Not to get all Dark Side on the minor-league Toledo Mud Hens and their upcoming "Star Wars" weekend, but these Chewbacca jerseys are not very strong with the Force. Get better rags, they must.
The Hens, the Class AAA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers since Chewie was the size of an Ewok, no doubt will put on an entertaining party Saturday and Sunday. They've got lots of cool-sounding space plans, not the least of which would be having Hens players decked out like Chewbacca the Wookiee, the hairy best pal of scoundrel/smuggler/freedom fighter Han Solo, and first mate of the Millennium Falcon. You've heard of the Falcon. It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
It sounds cool, the concept of Chewie jerseys, until you look at them. What the heck?! The "Mud Hens" part is nice, with the feather, but Chewie's bandolier looks cheap and I don't know what's up with the camo pattern. It's got to be Chewie's hair, but that's only because we know it's got to be Chewie's hair. It looks like tall grass. Or maybe it is tall grass, like that on Chewie's home planet. Tall grass and a bandolier could reference Nicaragua in 1983, for all we know. Are these jerseys Contras or Sandinistas?
The jerseys are to be auctioned. But why would anyone want one? It's like being given the choice of seeing a prequel. Most would decline.
Now these, THESE are good Chewbacca jerseys:
On the hockey jersey, you can even see traces of the bad Chewie Grass on the sleeves (thank goodness it didn't spread), but all we'd need to do is make these babies sleeveless and — voila! Play ball!
"Star Wars" is my favorite movie. The Mud Hens are my favorite minor-league franchise, and not only because of Klinger on "M*A*S*H*." I have fond memories of Ned Skeldon Stadium in Maumee, Ohio, the precursor to Fifth Third Ballpark. So I'd like this to work. Is it too late to do something? Put Princess Leia hair buns on the ear flaps of the batting helmets? Make the bats glow like light sabers? Use the Jedi mind trick and tell the umpire, "You don't need to see him safe at home plate"? Send Yoda up to bat?
If all else fails, just tell Threepio to shut down all of the garbage mashers on the detention level — save one.