TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The biggest day of the baseball season in Toledo is Friday, Apriil 4th. But there will be extra meaning added to this year's Mud Hens opener. The team will honor two Toledo firefighters killed in the line of duty back in January.
The game against Louisville begins at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, but the Mud Hens say you'll want to be sitting down by 3:30 for a pregame tribute to the two men who sacrificed it all.
Crews were putting the finishing touches on Fifth Third Field Wednesday afternoon; sweeping up in the outfield seats, power washing the rest of them, and making sure sponsorships were updated.
While the opening game will be the main attraction on Friday, the Mud Hens are planning a pre-game ceremony, in tribute to firefighters Steven Machcinski and Jamie Dickman, who were killed in the tragic north Toledo fire on January 26.
"Steve was a big Mud Hens fans and attended most of the opening days, if not all, so the Mud Hens reached out to us," said Toledo Fire Lieutenant Matthew Hertzfeld.
The baseball diamond will be the focus of the ceremony.
"We'll have crews lined up on the field that will have a spirit tunnel if you will, for people to walk through," said Mud Hens Special Events Manager Mike Keedy. "We're going to play Amazing Grace live on the field after a moment of silence."
"We will have our Honor Guard. They will represent the colors. And the Pipes and Drums will be in support of them," said Hertzfeld. "We'll be doing the first pitch as well. We're going to leave that be a surprise."
On March 15, the Toledo walleye held a pre-game tribute to the fallen heroes. Jamie Dickman's father even dropped the ceremonial first puck. Friday's ceremony at the ballpark could be even more touching.
"I know that the heightened sense of emotion, with what happened in January, it's going to be, it's really going to be emotional," said Keedy.
Standing room only tickets are still available for Friday's opener.
Click here to read more on Toledo's fallen heroes.