By Stan Silliman
Mud Hens Muddied At Fifth Third Field
The good news: The International League Toledo Mud Hens hosted the first professional opening day doubleheader.
The better news: A near record 12,825 fans showed up on a Wednesday afternoon.
The bad news: The Columbus Clippers clipped the Hens twice, 1-0 and 7-3.
I was telling everyone I know in the Toledo area to go to the game, bring a fifth, leave two-thirds of the fifth home and support the Hens at Fifth Third Field.
If you've never been to a Mud Hens game, let me mention one thing: ginormous pizza slices, the kind corporal Klinger loves, slices as big as a third of the whole pie. And so tasty that when you think of them, the entire vocabulary of American Idol judges comes to mind: "Amazing! Amazing! Totally amazing!"
George reported back that he went, got a seat by third base at Fifth Third Field, ordered five of those third pie pizzas, watched Grady Sizemore (on loan from the Indians) smash a 380-foot homer in the third, at Fifth Third Field.
George went on to say he rooted for the Hens, yelled "Holy Toledo" when appropriate, drank the remaining third of his fifth, ate his fifth third-of-a-pie slice, then did a fifth inning stretch at Fifth Third Field.
George says he spotted Jamie Farr or at least a pretty good Jamie Farr lookalike while he trekked to the restroom (from having drank too much of the third of his fifth) during the fourth inning (the inning falling between the third and the fifth) while watching his third ever game at Fifth Third Field.
George tells me two Aussies (Chris Oxspring and Brendan Wise) pitched for the Hens during Game 2. Of course, I had to ask which innings they pitched because, you know, being Aussies they were used to the ball rotating the opposite direction and they get confused pitching in a ballpark called Fifth Third Field.
George reported there was no need for me to worry because Chris Oxspring threw screwballs, which become curveballs north of the equator and that he came off the mound in the third inning. Then a reliever came in, followed by the other Aussie, who came in for the fifth.
"I thought you drank it all," I said, thoroughly confused.
"No, not whiskey. Inning!" George corrected me. "That way those Australian guys think all pitchers from Australia go out in the third and then come in during the fifth...if you pitch at Fifth Third Field."
Oh, I see. A practical joke on foreign players. Like if you're in Indianapolis and you play basketball at Conseco Fieldhouse and you're foreign you're forced to go shoot up and then write a tell-all book.
I get it now. This whole Fifth Third thing is an elaborate trick to mess with the heads of foreign ballplayers.
That's why it's in the International League. Of course!
"But was that wise?" I ask.
"As a matter of fact," George answers, "It was Wise in the fifth."
Geez. Everyone is a smartass. I thought I was the only one.
By the way, George tells me he made another restroom trip in the seventh, probably from having eaten his fifth third pizza slice, and again saw Jamie Farr. Only this time he verified it wasn't the real Jamie, just a swarthy calico-skirted granny with a prominent nose.
How about that? The Mud Hens lost twice, no Jamie Farr yet George, the only Toledo person I knew, enjoyed his fifth, the third of it anyway, and his five third-sized pizzas at the Fifth Third Field while listening to Beethoven's Fifth, three times.
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