Fifth Third Field, Home to the Toledo Mud Hens
Backstory and Context
The Toledo Mud Hens were formed in 1896. In their early years, the team played near a marsh that often flooded. Local residents gave the team a nickname of "Mud Hens" as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the wildlife that inhabited the marsh. A mud hen is a type of bird that resembles a duck although they are only distantly related to that species. Known officially as the American coot, the mud hen has long legs that fold back and make them well-suited for walking on land--something important for a species that inhabits marshlands. Mud hens are migratory birds and inhabit the marshlands around Toledo during the summer mating season.
In 1902, the Mud Hens officially joined a minor league association, the American Association. After playing with that association for over fifty years but failing to attract a large fan base, the team left Toledo in 1955. Ten years later, Toledo created a new Mud Hens team which joined the International League. The team garnered national attention in the 1970s when a character on M.A.S.H., the TV sitcom, wore Mud Hens merchandise on the show. Today, the Mud Hens are affiliated with the Detroit Tigers.
Reichard, Kevin. Fifth Third Field / Toledo Mud Hens. Ballpark Digest. March 22, 2009. Accessed November 01, 2018. https://ballparkdigest.com/200903221614/minor-league-baseball/visits/fifth-third-field-toledo-mud-hens.
Toledo Mud Hens. Ohio History Central. Accessed November 01, 2018. http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Toledo_Mud_Hens.