It's official. The Mud Hens have come home to roost, and that was enough to draw the fine-feathered faithful to Fifth Third Field for Friday night's season opener. Mud Hens fans strolled in by the thousands, even those who can't tell the difference between a bunt and a base hit. It was time to party and munch on the standard ballpark fare of peanuts, pretzels, popcorn, burgers, and dogs, and wash it all down with a few brewskies.
FUTURE MUD HEN: Garrison Cichocki, center, with parents Mary Watkins and Dave Cichocki, is ready to play ball.
Early to rise were folks who came to eat breakfast at Fricker's, which opened at 6 a.m. with a special home-run platter of eggs, potatoes, and more. The steady flow of business continued till about midafternoon. Then things picked up as guests who were vying for the prime seats - the ones by the windows overlooking Fifth Third Field - came to claim squatter's rights. John Hagen and Sue Lisek arrived about 1 p.m. and took the last table by the windows. Dave Cichocki and Mary Watkins, with their son, Garrison, 5 months, all decked out in a striking Hens ensemble, sat by a window with Tony and Waylond Rider.
The Durty Bird was bursting at the seams by 2 p.m. or so, with revelers raring to go. The Emporium, which opened at 11 a.m., with bands and live radio, was fully staffed and stuffed with food and beer, its grills fired up on the outdoor patio. The Bronze Boar also opened at 11 a.m., but owner John Orr took advantage of the light crowd and strolled around to say hello to his competitors.
PARTY TIME: Britt Lock, left, Bob Douglas, and Mindy Hudson find that the parking lot is an excellent place for a party.
Tailgate parties sprang up on the sunny day. Bob Douglas from Toledo Edison had squatter's rights across from Fifth Third Field by 7:45 a.m. There he served breakfast and read until the lunch crowd stopped by on their way to the game. It was closer to 3 or 4 p.m. before the crush arrived. Party goers included Joe Siefer, Becky Henderly, Tom Kubicki, Tamie Logeston, and Nick Marinelli.
Down the way at the Erie Street Market, several revelers parked and partied too. And Midland Title's bash in the parking lot was said to be a winner.
It was the second annual Maloney, McHugh, and Kolodgy's Opening Day party at their new digs above 20 North Gallery behind the stadium.
HIS GRILL FRIEND: Dave Costic grills up some juicy burgers for hungry tailgaters near the ball field.
And what a perfect view of the field! Firm partners Sarah McHugh and Kathie Kolodgy have been friends since their days at Notre Dame Academy. They pointed out several pieces of art by third-floor tenant and artist Carol Imes-Luscombe, who was at the bash with her husband, John Luscombe. Guests roamed the three floors that had plenty of food and drink on hand for the big day. Roaming around were Jim Slattery, the Rev. Michael Billian, and Scott and Judy Potter, owners of Black and White Cab. The Potters had helped friends by arranging game transportation to avoid the traffic.
CENTER FIELD: Joe Boyle, left, and his wife, Eileen, visit with Jim Murray during opening day at Fifth Third Field in the Toledo Edison suite.
In the stadium at the Roost, Lathrop Co. hosted its annual opening day party for more than 360 guests, then had a 7th-inning stretch raffle. Welcoming everyone to the Lathrop bench were Tom and Jane Manahan and Doug and Jan Martin. Seen there were Bob Maxwell, who was making the rounds with his smile, Sue and Dave Kienzle, Sandy Isenberg, Bill Fall, and Anne and Brad Huebner. Season ticket holders Jackie Burns, 10, and her dad, Dan Burns, were thinking about returning the next night for the fireworks.
Filling up time before the game between the Hens and the Durham Bulls, fans strolled through the Swamp Shop for souvenirs.
HENS-EYE VIEW: Kathie Kolody, left, and Sarah McHugh show off the view from their offices above 20 North Gallery.
Sweeping through the suites were Bruce and Betsy Rumpf, season ticket holders Randy Harms and his son Steve, Bob and Linda Domini, Marv and Nancy Robon, Jeannie Hylant, Bernie and Dorothy Welniak, Dan and Becky Bollin, Sandra Hylant, Jim White, Karyn and Labib Hajjar, Bernie and Michelle Quilter, Jane and Ev Charettte, Tammie Hechler, Jack Sculfort and Cindy Marcis, Steve Wegner, Cindy and Dave Taylor, Kim Collins and Bill Cosgrove, Lori and Glenn Paton, and Clay Holt, who had closed his accounting office at noon, in spite of tax day. Also seen were ex-Toledoans Dave and Peg Walker.
Fifth Third Bank's suite was jammed with traffic all night long as guests overflowed into the hall. Greeting folks were Bruce Lee, John and Yolanda Szuch, Larry Boyer, and others.
TEAM TOAST: From left, Bill Behe, Dirk VanHeyst, Gary Resnick, and Todd Myers have a chance to taste a cold one in the Fifth Third suite at the ballpark.
Several revelers preferred to hang around the new Coop A Cabana below the Roost. Sean McClain, who started his day at Fricker's with several friends, enjoyed the scene at the cabana.
Hey, was anybody watching the game? The Hens won. And because the night was still young, revelers danced for a few more hours in the suites and at the cabana. Meanwhile, the real revelers crowded local restaurants and bars.
Among the hot spots were the Bronze Boar, where Nancy Wilson, David and Meredith Hustwick, Brian Schenk, Julie and Kirk Mizerek, Randy Jones and his son Brandon, Erwin Effler, and others crushed into the crowd. Hanging out at the Durty Bird were John and Erica Jennewine and Laurie and Jeff Huskisson.
BELMONT BUNCH: From left, Ron Mickel, Myrna Bryan, Deanna Radeloff, and John Byerly are ready to golf.
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Baseballs aren't the only things flying high this spring. The golf season is here too, so several groups got things rolling with kickoff parties.
BELMONT Country Club hosted a Golf-O-Rama yesterday, and despite the chilly weather, nearly 100 putted on in. Guests sipped and supped as they golfed and checked out the new golf togs and equipment in the pro shop, the golf event schedule, and more.
INVERNESS Club tied its annual spring-break party April 9, into the golf season with a "Caddy Shack at the Masters" party. The event was an interclub affair with Sylvania Country Club. A giant mural of the Masters set the scene, and a putting contest added swing. Inverness chairmen included Jeff and Corrine Mann, Paul and Mindy Vesoulis, and Paul and Maideh Gore. Sylvania Country Club chairmen were Dennis and Sheila Fernandez, Keith and Katy Walker, and Tom and Megan Gallup.
THE Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic presented by Kroger will be here before you know it. A kickoff was April 5 in the Owens Corning World Headquarters for the 21st annual tournament with a $1.2 million purse. The Farr is set for July 7-10 at Highland Meadows Golf Club with pretourney events starting on July 4th. General chairman is Alan Brass and volunteer chairman is Jeff Easton. The whole deal since its inception wouldn't be possible without Toledo's native son Jamie Farr, who welcomed everyone via video from his L.A. home. And the word is out: The Beach Boys are slated as that week's gala headline entertainment. Kickoff chairmen were Marilyn Thomas and Linda Wininger.
GOLF BUDDIES: Jan Higgins and Barrie Howell pal it up at Stone Oak.
STONE Oak Country Club hosted a Golf-To-Do April 2 to celebrate the course's opening. The black-tie-and-golf-shoe party included gourmet grazing, dancing, and special golf-tinis. Committee chairmen were Jan Higgins, Barrie Howell, Leslie Ford, and Kay Lyon.
THE Executive Women's Golf Association's season kickoff was March 31 at Inverness Club. Ladies sipped and supped as they caught up with golf friends and talked about the season, which starts next week at South Toledo Golf Course, Tamaron Country Club, Eagles Landing, and the Stoneridge Golf Club in Bowling Green. There are all levels of play, and clinics too. Board members include Dusty Tyukody, Kris Cousino, Mary Cobb, Deb Pezzin, Alice Gerding-Schorling, Diane Derr, Carol Stoll, and Trish Cullen, president.