The Press Newspaper
Mud Hens’ Mike Hessman breaks IL home run record
The record breaker came in the top of the third inning off Indians pitcher Jake Brigham.
Earlier this month, the 36-year old slugger became the sixth player to hit 400 career home runs in the minor leagues. He is the current active minor league run leader with 404, and is closing in on the all-time home run mark in American Minor League history of 432, set by Buzz Arlett.
Hessman holds several Toledo records including the all-time career home run record for a player with 155 far out distancing runner up Ryan Rayburn who hit 67. In addition to home runs, Hessman now holds the all-time RBI record, and the modern era records for runs scored, and doubles. On June 26 in Gwinnett, Hessman surpassed Wayne Comer to become Toledo's modern-day era record-holder for hits at 521.
Hessman is in his sixth season with the Mud Hens, returning to Toledo in 2014 after playing in Toledo from 2005 through 2009.
"We're excited to bring outdoor hockey to Toledo, Ohio and the ECHL for the very first time," says Rich Cubin, Owner-Vice President of Rink Specialists, Inc. "Toledo is the No. 1 Minor League sports market in America and a perfect fit for our next outdoor hockey production."
The N.C.-based company has been building specialty rinks for 14 years. It has constructed multiple NHL rinks for outdoor games including, Pittsburgh Penguins Community Rink, Frozen Fenway, Frozen Fenway 3, and the rink for Comerica Park's Hockeytown Winter Festival last December.
"While the official announcement is coming today, the Toledo Walleye and Rink Specialist have been working together for over two years to develop our outdoor hockey event," says Special Events Manager Mike Keedy. "We have visited several outdoor hockey productions in the past three years, including events produced by Rink Specialists. Their reputation, professionalism and overall event performance gave us the confidence to proceed as our rink partner for Walleye Winterfest this coming December."
Rink Specialists says it will take three weeks to build the regulation-sized outdoor rink at Fifth Third Field, and will be 200-foot long by 100-foot-wide and stretch from first base to third base with the two goals placed at opposing bases.
The first step is to strip the infield and outfield turf. When completed, Rink Specialists begins the process of building the rink. They start by putting down a special flooring to protect the playing field. A foam board and another layer of protective flooring is added before the playing surface is laid. A 430 ton chiller system is put outside the rink to keep the ice frozen during the 10-day event. The final step is to put up the dasher boards and paint the ice.
Fans will be able to watch the building of the outdoor rink live on www.toledowalleye.com.
Toledo Walleye game plans are on sale right now. Winterfest ticket packages are available for all Walleye and Mud Hens Game Plan Holders. Get yours by calling 419-725-WALL or online at www.toledowalleye.com.