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Issue Date: April 2008

The Man in the Yellow Hat

Don’t ask Tom O’Toole if there’s a philosophy behind his many multicolored hats.

“That makes me sound like a stiff,” he says. “I’m just a regular guy. I’m well met; I have a good sense of humor. I don’t take myself too seriously. This is just for fun.”

O’Toole, a season-ticket holder since 1965, realized his new seats at the park were on TV. Now, whenever a left-handed batter takes the plate, viewers can see the Willoughby resident and his wife, Joanna, in the front row along the first-base line.

So he decided to add a little color to the games with a lineup of his own.

The first inning’s hat is Tweety Bird yellow. The fourth brings in bright green (“just to be Irish”); the sixth sees a hat from some outdoor writer friends in hunter orange. He has three more for extra innings.

And for the seventh-inning stretch, O’Toole pulls out his best hat: the special yellow, with a red bill, red pinstripes and an Indians logo from a friend in Louisiana.

“It’s a Class A hat,” he says. “I don’t know where he got it.” 

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