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Published: Wednesday, 8/29/2007

Mud Hens' Hessman IL's MVP

Mike Hessman, 29, has already achieved personal highs in home runs and RBIs, and he's batting around .250 this season, well above last season's sub-.200 average. His 16th homer this year, hit on June, made him the all-time home run king in Toledo baseball history. That record total now stands at 84.
Mike Hessman, 29, has already achieved personal highs in home runs and RBIs, and he's batting around .250 this season, well above last season's sub-.200 average. His 16th homer this year, hit on June, made him the all-time home run king in Toledo baseball history. That record total now stands at 84.
JETTA FRASER/THE TOLEDO BLADE / THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Mud Hens third baseman Mike Hessman has been named the International League's most valuable player for the 2007 season.

Hessman leads the IL with 31 home runs and 98 RBIs and Toledo has clinched the IL West title for the third straight season.

The postseason awards and all-star team were selected by the league's managers, coaches, media and club representatives.

Mud Hens outfielder Timo Perez was named to the IL all-star team along with Hessman.

Hessman, 29, has already achieved personal highs in home runs and RBIs, and he's batting around .250 this season, well above last season's sub-.200 average. His 16th homer this year, hit on June, made him the all-time home run king in Toledo baseball history. That record total now stands at 84.

The grounds crew prepares Fifth Third Field for the Mud
Hens  bid for a third straight Governors  Cup. The Hens
clinched a spot in the International League playoffs with a
win Sunday at Indianapolis and will play either Richmond
or Durham in the fi rst round. As West Division champs, the Hens will host games three through five beginning Sept. 7. The grounds crew prepares Fifth Third Field for the Mud Hens bid for a third straight Governors Cup. The Hens clinched a spot in the International League playoffs with a win Sunday at Indianapolis and will play either Richmond or Durham in the fi rst round. As West Division champs, the Hens will host games three through five beginning Sept. 7.
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"It felt good - it was a big honor," Hessman said. "I never really thought about it. I was actually talking to [Joey] Votto [Monday] when I got on first. He mentioned it and that was actually the first time it crossed my mind.

"Obviously from where I was last year to this year, it's a big improvement, a big honor. I have to give thanks to my teammates and the coaching staff here."

This is Hessman's third season with the Hens, and his sixth in the IL. He played for the Richmond Braves from 2002-2004. Hessman was a member of the Atlanta organization for the first nine years of his career before signing with Detroit as a free agent following the 2004 season. He has played 57 games in the majors - nine with the Tigers.

Previous Mud Hens to win the IL MVP in the modern era were Phil Hiatt (1996), Tim Teufel (1983) and Joe Lis (1976).

Going into last night's game, Perez, 32, was among IL leaders with a .309 batting average (sixth), 151 hits (tied-first), 39 doubles (second) and 76 runs scored (first).

Other IL award winners were: Kevin Slowey, Rochester, most valuable pitcher; Joey Votto, Louisville, rookie of the year; Dave Miley, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, manager of the year.



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