Two Mud Hens Will Represent Team USA In Beijing Olympics

Posted Jul 17th, 2008 by Jason Griffin  Category: Arts & Entertainment, Toledo.com


The Toledo Mud Hens are proud to announce that two players have been named to the 2008 Team USA Olympic Baseball squad when the Summer Games open in Beijing, China during the month of August.

The Toledo players selected to the team are:
3B Mike Hessman
RHP Blaine Neal

The two players were selected based on their achievements this year as well as their proven track record of being productive veterans. They are set to join a team consisting of fourteen Triple-A players, seven Double-A players, one Single-A professional, and one collegiate star. The selection process reviewed all players not on an active 25-man major league roster.

Mike Hessman is having a sensational year for the Mud Hens. The 30-year-old third baseman is first in the I.L. for home runs (30), runs scored (76), and extra-base hits (52). Hessman became the fastest player to hit twenty home runs in thirty years, slugging number twenty on May 28. He also is tied for second in slugging percentage (.596) and is fourth in RBI (63). He is coming off of his second consecutive trip to the Triple-A All-Star Game during which he went 0-5 with an RBI and took second in the Home Run Derby. Hessman has collected 292 home runs throughout his career and ranks second in the Modern-Era with 261 Toledo runs scored and eighth all-time in Mud Hens’ history with 287 RBI.

Blaine Neal has been dominant as Toledo’s closer. The 30-year-old righty began the season on a tear, not allowing a run through his first 9 games and was a perfect 17-17 in save opportunities to start the year. Neal leads the I.L. in saves (23), has struck out 36 batters in his 32.1 innings of work, and boasts a 1.39 ERA. He just earned a spot on the I.L.’s All-Star squad for the first time in 2008. Neal has 109 saves to his credit during his career.

Team USA takes on Korea in the opening round August 13. The medal rounds will begin August 23, a day before the closing ceremonies.

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Jason Griffin - Toledo Mud Hens Baseball Club | Toledo, OH

Jgriffin@mudhens.com | www.mudhens.com | (419) 725-4371 No Comments »

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