You can be forgiven if you thought we'd discontinued this feature when the Richmond Flying Squirrels retired the trophy for best mascot ever. Like the salmon returning to Capistrano, though, Know Your Minor League Mascot returns after a 497-day hiatus to take a trip on the wayback machine and celebrate one of the first famous bush league clubs.
Team: Toledo Mud Hens
League: International (AAA)
Affiliation: Detroit Tigers
Self-Absorbed East Coast Elitist Commentary: The Muds Hens were made famous nearly 40 years ago by a cross-dressing Lebanese comic actor, but the team's actually been around since 1896, making it one of the longest-tenured minor league franchises. The team promises their fans fun, family, fabulous food, and affordability, failing the alliteration test, but making up for it in good feelings.
The Hens play their home games at Fifth Third Field, which I assume has something to do with hard liquor. It goes without saying that we approve.
Phil Nevin manages the 2011 Hens, assisted by Leon Durham (the Bull!). They have a pitcher named Al Alburquerque on their roster, making them the favorite team of not one, but two fictional characters. Charlie Furbush is a member of their starting rotation. Charlie Furbush. Man, I wish I made that up.
Toledo's started the year scuffling a bit, with a 2-4 mark at the time of this writing. (Furbush is 0-1. Furbush. Good gracious.) So are we, frankly, but we promise not to wait 497 more days to celebrate all that's good and well with our American pastime.
Gheorgheness Quotient: 55/77
To sate your minor league baseball jones during our frequent hiatuses (hiatii?), we commend to your attention the excellent work of our friend, the Artist Sometimes Known as Extra P, and his mates at Bus Leagues Baseball.