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Ticket to Toledo Mudhens vs. Indianapolis Indians game: $8
Last night I had the urge to get out of the house and go to a ballgame, but alas, the Tigers are in Pittsburgh this weekend, so I needed a back-up plan. Enter Toledo — only an hour away and home of the 2005 International League (AAA) Champion Toledo Mudhens, farm team for the Detroit Tigers (and formerly for the Minnesota Twins). The tickets are significantly cheaper and the seats were better than anything I could afford at a major league ballpark (I was pretty much right behind home plate). They still price gouge you with the food, but my sum total was still cheaper than the cost of any ticket at Fenway.
Of course, I had to deal with the fact that I didn’t recognize the names of any of the players, save for Dustan Mohr, who once upon a time got some big league play with the Twins. But I did get a look at the possible superstars of tomorrow. Craig Stansberry went 2 for 4 with a homerun for the Indians (farm team for the Pittsburgh Pirates) and Ryan Ludwick, who homered for Toledo with a man on base to put the Mudhens into the win category.
But there’s more to a minor league game than just the game — there’s also the between inning entertainment. We had Jamie Farr (aka Corporal Klinger on M*A*S*H), Toledo’s local celebrity, giving us the rules of the ballpark (via Jumbotron) — “Those embarassing their mothers will be escorted out.” We had giant mud hens, Muddy and Mudonna, doing the macarena. We had fans dressed up in giant mattress costumes trying to catch little foam pillows for a chance to win… I don’t remember what. And there was another guy who won a year’s supply of potato chips for accurately tossing three baseballs into a “strike zone” from a distance of approximately 20 feet. We had a polka band playing the German national anthem (because apparently it was German-American Heritage Day). We had a high school homerun derby and to close it all up, we had fireworks. All in all, a highly enjoyable day at the ballpark.