Shannon and her husband Michael are raising three children in Sylvania. Email her at

405 Madison Avenue | 8th Floor Toledo, Ohio 43604


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Margy, diagnosed in 2006


Margy, diagnosed in 2006

to create a world free of MS


Walk MS is a simple, but incredibly powerful way for you to share in the hope for the future. It’s a time and place to stand together and be together to help raise critical funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society so people with MS can move their lives forward.

Sign up for the Toledo Walk MS

at University of Toledo on Sunday, April 15 at or call 1-800-FIGHT MS

TV Listings

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The Revolution General Hospital The Talk Let’s Make a Deal Justice Justice The People’s Court Judge B. Judge B. Nate Berkus Varied Programs Criminal Minds The First 48 Varied Programs Scrubs Scrubs Yankers Futurama Varied Programs SportsCenter Varied Programs Grounded Grounded ’70s Show ’70s Show Secrets 30-Minute Giada Giada Varied Programs Grey’s Anatomy Grey’s Anatomy Varied Programs Raymond Raymond Raymond Raymond Movie Varied Programs Leverage The Closer Varied Programs Wendy Williams Show Lifechangr Lifechangr

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NBA Basketball: Bulls at Thunder NBA Basketball Miami Heat at Boston Celtics. (N) (CC) News ABC Funny Home Videos Once Upon a Time Desp.-Wives GCB (N) (CC) News Insider ATP Tennis Sony Ericsson Open, Men’s Final. (N) (CC) Kings of the Court High School Basketball News News 60 Minutes (CC) The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards (N) (CC) News Criminal NASCAR Racing Sprint Cup: Goody’s Fast Relief 500. (N) (S Live) (CC) CarMD TBA Mother Mother Simpsons Cleveland Simpsons Burgers Fam. Guy American News Recap 30 Rock Office NHL Hockey: Flyers at Penguins PGA Tour Golf Shell Houston Open, Final Round. (N) (S Live) (CC) News News Dateline NBC (N) The Celebrity Apprentice A celebrity guidebook about New York. News Jdg Judy Woods. W’dwright Kitchen Sewing Independent Lens Independent Lens American Masters Moyers & Company NOVA (CC) (DVS) Finding Your Roots Masterpiece Classic Saving the Titanic Austin City Limits ››› Independence Day (1996) Will Smith. Premiere. (CC) Duck D. Duck D. Duck D. Duck D. Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Breakout Kings (N) Breakout Kings (CC) Housewives/Atl. Housewives/OC Housewives/OC Housewives/OC Shahs of Sunset Shahs of Sunset Housewives/Atl. Housewives/Atl. Housewives/Atl. Shahs of Sunset (N) Happens Atlanta ›› Along Came Polly (2004) Ben Stiller. Futurama Futurama Futurama Futurama ›› Office Space (1999) Ron Livingston. G. Iglesias: Fluffy Daniel Tosh: Happy Kevin Hart Jo Koy: Lights Out South Pk Tosh.0 Good Good Shake It Shake it Jessie Austin Phineas Phineas Good ANT Farm Jessie Shake It Austin Shake It Shake It Shake It Shake It Jessie Austin Austin Good Good PBA Bowling Football College Basketball SportsCenter (N) Final Four Women’s College Basketball Women’s College Basketball SportsCenter (N) ›› Stepmom (1998, Drama) Julia Roberts. ››› The Parent Trap (1998) Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quaid. ›››› Toy Story (1995, Comedy), Tim Allen ›››› Toy Story 2 (1999), Tim Allen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Restaurant: Im. Restaurant: Im. Restaurant: Im. Restaurant: Im. Best Best Diners Diners Worst Cooks Cupcake Wars (N) Worst Cooks Iron Chef America Restaurant Stakeout First Pla. First Pla. Property Property Property Property House Hunters For Rent For Rent House Hunters Holmes on Homes Holmes on Homes Holmes Inspection Holmes Inspection Holmes on Homes ››› Selena (1997) Jennifer Lopez. (CC) ›› My Sister’s Keeper (2009, Drama) (CC) ›› August Rush (2007) Freddie Highmore. ›› The Bucket List (2007) Jack Nicholson. Army Wives “Viral” Coming Home (N) ›› The Bucket List Jersey Shore (CC) Jersey Shore (CC) Jersey Shore (CC) Jersey Shore (CC) Jersey Shore (CC) Jersey Shore (CC) Jersey Shore (CC) 16 and Pregnant 16 and Pregnant Punk’d Pauly D Fantasy Fantasy Harold ›› Starsky & Hutch (2004) Ben Stiller. (CC) ›› Kicking & Screaming (2005) Will Ferrell. ›› The Longest Yard (2005) Adam Sandler. (CC) ›› 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) Paul Walker. ›› The Fast and the Furious (2001) (CC) ››› The Great Race (1965, Comedy) Tony Curtis. (CC) ›››› Some Like It Hot (1959) Tony Curtis. (CC) ››› The Long, Long Trailer (1954) (CC) ››› Call Northside 777 (1948) Premiere. ›› Butterfield 8 (1960) Elizabeth Taylor. ››› Double Jeopardy (1999) (CC) ›› Kiss the Girls (1997) Morgan Freeman. (CC) ›› Disturbia (2007) Shia LaBeouf, David Morse. (CC) › Law Abiding Citizen (2009) Jamie Foxx. › Law Abiding Citizen (2009) Jamie Foxx. ››› Blood Diamond ››› Troy (2004, Adventure) Brad Pitt, Eric Bana. (CC) Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: SVU › Good Luck Chuck ›› Phat Girlz (2006) Made Payne Cold Case (CC) Big Bang Big Bang Friends Friends Chris Chris Big Bang Big Bang ›› Meet Dave (2008) Eddie Murphy. Made in Hollywood Scoop Electric



Good Morning News This Week Conklin Bridges Roundtabl NBA Your Morning Sunday CBS News Sunday Morning (N) Nation Leading Mass Motorcycle Racing Paid Prog. Cindy C Fox News Sunday Paid Prog. Paid Prog. Paid Prog. Paid Prog. Grt Pillow NASCAR Today (N) (CC) Meet the Press (N) Van Impe Jillian Paid Prog. Paid Prog. Auction Hockey Sid Cat in the Super Dinosaur Toledo Stories (CC) Plugged-In Autism Antiques Roadshow Breakout Kings (CC) The Sopranos (CC) The Sopranos (CC) The Sopranos (CC) The Sopranos (CC) ››› American Pie Presents: Band Camp Real Housewives Real Housewives Housewives/Atl. ›› Balls of Fury (2007) Dan Fogler. (CC) ›› Wayne’s World (1992) Mike Myers. (CC) Jo Koy: Angry Mickey Pirates Phineas Phineas Good Shake It ANT Farm Austin Wizards Wizards SportsCenter (N) (CC) Outside Reporters SportsCenter (N) (CC) SportsCenter (N) (Live) (CC) Baseball ›› Teen Witch (1989, Fantasy) Robyn Lively. ››› Parenthood (1989) Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen. Stepmom Money Hungry Rachael Ray’s Dinners Guy’s Sand. Secrets Paula Not My Home Income Property Brothers (CC) Disaster Disaster Yard Room Cr. Love It or List It (CC) Hour of Power (CC) J. Osteen Paid Prog. Chris ›› When Innocence Is Lost (1997) (CC) Selena Jersey Shore (CC) Jersey Shore (CC) Jersey Shore (CC) Jersey Shore (CC) Jersey Shore (CC) Friends Friends Friends ›› The Dukes of Hazzard (2005) (CC) Harold & Kumar Go Elmer ››› The Bank Dick ››› The Awful Truth (1937) Irene Dunne. (CC) ››› At the Circus (1939) (CC) Law & Order Law & Order Law & Order “Hitman” Law & Order Law & Order Miracles J. Osteen Fairly Legal (CC) In Plain Sight (CC) ››› Blood Diamond (2006) Leonardo DiCaprio. FREE Bras Paid Prog. Old House For Home Anti-Aging Paid Prog. FREE Bras Raceline ›› Phat Girlz (2006)


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Ent Insider Dancing With the Stars (N) (S Live) (CC) Castle “The Limey” News Nightline Wheel Jeopardy! Broke Girl Two Men 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament Final: Teams TBA. (N) News The Office How I Met Bones (N) (CC) House (N) (CC) Fox Toledo News Seinfeld The Office Jdg Judy Jdg Judy The Voice Vocalists from two teams compete. Smash “Hell on Earth” News Jay Leno NewsHour Business Antiques Roadshow American Masters (N) American Masters (N) (CC) Changing The First 48 (CC) The First 48 (CC) Intervention “Suzon” Intervention (N) (CC) Intervention “Sean” Shahs of Sunset Housewives/Atl. Housewives/Atl. Bethenny Ever After Happens Atlanta 30 Rock 30 Rock South Pk South Pk Sunny Sunny Sunny Sunny Daily Colbert ANT Farm Jessie Shake It Geek Charming (2011) Sarah Hyland. (CC) Austin Jessie Wizards College GameDay From New Orleans. (N) (CC) Pardon Baseball Tonight (N) (Live) (CC) SportsCenter (N) (CC) Secret-Teen Secret-Teen Make It or Break It (N) Secret-Teen The 700 Club (CC) Diners Diners Heat See. Heat See. Diners Diners Diners Diners Diners Diners Hunters House Love It or List It (N) House House House Hunters My House First Place Medium “Lucky” (CC) › Obsessed (2009, Suspense) Idris Elba. (CC) ››› Cries in the Dark (2006) Eva La Rue. (CC) Ridic. Ridic. Ridic. Ridic. Fantasy Fantasy Fantasy Fantasy Fantasy Fantasy Seinfeld Seinfeld Fam. Guy Fam. Guy Fam. Guy Fam. Guy Fam. Guy Fam. Guy Conan (N) (CC) › Frontier Rangers ›› Lullaby of Broadway (1951) ›› By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953) My Dream Law & Order The Mentalist (CC) The Mentalist (CC) The Closer (CC) Rizzoli & Isles (CC) NCIS (CC) WWE Hall of Fame WWE Monday Night RAW (N) (S Live) (CC) Psych (CC) Big Bang Big Bang Gossip Girl (N) (CC) Hart of Dixie (CC) Sunny Sunny Cash Cab Cash Cab

LIVE MUSIC ☞ LLast Born Sons ☞ Nine Lives 1-4 pm in The Bullpen

n en llpe 8 pm - 12 am in The Bu


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Ent Insider Last Man Cougar Dancing With Stars Body of Proof (N) (CC) News Nightline Wheel Jeopardy! NCIS (CC) (DVS) NCIS: Los Angeles Unforgettable (CC) News Letterman The Office How I Met Raising Raising New Girl Breaking Fox Toledo News Seinfeld The Office Jdg Judy Jdg Judy The Biggest Loser (N) The Voice (N) (CC) Fashion Star (N) News Jay Leno NewsHour Business Grand Coulee Dam: American American Experience (CC) Charlie Rose (N) (CC) Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Housewives/OC Housewives/OC Housewives/OC Tabatha Takes Over Happens OC 30 Rock 30 Rock Key Tosh.0 Tosh.0 Tosh.0 Tosh.0 (N) Key Daily Colbert ANT Farm Jessie Jessie The Suite Life Movie (2011) Shake It Austin Jessie Wizards SportCtr Championship Special Women’s College Basketball SportsCenter (N) (CC) ›› Step Up 2 the Streets (2008) ››› Glory Road (2006) Josh Lucas, Derek Luke. Premiere. The 700 Club (CC) Cupcake Wars Cupcake Wars Chopped Chopped (N) Chopped Hunters House Million Dollar Rooms Property Property House Hunters Love It or List It (CC) Reba (CC) Reba (CC) Dance Moms (CC) Dance Moms “Abbygeddon” (N) Dance Moms: Miami Prank Awkward. Awkward. Awkward. Awkward. 16 and Pregnant (CC) 16 and Pregnant (N) Savage U Pregnant Seinfeld Seinfeld Big Bang Big Bang Big Bang Big Bang Big Bang Big Bang Conan (N) (CC) Mutiny on the Bounty ››› Lover Come Back (1961) Rock Hudson. ›› That Touch of Mink (1962) Cary Grant. Bones (CC) Bones (CC) Bones (CC) ›› Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: SVU CSI: Crime Scene Big Bang Big Bang 90210 (CC) Ringer (N) (CC) Sunny Sunny Cash Cab Cash Cab

ney & r a l B e h T at en! p l l u B y e n The Blar

ary dy M Bloo r, Irish Ba fast, & k Brea Station b m Bo H DAYS! BOT

h th ay, April 4 d s e n d e W am s) Open 9:00 . Mud Hen s v s r e ig T (Detroit h th ay, April 6 id r F m a 0 Open 9:0 s Opening Day) (Mud Hen

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@ @BlarneyToledo Blarn10” eyxT10.25” oledad o

TV Listings

A88 n Toledo Free Press Wednesday Evening ABC 13 CBS 11 FOX 36 NBC 24 PBS 30 A&E BRAVO COM DISN ESN FAM FOOD HGTV LIF MTV TBS TCM TNT USA WTO5

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Ent Insider Shark Tank (CC) Primetime: What 20/20 (N) (CC) News Nightline Wheel Jeopardy! Undercover Boss (N) CSI: NY “Kill Screen” Blue Bloods (N) (CC) News Highlights The Office How I Met The Finder (N) (CC) Fringe (N) (CC) Fox Toledo News Seinfeld The Office Jdg Judy Jdg Judy Who Do You Grimm (N) (CC) Dateline NBC (N) (CC) News Jay Leno NewsHour Business Wash. Deadline Live From Lincoln Center (N) (CC) Music Charlie Rose (N) (CC) Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Storage Housewives/OC Housewives/OC ››› Enchanted (2007) Amy Adams. Premiere. ››› Enchanted (2007) Tosh.0 Tosh.0 Sunny Sunny South Pk Tosh.0 Ugly Amer Key Chappelle Chappelle ANT Farm Jessie Lab Rats Snap! (N) Phineas Jessie Austin Good Austin Austin Masters SportCtr 2012 Masters Tournament Second Round. SportsCenter (N) (CC) ›› Bewitched (2005) Nicole Kidman. ›› Nanny McPhee (2005) Emma Thompson. The 700 Club (CC) Best Thing Best Thing Diners Diners Diners Diners Diners Diners Diners Diners Hunters Hunters Hunters Hunters Hunters Hunters House Hunters Hunters Hunters I Survived (CC) I Survived (CC) Amer. Most Wanted Amer. Most Wanted Amer. Most Wanted Pauly D Pauly D Fantasy Fantasy Punk’d Punk’d › The Final Destination (2009) Bobby Campo. Seinfeld Seinfeld Payne Payne Payne Payne ››› Mean Girls (2004) Lindsay Lohan. (CC) ›› The Big Leaguer ››› Love Me or Leave Me (1955) Doris Day. ››› Young Man With a Horn (1950) (CC) Law & Order “Return” Law & Order › Rush Hour 3 (2007) Jackie Chan. (CC) Hornet’s Nest (2012) Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: SVU Fairly Legal (N) (CC) In Plain Sight (N) (CC) Suits “Bail Out” (CC) Big Bang Big Bang Nikita “Rogue” (CC) Supernatural (CC) Sunny Sunny Cash Cab Cash Cab


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Ent Insider Middle Suburg. Mod Fam Happy Missing “Ice Queen” News Nightline Wheel Jeopardy! Survivor: One World Criminal Minds (N) CSI: Crime Scene News Letterman The Office How I Met American Idol The finalists perform. (N) (CC) Fox Toledo News Seinfeld The Office Jdg Judy Jdg Judy Betty BFF Bent (N) Bent (N) Rock Center News Jay Leno NewsHour Business Nature (CC) NOVA Weird, extreme chemistry. (N) Charlie Rose (N) (CC) Storage Storage Storage Storage Dog Dog Duck D. Duck D. Duck D. Duck D. Tabatha Takes Over Housewives/OC Interior Therapy Million Dollar Listing What Happens 30 Rock 30 Rock Chappelle Chappelle South Pk South Pk South Pk Ugly Amer Daily Colbert ANT Farm Jessie ANT Farm ››› Spy Kids (2001) (CC) ANT Farm Austin Jessie Wizards MLB Baseball St. Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins. (Live) Baseball NBA Basketball ›› Bring It On (2000, Comedy) Kirsten Dunst. Cyberbully (2011) Emily Osment, Kelly Rowan. The 700 Club (CC) Worst Cooks Restaurant: Im. Restaurant: Im. Restaurant Stakeout Restaurant: Im. Hunters House Property Brothers (CC) Property Brothers (CC) House Hunters Property Brothers (CC) Wife Swap (CC) Wife Swap (CC) Wife Swap (CC) Wife Swap (CC) Wife Swap (CC) Ridic. Ridic. 16 and Pregnant (CC) The Challenge: Battle The Challenge: Battle The Challenge: Battle Seinfeld Seinfeld Fam. Guy Fam. Guy Fam. Guy Fam. Guy Big Bang Big Bang Conan (N) (CC) ››› Pretty Poison ››› Midnight Lace (1960, Mystery) Doris Day. ›› Storm Warning (1951, Drama) Winning Law & Order Law & Order Law & Order Law & Order CSI: NY “Risk” (CC) NCIS: Los Angeles NCIS “Two-Faced” NCIS (CC) (DVS) Psych “True Grits” (N) Fairly Legal (CC) Big Bang Big Bang One Tree Hill The 10th anniversary of Tric. (N) Sunny Sunny Cash Cab Cash Cab


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Good Morning News J. Hanna Ocean Explore Health Your Morning Saturday Busytown Busytown Danger Horseland Animal Hollywood Eco Co. Mad Paid Prog. Paid Prog. Paid Prog. Paid Prog. Today (N) (CC) Paid Prog. My Pillow Zula Patrl Shelldon Dragon Babar Sid Cat in the Super Dinosaur MotorWk Michigan Wild Ohio Michigan Flip This House (CC) Flip This House (CC) Flip This House (CC) Flip This House (CC) Million Dollar Listing Interior Therapy Interior Therapy Tabatha Takes Over › Superstar (1999) Molly Shannon. (CC) › Who’s Your Caddy? (2007, Comedy) (CC) Mickey Mickey Phineas Phineas Phineas Snap! (CC) ANT Farm ANT Farm SportsCenter (CC) SportsCenter (CC) SportsCenter (N) (Live) (CC) This Time Around (2003) ›› Mamma Mia! (2008) Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan. Secrets Cooking Home 30-Minute Pioneer Paula Contessa Giada Income Kitchen Property Property Yard Yard Yard Crashers Boone Paid Prog. Paid Prog. Paid Prog. Paid Prog. Paid Prog. Chris Chris Awkward. Awkward. Awkward. Awkward. Awkward. Awkward. Awkward. Awkward. Earl Earl Jim Yes, Dear Yes, Dear Yes, Dear Yes, Dear Yes, Dear ›› The Bugle Sounds ›››› The Invisible Man (1933) Boston Blackie Goes Hollywood Law & Order “Bitch” Law & Order Rizzoli & Isles (CC) The Closer (CC) Paid Prog. Paid Prog. Psych “True Grits” ›› Bee Movie (2007) Voices of Jerry Seinfeld. Sonic X Sonic X Yu-Gi-Oh! Yu-Gi-Oh! Dragon Dragon Tai Chi Yu-Gi-Oh!


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April 5, 2012 11 pm


Ent Insider Missing (N) (CC) Grey’s Anatomy (N) Scandal (N) (CC) News Nightline Wheel Jeopardy! Big Bang Rules Person of Interest (N) The Mentalist (N) (CC) News Highlights The Office How I Met American Idol (N) (CC) Touch “Kite Strings” Fox Toledo News Seinfeld The Office Jdg Judy Jdg Judy Commun 30 Rock The Office All Night Awake (N) News Jay Leno NewsHour Business Lake Erie: Ohio Masterpiece Mystery! (CC) (DVS) Santana-Live Sun Stud The First 48 (CC) The First 48 (CC) The First 48 (N) (CC) First 48: Missing First 48: Missing Shahs Housewives/Atl. Housewives/OC Housewives/OC OC Happens Atlanta 30 Rock 30 Rock Futurama Futurama Futurama Futurama South Pk Tosh.0 Daily Colbert ANT Farm Jessie Phineas Phineas and Ferb: The Movie Phineas Austin Jessie Wizards Masters SportCtr 2012 Masters Tournament First Round. SportsCenter (N) (CC) ››› Dirty Dancing (1987) ›› Raising Helen (2004) Kate Hudson, John Corbett. The 700 Club (CC) Chopped Chopped Chopped Sweet Genius (N) Sweet Genius Hunters House Selling NY Selling NY Selling LA Selling NY House Hunters House Hunters Wife Swap (CC) ›› The Secret Life of Bees (2008) Queen Latifah. (CC) Dance Moms: Miami Reba (CC) Ridic. Ridic. The Challenge: Battle Pauly D Punk’d Punk’d (N) Pauly D Pants Punk’d Seinfeld Seinfeld Fam. Guy Fam. Guy Big Bang Big Bang Big Bang Big Bang Conan (N) (CC) Prpl Plain Playing ››› Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1960) ››› The Thrill of It All (1963) Doris Day. NBA Basketball New York Knicks at Orlando Magic. (N) NBA Basketball Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls. (N) (CC) NCIS “Heart Break” NCIS “Forced Entry” NCIS “Chained” (CC) NCIS “Blackwater” In Plain Sight (CC) Big Bang Big Bang The Vampire Diaries The Secret Circle (CC) Sunny Sunny Cash Cab Cash Cab



8 pm


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8 pm


9 pm


April 7, 2012 12 pm


Food Rescue Paid Prog. Secrets Kids News Paid Prog. Willa’s Pearlie (EI) Nature (CC) Flip This House (CC) Tabatha Takes Over Sunny Sunny Wizards Wizards The Sound of Music Chopped Crashers Bath Murder-Pleasnt Awkward. Awkward. ››› Shrek 2 (2004) New Adv. of Tarzan Law & Order ››› Hairspray (2007) Dog Tales Career

April 7, 2012

10 pm 10:30 11 pm 11:30

Full Plate Ali Vince. Recipe Paid Ball Boys Ball Boys ESPN Sports Saturday (N) News ABC ››› The Ten Commandments (1956, Historical Drama) Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner. (CC) News Paid Heal Power-Juicing Seve! (N) (CC) 2012 Masters Tournament Third Round. (N) (Live) (CC) Wheel Jeopardy! Mother Mike Criminal Minds 48 Hours Mystery News NUMB3R › Gypsy Eyes (1994, Drama) Jim Metzler. Base Pregame MLB Baseball Regional Coverage. (N Subject to Blackout) (CC) McCarver Simpsons Q’Viva! The Chosen (N) (CC) News Seinfeld Alcatraz (CC) NHL Hockey: Blackhawks at Red Wings Skiing Road to the Kentucky Derby (N) News News Academic Jdg Judy Escape Routes (N) The Firm (N) (CC) Law & Order: SVU News SNL This Old House Hr John Quilting Gospel Music of Statler Bro Sun Stud Richard Steves Travels Lawrence Welk History Detectives Antiques Roadshow As Time... Wine Masterpiece Classic Flip This House (CC) Shipping Shipping Shipping Shipping Parking Parking Parking Parking Parking Parking Storage Storage Storage Storage Parking Parking Parking Parking Parking Parking Tabatha Takes Over Housewives/OC Housewives/OC The Celebrity Apprentice (CC) Housewives/OC Housewives/Atl. ››› Ocean’s Eleven (2001) George Clooney. Premiere. Ocean 11 Sunny Sunny 30 Rock › Let’s Go to Prison (2006) Dax Shepard. › A Night at the Roxbury (1998) Will Ferrell. ›› Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (CC) ›› Semi-Pro (2008) Will Ferrell. Premiere. 40-Year-Old Vir Good Good Shake It Shake It ANT Farm ANT Farm ANT Farm ANT Farm Good Jessie Austin Shake It Shake It Up! (CC) ANT Farm Shake It Austin ANT Farm ANT Farm Jessie Austin Shake It College Lacrosse Virginia at North Carolina. Quarterback MLS Soccer: Galaxy at Sporting SportsCenter (N) (Live) (CC) NBA Basketball Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers. NBA Basketball ›››› The Sound of Music (1965, Musical) Julie Andrews. ›››› Mary Poppins (1964, Musical) Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke. ››› A Bug’s Life (1998), Kevin Spacey ››› Cars (2006) Voices of Owen Wilson, Paul Newman. Batman Cupcake Wars Worst Cooks Sweet Genius Diners Diners Iron Chef America Chopped All-Stars Chopped All-Stars Chopped All-Stars Chopped All-Stars Chopped All-Stars Iron Chef America Room Cr. Homes Homes Showhs Buck High Low Land Land Block Block House Hunters House Hunters Candice Dear Color Spl. Interiors House Hunters House Hunters Murder-Pleasnt Cradle of Lies (2006) Shannon Sturges. And Baby Will Fall (2011) Anastasia Griffith. Home Invasion (2011) Haylie Duff. (CC) Adopting Terror (2012) Sean Astin. (CC) Stolen Child (2011) Emmanuelle Vaugier. 16 and Pregnant 16 and Pregnant 16 and Pregnant Punk’d Pauly D Ridic. ›› ATL (2006) Tip Harris, Lauren London. › How High (2001) Method Man. ›› Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005) ››› Shrek 2 (2004) ›› Shrek the Third (2007, Comedy) (CC) King King Friends Friends Friends Friends Seinfeld Seinfeld Big Bang Big Bang Big Bang Big Bang ››› Shrek 2 (2004) Voices of Mike Myers. ›› Larceny, Inc. (1942), Jane Wyman (CC) ›››› The Great Escape (1963, War) Steve McQueen. (CC) ›› Four for Texas (1963) Frank Sinatra. ››› Gilda (1946) Rita Hayworth. (CC) ››› The Lady From Shanghai Fire Down Hornet’s Nest (2012) Sherry Stringfield. (CC) ›› The Mummy Returns (2001) Brendan Fraser. (CC) ››› The Matrix (1999) Keanu Reeves. (CC) ›› Van Helsing (2004, Fantasy) Hugh Jackman. (CC) Leverage (CC) Leverage ››› Hairspray (2007) ›› The Wedding Planner (2001) (CC) ›› Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (2008) Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: SVU ›› The Break-Up Icons Live Life On Spot Browns Electric Electric Futurama Futurama Fam. Guy Fam. Guy Minor League Baseball Indianapolis Indians at Toledo Mud Hens. Electric Electric Two Men Two Men Sunny Sunny



Specializing in Mexican Food since 1955


10400 Airport Hwy. (1.2 Mi. East of the Aiport) Lunch & Dinner, 11 a.m. to Midnight Closed Sundays & Holidays



Original Recipes from Both Mexico and Germany

419-729-9775 3025 N. Summit Street (near Point Place) Mon. - Thurs. 11-10 p.m. Fri. - Sat. .11-11 p.m. Sun. 3-9 p.m. Closed Holidays


BARRON’S CAFE Everything Mexican From Tacos to Enchiladas to Delicious Burritos

419-825-3474 13625 Airport Hwy., Swanton (across from Valleywood Country Club) Mon. - Thurs. 11-11 p.m. Fri. - Sat. .11-12 a.m. Closed Sundays and Holidays



419-841-7523 7742 W. Bancroft (1 Mi. West of McCord) Mon. - x Sat.10.25” from 11 a.m. ad 10” Closed Sundays & Holidays


APRIL 1, 2012 Solution, tips and computer program at



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Wear Blue to Work!

Will you take a stand against child abuse by wearing blue to work on April 11?

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Lucas County Children Services receives over 750 reports of suspected child abuse and neglect each month. YOU can help prevent child abuse and neglect in our community just by becoming aware!

Child Abuse Is Preventable. Wear Blue to Work on

April 11, 2012 Take a picture of yourself, your group or company wearing blue, and post it on our Facebook page! For more information, visit Lucas County Children Services on Facebook or email To report child abuse anytime, call 419-213-2273.

TFP Crossword

Toledo Sports Greats ACROSS

2. Figure skating great from Bowling Green 9. Suitable 11. Rice dish 12. Squealer 13. Kettle emission 14. Scott High school track great who led her team to a state title. 16. Tit for ---17. UT cage great who went on to play for the Pistons, et al. 18. Great buys 21. Sound of contentment 23. “The Hawkeye St.” 24. Swabs again 27. Start baseball star drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals 31. Fed. narcs? 32. Football star for the Toledo Troopers and a finalist on ABS’s “Superstars” 34. ---- acid 35. CBS drama 36. Clunker on four wheels 39. Rainbow shape 40. St. John’s tennis star who ranked as high as #65 as a pro

by Dave DeChristopher 1 9














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32 33 34





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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Military lullaby Cardinals’ cap insignia Half the team? University of Maryland athlete Houston squad Examine closely State Senator Fedor

8. 10. 14. 15. 16. 19. 20. 22. 25.

Christened 3.14159265, roughly Take a dip Way to go, in brief Obsolete autocrat 4th anniversary gift Long story Morning jolt “Moon River” composer

26. 28. 29. 30. 32. 33. 37. 38.

NBC “mascot” “Heroes on a half-shell” Altar promise Dealers in stolen goods Military vacation Fairy tale beginning Might...or might not Either partner



A90 n Toledo Free Press




sales and marketing

2004 HD Sportster 1200 Custom, 11,000 miles, Vance & Hines pipes, chrome forks, Lepera custom seat, stainless steel brake lines, detachable windshield, detachable rear rack, Screamin Eagle Air Filter. All stock parts seat and pipes included. Call Charlie (419) 344-3219.

Business Development Professionals NHA is seeking PT (20 Hours) professionals to expand services by generating new clients and developing new services. Sales and Marketing professionals with health care, strategic planning, forecasting, and an extensive network will be ideal candidates. Forward resumes with salary requirements to: or NHA, Business Development, 313 Jefferson Ave., Toledo, OH 43604. No phone calls.

community legal notices A+ Self Storage at 1324 W. Alexis Toledo, OH 43612 will offer for public sale at 3:30PM on April 24, 2012 the following units: Unit 1216, Omaira R. Allen P.O. box 2632 TOL, OH 43606: Lawnmower, Boxes, Vacuum; Unit 1311, Nancy L. Suber 1547 W. Central Ave. Toledo, OH 43606: Shelving Units, Glass Cases, Lightbulbs; Unit 2119, Chad Feller 2133 Stirrup Ln #4 Toledo, OH 43613: Boxes, Ladder, Air Compressor;; Cash and Removal. Call ahead to confirm: 419-476-1400

for sale

RENTALS townhome / apartments


Historic Bancroft Apartments offer 1, 2, & 3 bdrm apt. starting at $400/mo. Heat & water included, on-site laundry. Awesome move-in specials! 419-259-0619


THE OCEAN Corp. 10840 Rockley Road, Houston, Texas 77099. Train for a New Career. *Underwater Welder. Commercial Diver. *NDT/Weld Inspector. Job Placement Assistance. Financial Aid available for those who qualify. 1-800-321-0298.

Call 419.241.1700, Ext 230 to place a Classified Ad!

Please call 419-241-1700 ext. 221

An information guide and workbook for home buyers!








ne W

Energetic smiling faces for fast-paced work environment. Full- and Part-time positions available. Apply in person. Lasalle Cleaners, 922 Jefferson Ave., Toledo,Ohio GET PAID AND TRAVEL TODAY! $500 Sign-on Bonus! Adventurous Fun Environment. Commision Sales. Seeking Motivated Guys/Gals.Sean 1-800716-0048 Toledo Free Press publishes classified ads and cannot be responsible for problems arising between parties placing or responding to ads in our paper. We strongly urge everyone to exercise caution when dealing with people, companies and organizations with whom you are not familiar.



More than

just a sign in your yard.

» Are you thinking about selling your home? » Do you know how it should be priced in Thinking about buying a today’s market? 1586 sq ft, 3 bedrooms, neW liStinG! 1 bath, home? Call or 2 car » Want statistics on how many homes are email for your attached being updated. FREE Buyer’s for sale ingarage, your pricelarge rangelot. andCurrently area? Guide! A» Have minute walkantoupdated the lake! property - not a you had marketEstate analysis? Compliments of Mary Ann Stearns, Pathway Real 419.345.0071 Estate | www.Mar

Want to know what sale. “more than” mean$95,000. for you? foreclosure or short call me can for appt.

Call me. Mary ann Stearns Mary Ann Stearns » 419.345.0071

Loss Realty Group

Realtor® » Life Member TBR Million Dollar Club »


It’s all about getting your home SOLD!


Featured homes for sale ... Your home could be here next week!



4121 Talwood $129,900 Washington Local 3 Bed, 1-1/2 Bath, Family Room, New kitchen, large wooded lot.



I N C .

1034 Clymena $59,900 3 Bed, NEW kitchen, windows, carpet, bath, finished basement. Just move in!

3450 W. Central, Suite 334 Toledo, Ohio 43606

2 4 2 6 N . R e y n o l d s R o a d Tol e d o, OH 4 3615

We value traditions and incorporate new ideas to serve families at their most difficult times.

SylvaniaVET Dr. Bob Esplin (Dr. Bob) 419.885.4421

(419) 531-4424

Call or email me for your copy.


point place

Counter Help


Walking Routes Available!




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APRIL 1, 2012

All real estate advertised in this paper is subject to the federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin, in the sale, rental, or financing of housing. This Publisher will not knowingly accept any advertising that violates any applicable law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised in this paper are available on an equal opportunity basis. If you believe you have been discriminated against in connection with the sale, rental, or financing of housing, call the Toledo Fair Housing Center, (419) 243-6163.

Compliments of Mary Ann Stea rns, Loss Real ty Group 419.345.0071 | www.MaryAnn

mary Ann stearns 419.345.0071

Third Rock



By Elizabeth Hazel

Your Tarotgram and Horoscope

APR. 1-7, 2012

Events: Venus enters Gemini (3rd), Mercury direct station in Pisces (4th), Full Moon in Libra (6th) Aries (March 21-April 19)

Libra (September 23-October 22)

Amidst bright conversations and energetic pursuits, there are concerns about distribution of resources or the welfare of loved ones. After Wednesday, people flip-flop on plans and promises. There’s a push to work things out after Friday, but wants and needs are at odds.

This week you’re exceptionally sensitive about how you appear to others, and your notions about personal success and failure weigh heavily. Reach for an attitude adjustment midweek. The real object is put life’s lessons to use. Tell your inner critic to take a hike!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

Rewards from efforts seem lackluster this week; is it misguided efforts or a bad recipient? New possibilities are kindled midweek. Watch for health issues. Speedy efforts help you catch up with a backlog of delayed tasks and projects after Friday.

Recent past discussions and negotiations start to solidify, but progress may be slow and spotty as others struggle to get in gear. Don’t allow momentary sorrows to obscure the very real progress you’ve been striving to attain. Patience and a long-term view are necessary.

Gemini (May 21-June 21)

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

An unexpected visitor arrives Monday. By midweek you struggle to keep various demands in balance; everything hits at once. Remain focused and organized as the full moon approaches. Tempers are strained by Friday if you’re overloaded and feeling put-upon.

After several weeks of assorted stresses, you’re expelled from the tunnel of trials with a gush of new possibilities. Recognition and rewards are hit-and-miss. Keep a balanced perspective on disappointments. Forgotten seeds from the past begin to generate results.

Cancer (June 22-July 22)

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

This week’s activity centers on changing domestic and family conditions and improving future plans. Historic images and stories broad your horizons. Be cautious with food and drink after Thursday. Know and respect your own limits, and look for ways to streamline excesses.

Goals set early in the year start to manifest results this week. A period of intense labor winds down midweek. Some recognize the exciting potentials, while others miss the point. Bring outsiders into the action, as multidisciplinary viewpoints validate efforts.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

Consider long-term patterns in relationships, work and money. More choices of shifting priorities are evident by midweek; some elements of life are obsolete. Circumstances under the full moon beg the questions: what can you live with? What do you live for, and why?

The motivation behind other people’s recent actions becomes clear this week. Your ability to think clearly could lead to critical remarks if you feel others have let you down. Rehashing nitpicky details of past errors isn’t helpful; look for ways to improve in the future.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Last week’s events and the approaching full moon are leading you to an internal culmination of thought and effort. By midweek your choices become clear, perhaps stark. The real trick will be accepting necessities that require difficult adjustments with other people.

Elusive goals are within reach as Mercury turns direct. Much depends on how others adjust and rebalance during the Full Moon. After Thursday you encounter a bizarre mix of brilliant, hilarious dialogue and inconsiderate, unthinking rudeness. Don’t take it personally.

Elizabeth Hazel is a professional tarotist-astrologer and author. She gives readings every Wednesday at Attic on Adams above Manos Greek Restaurant. She may be contacted at (c) 2012

APRIL 1, 2012


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APRIL 1, 2012

Toledo Free Press – April 1, 2012  
Toledo Free Press – April 1, 2012  

The cover for this edition features fans and Muddy, the mascot for the Toledo Mud Hens, the minor league baseball team, which will have its...