thebladevault#mondaymemories: “Spring trainin”
This Toledo Times historic file photo, from March 1, 1917, shows the 1917 Toledo Iron Men are seen with some friends and members of the Toledo press at spring training camp in Dawson Springs, Ky.
From left to right are: (first row) Steve Evans, Abe Bowman (president, manager), player Roger Bresnahan with dog, Colonel Hamby, John Fluhrer, Bunny Fabrique, and Charles Donnelly; (second row) Al Schultz, Luke Boone, Charlie Mullen, Hugh Bedient, Dazzy Vance, and Neal Brady; (third row) Dawson Springs Mayor Ed Sweeney, Russ Ford, Roy Hartzell, Toledo News-Bee reporter Mitch Woodbury, and the president of the Dawson Springs Chamber of Commerce; (back row) Angel Aragon, Bill Bailey, Harold Wise, Ray Keating, and Toledo Times reporter Harold McNaughton.
Though the Mud Hens nickname has been the one with the most staying power, the team did go by other nicknames, including the Iron Men, for short periods of time. The Toledo Mud Hens first got their nickname in 1896 when the team played at Bay View Park, surrounded by marshland that was populated by birds called coots, also known as “mud hens.” Roger Bresnahan, in the front row third from left, was a Toledo Central Catholic High School graduate who played for the Hens in 1898, and was in the major leagues for 17 seasons as a catcher, with five different teams. In 1916, Bresnahan purchased the Mud Hens from their Cleveland owner and moved the team back to Toledo. He was not only the owner, but also served as manager and player. Bresnahan called the team the Toledo Iron Men for three seasons before reverting to the Mud Hens moniker. The Iron Men went 78-86 in 1916, and finished last in the eight-team American Association the next two seasons.
A year after his death, Bresnahan was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in 1945.
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