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Published: Monday, 7/15/2002

Hens set Toledo attendance record


It's official - the 2002 Mud Hens have played in front of more fans at home games than any other team in Toledo's 106-year baseball history.

Yesterday the Hens attracted 8,996 fans to Fifth Third Field, giving them an unofficial home attendance of 351,619 this season.

That total breaks the 49-year-old record of 343,614 fans who jammed Swayne Field to watch the 1953 Toledo Sox win the American Association title.

Yesterday's crowd was the team's second consecutive sellout and its 13th of the season. Nine of those sellouts have come in the last 18 games, and four of them have occurred in nine July dates.

So far this season the Hens are averaging 7,176 fans per contest, sixth-best in the International League. Last year the Hens finished 13th in the 14-team league with a total attendance of 300,079, an average of 4,349 per game.

The Jack Witte family of Whitehouse purchased the tickets that officially broke the record yesterday.

The family received a gift bag from the team, son Charlie threw out the first pitch and the entire family - parents Jack and Cathy, sons Charlie and A.J. and daughter Kelly - moved into seats behind the visitors' dugout.

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