This week in Toledo sports history: Tait returns at UT

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    Wasean Tait (24) cuts up the field on his way to scoring a touchdown during the 1998 Toledo football spring game. The game served as a return to the field for Tait, who starred for the Rockets in 1995 but suffered a serious knee injury in 1996.


  • This week in Blade sports 10, 20, and 30 years ago, Mud Hens fans enjoyed a Woodward High graduate on the mound and a Detroit Tigers outfielder on a rehab assignment. The Toledo Storm's playoff run came to an abrupt end, the Glass City Marathon crowned new winners, and a Toledo running back continued his grueling comeback. And finally, a local man bowled a 300 game.

    ■ April 16, 1998: Storm lose in overtime — The Toledo Storm let a golden opportunity to slip away. The Nailers rallied from a two-goal deficit in Game 3 to win 3-2 in overtime in Wheeling, W.Va., and they now lead the best-of-5 series 2-1. Former Storm forward Alex Matvichuk scored the game-winning goal. Captain Rob Thorpe scored both Toledo goals.

    ■ April 17, 1988: Hens blank Tidewater — Stan Clarke earned his first win of the season, a 1-0 triumph as the Mud Hens beat Tidewater at Skeldon Stadium. The Woodward High graduate who played at the University of Toledo gave up three hits (two infield hits), struck out five, and walked one in 7⅔ innings.

    ■ April 18, 1998: Storm ousted from playoffs — After going six years without being shut out in the postseason, the Toledo Storm were blanked for the second time in eight days by the Wheeling Nailers, who won 3-0 at home in Game 4 to end the series. “We couldn’t get anything going,” ECHL rookie of the year Sean Venedam said after Toledo’s season ended.

    ■ April 19, 1998: Tait’s wait finally ends — To Wasean Tait, it seemed like a lifetime between carries. Finally, the wait ended for the Mid-American Conference's player of the year in 1995, who has not played since suffering a severe knee injury during the season opener in 1996. Tait carried 10 times for 51 yards and one touchdown in Toledo’s spring game.

    ■ April 20, 1998: Glass City victory just warmup — Andy Jones, winner of the 22nd Glass City Marathon, will try to reclaim the Canadian and North American 100K records in two weeks in Victoria, B.C. Jones, 36, won the Glass City Marathon in 2 hours, 33 minutes, 25 seconds. Karen McCracken, 35, won the women’s race in 3:10:52.

    Curtis Granderson greets fans at Fifth Third Field during a 2008 rehab stint.
    Curtis Granderson greets fans at Fifth Third Field during a 2008 rehab stint.

    ■ April 21, 2008: Bats stop Hens, Granderson — Curtis Granderson suited up for the Toledo Mud Hens again, and from the sound of it, not for the last time. Granderson, the Tigers center fielder who is rehabbing a broken finger, went 1 for 5 during a 10-7 home loss to the Louisville Bats. He singled in the first inning.

    ■ April 22, 1988: Jakubowski bowls 300 — Steve Jabukowski debated whether he should bowl his third game in The Blade Traveling Classic at Westland Lanes. “Go ahead and bowl, Steve,” an Ort Tool & Die teammate said. “You’ll have a high game.” That proved prophetic after the 26-year-old completed a 300 game to finish a 782 series.

    —Compiled by Tommy Gallagher