I know spring is finally here when my pal James A. Molnar of the Toledo Free Press sends me his Opening Day pages. The 115,000-distribution free weekly tabloid goes all-out every year to celebrate the start of the season for the famous Toledo Mud Hens.
James tells us:
We published a 60-page edition on April 12 dedicated to opening day April 16 and I’m excited to share it with you.
Our fantastic cartoonist Don Lee produced some great cover artwork for the third consecutive year, now. The cover idea stems from various promotion nights by the Hens, which include Back to the Future Night, a doubleheader honoring the 30th anniversary of the film franchise.
The cover also features a double-headed dinosaur since there will be a Jurassic Park theme night in anticipation of the fourth movie in the franchise, Jurassic World, coming to theaters this summer.
The Mud Hens will even wear special post-retro jerseys for Back to the Future night.
For the inside cover, I had Don Lee send me separate elements to use.
I thought it would be fun to include his concept drawing and revised sketch for this year. We’re really lucky to have him in our editorial arsenal.
You’ll remember the Ghostbusters-themed cover last year…
…and the Angry Birds cover from two years ago.)
James also sends along a number of inside pages, including the welcome page…
…the schedule page…
…a page full o’ team member mug shots…
…and even a fun baseball-themed crossword puzzle.
One of my favorite stories is written by Associate Editor Tom Konecny, who profiles the history of the team.
Although baseball has a long history in Toledo, the current franchise is marking 50 years in 2015.
Find the online version of that story here.
(Story online: http://www.toledofreepress.com/2015/04/10/current-mud-hens-franchise-marks-50-years/)
Kudos to Managing Editor Joel Sensenig for his hard work organizing the content for the section. Sensenig wrote a story about new food offerings at the stadium this year and you don’t want to miss one of the new treats: A S’more donut.
Again, here’s the full story. Click for a readable version.
The Toledo Free Press recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in print. Read about that here.
A 2009 graduate of Marquette in Milwaukee, Wis., James served as a reporter, designer and then visual content editor for the student paper there, the Marquette Tribune.
He spent a couple of months as a designer and editor for the Daily of Chatauqua, N.Y. and then seven months as an apprentice optician at Eyeglass World in Toledo before catching on at the Free Press in 2010. He also covers movies for the Free Press.