While we love our Mud Hens players, we know that Toledo is a stopping point en route to The Show. As the AAA farm team for the Detroit Tigers, the most-skilled Mud Hens migrate north when called up to the Majors. Here are some of the Mud Hens who made it big in the big leagues:
This famous manager shepherded Toledo to its first pennant, in ___. After the Mud Hens went bankrupt in 1931, he was out of a job. He eventually became the manager of the New York Yankees and led them to five World Series Championships in his first five years with the team.
Built like a keg of beer, Wilson was considered a rival to Babe Ruth. Playing with the New York Giants, Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, Wilson was sent to the Toledo Mud Hens in 1925 to shake him out of a hitting slump. He was claimed off waivers at season’s end by the Cubs. His 1930 season with the Cubs is considered one of the best hitting performances of all time; Wilson was voted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1979.
In 1988, this outfielder led the Mud Hens in batting average. While he became a journeyman in the major leagues, playing for the Tigers, Dodgers and Padres, it is his post-playing days that make Bean particularly notable. Coming out in 1999, in 2014 he became the MLB’s first Ambassador for Inclusion.
William Beane III: Also an outfielder for the Mud Hens in 1988, Beane was eventually the subject of the book/film Moneyball as a pioneer of sabermetrics in baseball. He’s now a part owner of the Oakland Athletics.
A three-time MLB All-Star, Granderson currently plays right field for the NY Mets. During his time with the Mud Hens in 2005, he hit .290 with 15 home runs, 65 RBIs and 22 stolen bases.
Primarily a second baseman, Infante has played every position except pitcher, catcher and first base. An all-star in 2010, he currently plays for the Detroit Tigers.