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Published: Tuesday, 9/6/2005

Best Hens in 60 years


The Mud Hens finished the 2005 regular season with the club s best winning percentage in more than 60 years.

Their 89-55 record, a .618 winning percentage, was the best since the 1944 team went 95-58, a .621 success rate. It s the fifth-best winning percentage in Toledo professional baseball history.

The highest was in 1883, the first year of Toledo professional baseball, when the team was 56-28, a .667 percentage. The club s 89 wins are the highest total since the Hens moved back to Toledo in 1965.

Toledo s 2005 record is the sixth-best in the International League in the past 40 years.

The 1992 Columbus Clippers went 95-49, a .660 winning percentage, for the top ranking during that span.

ATTENDANCE HIGH: The final regular-season attendance numbers at Fifth Third Field this season topped the previous high by almost 10,000. In 2005, 556,995 people attended games at the ballpark. There were 29 sellouts in 72 games. The previous best at Fifth Third was 547,204 in 2002.

SEASON LEADERS: Outfielder Marcus Thames finished with the team s best batting average at .340 in 73 games, and also led the Hens with a .679 slugging percentage. Third baseman Mike Hessman was tops on the team in home runs (28), RBIs (74) and runs scored (69). Outfielder Alexis Gomez led the team with 130 hits and 28 doubles. Outfielder Dewayne Wise had a team-leading 22 stolen bases.

Pitchers Kenny Baugh and Jason Grilli tied for the most wins with 12. Closer Jason Karnuth had the best ERA at 2.13 and had 23 saves. Grilli had three complete games, two shutouts and 108 strikeouts to lead the team.

BUNTS: Grilli had a career-high 12 strikeouts in his seven-inning, no-decision outing yesterday. I just wanted to let it all out, get ready for the playoffs, he said. ... In the third inning, Gookie Dawkins hit a ball to left that was originally called a home run but was ruled foul after he had rounded the bases and returned to the dugout. Dawkins came back up to the plate and hit a double to left on the next pitch. ... The Hens finished 46-26 at home, 43-29 on the road. ... Fireworks shows have been added for all playoff games at Fifth Third Field. ... Hens manager Larry Parrish said he had not yet determined his starter for Friday s game, the third in the playoff series against Norfolk.

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