|Toledo Mud Hens|
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||International League (2022–present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Team||Detroit Tigers (1987–present)|
|Previous teams||Since 1965:|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (4)||Since 1965:|
|Division titles (7)||Since 1965:|
|Name||Toledo Mud Hens|
|Colors||Navy, red, white, gold|
|Mascots||Muddy and Muddonna|
|Ballpark||Fifth Third Field (2002–present)|
|Ned Skeldon Stadium (1965–2001)|
|Toledo Mud Hens Baseball Club|
|General manager||Erik Ibsen|
The Toledo Mud Hens are a Minor League Baseball team of the International League and the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. They are located in Toledo, Ohio, and play their home games at Fifth Third Field. A Mud Hens team has played in Toledo for most seasons since 1896, including a 50-year history as a member of the now defunct American Association. The current franchise was established in 1965. They joined Triple-A East in 2021, but this was renamed the International League in 2022.
Professional baseball had been played off and on in Toledo since 1883, and the Mud Hens era began in 1896 with the "Swamp Angels", who played in the Interstate League. They played in Bay View Park, which was outside the Toledo city limits and therefore not covered by the city's blue laws. The park was located near marshland inhabited by American coots, also known as "mud hens." For this reason, the local press soon dubbed the team the "Mud Hens"—a nickname that has stuck to Toledo baseball teams for all but a few years since. After only one season, the team moved to Armory Park.
A Mud Hens team played in the Interstate League from 1896 through 1900, then the Western Association in 1901, the American Association from 1902 through 1913, and the Southern Michigan League in 1914.: 95 The team used the Swamp Angels nickname during 1901. No team was fielded in 1915.
The team resumed play in the American Association in 1916 as the Iron Men, a nickname they used through 1918. The Mud Hens name returned in 1919, and the team competed in the American Association until 1952.
Mid-season in 1952, team owner Danny Menendez moved the Mud Hens to Charleston, West Virginia, where they competed as the Charleston Senators through 1960. Toledo fielded a replacement franchise in the American Association from 1953 to 1955, the Toledo Sox, which was the former Milwaukee Brewers minor-league team. That franchise subsequently moved to Wichita, Kansas, for the 1956 season, where it competed as the Wichita Braves through 1958.
In 1965, the Richmond Virginians franchise of the International League moved to Toledo and became the current incarnation of the Mud Hens. They were based in Maumee, Ohio, at the converted Fort Miami Fairgrounds. The local ownership group led by Ned Skeldon signed with the New York Yankees to be its top farm team.
In 1967, the Detroit Tigers replaced the Yankees as its major league affiliate. That year, the team was third in the league but claimed the Governors' Cup via the four-team playoff. The next year, the team won a record 83 games and the league pennant, but failed to repeat as Cup winners. The team was affiliated with Detroit through 1973. In 1974 and 1975, the Philadelphia Phillies affiliated with the Mud Hens, followed by two years affiliated with Cleveland Indians. All four seasons were losing seasons.: 77
The Minnesota Twins took over as the team's major league affiliate in 1978 and brought in Gene Cook as general manager, who was good at promoting the team, particularly as a family event. Cook also got Jamie Farr to incorporate the Mud Hens in Farr's M*A*S*H character's background.: 77 The Twins affiliation lasted through the 1986 season. The Mud Hens resumed their affiliation with the Tigers in 1987, and have remained in the Detroit organization since then.
In conjunction with Major League Baseball's restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the Mud Hens were organized into the Triple-A East. Toledo won the Midwestern Division title by ending the season in first place with a 69–51 record. No playoffs were held to determine a league champion; instead, the team with the best regular-season record was the declared the winner. However, 10 games that had been postponed from the start of the season were reinserted into the schedule as a postseason tournament called the Triple-A Final Stretch in which all 30 Triple-A clubs competed for the highest winning percentage over that stretch. Toledo finished the tournament tied for 13th place with a 5–5 record. In 2022, the Triple-A East became known as the International League, the name historically used by the regional circuit prior to the 2021 reorganization.
Records of the five most recently completed Toledo Mud Hens seasons are listed below.
|2016||68||76||.472||4th in IL West||Did not qualify|
|2017||70||71||.496||3rd in IL West||Did not qualify|
|2018||73||66||.525||1st in IL West||Lost Governors' Cup Semi-finals|
|2019||66||74||.471||T-2nd in IL West||Did not qualify|
|2020||Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic|
|2021||69||51||.575||1st in AAAE Midwest||Lost series vs. Louisville Bats, 3–2|
Won series vs. St. Paul Saints, 3–2
Placed 13th (tie) in the Triple-A Final Stretch
|5-Year Record||346||338||.506||2 Division Titles||0 League Titles|
See also: Category:Toledo Mud Hens players
Mud Hens players who were later inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame include:
Mud Hens players who were selected as MLB All-Stars during their careers include:
Mud Hens players who later managed MLB teams include:
Other Mud Hens players of specific notoriety include:
((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)