The tradition in the Major League Baseball mascot began with Mr. Met, introduced for the New York Mets when Shea Stadium opened in 1964. Although some mascots came and went over time, the popularity of mascots increased when The San Diego Chicken started independently making appearances at San Diego Padres games in 1977. Philadelphia Phillies management felt they needed a mascot similar to the Chicken, so they debuted the Phillie Phanatic in 1978.
Today, all but three major-league teams have "official" mascots (Dodgers, Yankees, and Angels). Five team mascots – Sluggerrr (Kansas City Royals), the San Diego Chicken, the Phillie Phanatic, Mr. Met, and Slider (Cleveland Indians) – have been inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame. Several others have been nominated since the Hall's creation in 2005.
Mascots in the MLB are often used to help market the team and league to young children.
Ace is the official mascot of the Toronto Blue Jays. He, along with his female counterpart, "Diamond" replaced former mascot BJ Birdie before the 2002 season as a mascot duo. Like his predecessor, Ace resembles a large blue jay. The mascot's name is baseball slang for a team's top starting pitcher (the "ace" of the staff, such as former Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay).
In 2004, Ace became the sole mascot of the team after Diamond was removed by the Blue Jays prior to the start of the season. In 2011, Blue Jays fans were introduced to his younger brother Junior (see below).
Barrelman (aka "Owgust" and "Beer Barrel Man"), is an auxiliary mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers. He was resurrected and upgraded to be a costumed performing character in 2015, having previously only been an official logo image and since 1977 only appearing on special materials.
Baxter the Bobcat is the mascot of the Arizona Diamondbacks. His full name is D. Baxter the Bobcat, and he became the mascot in 2000. The mascot was created by Brantley Bell (who is currently an infielder in the Cincinnati Reds minor league system), the son of Jay Bell, one of the players on the Diamondbacks 1998 inaugural season roster. Brantley came up with the name from two sources. "D. Baxter" comes from the team's nickname, "the D-Backs". The bobcat is from the original name of the stadium where the Diamondbacks play. Today called Chase Field, it was once called Bank One Ballpark, or "BOB" for short. The bobcat is a wild cat native to Arizona.
Bernie Brewer is the official mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Bernie Brewer character became the team's mascot in 1973, appearing as a cheerful man with a big mustache. A beer-barreled chalet was built for him inside the stadium where he led the crowd cheering. Following each home run and every victory by the Brewers, he would slide down and plunge himself into a huge beer mug in celebration. He was joined by a companion Bonnie Brewer, who would playfully swat at the backside of the opposing team's third base coach with a broom as the field crew swept the base paths.
Bernie Brewer was a fixture at Brewers home games until 1984, when the Brewers re-built the bleachers, replacing the chalet with a sound tower and sending Bernie into retirement. By popular demand, Bernie Brewer came out of his retirement in 1993, when the fans voted for his return. Bernie was brought back not as just a mustachioed man in lederhosen, but a full-body costume of a man, including large foam head. The chalet was then rebuilt (it had been in storage on the third base side under the box seats) above the left-center field bleachers. The original beer mug that Bernie used to slide into is still in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as part of the Lakefront Brewery, Inc. tour.
Billy The Marlin is the official mascot of the Miami Marlins. Resembling a marlin with limbs, he can be seen at every Marlins home game. He competes in a waterboat race, which is a computer-animated video shown on the screen, during each game. The name, picked by original team owner Wayne Huizenga, is derived from the fact that a marlin is a billfish, and Huizenga wanted a name that was different from the baseball type names of other mascots (like Slider and Sluggerrr) and one that children could remember more easily. On Mothers Day and Father's Day, Billy is joined by his parents, Bill Sr. and Betty the Marlin. Billy is also seen at games dancing with kids on the field in between innings and making special appearances in the Fan Zone.
On Opening Day of 1997, the year the Marlins won their first World Series Championship, a Navy SEAL who was parachuting into Hard Rock Stadium (then known as Pro Player Stadium) as Billy, lost the head in mid-air. While the crowd was unaware of the problem, media outlets had been alerted to Billy's parachute entrance. When he didn't arrive, the media ran with the story, getting national attention and leading to ESPN's Dan Patrick's nightly quote, "Bring me the head of Billy the Marlin!"
The original Billy The Marlin was John Routh, who spent 10 years (1993–2002) entertaining Marlins fans. Routh previously portrayed the University of Miami mascots, Sebastian the Ibis and The Miami Maniac from 1983 to 1993, and prior to that, Cocky for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.
On January 13, 2014, the Chicago Cubs announced that Clark, a "young, friendly Cub", would become the team's first official mascot in modern history. Clark was named after Clark Street, since the Cubs home field, Wrigley Field, is famously located at "Clark and Addison".
The D-backs Luchador is the second mascot of the Arizona Diamondbacks. After a giveaway of masks in June 2012 proved popular, the team introduced the Luchador as a permanent character in July 2013. He wears a black cape, red pants, and a mask patterned after the team's logo. Meant to represent the team's Hispanic fans, the Luchador also wrestles with Club Deportivo Coloseo at the Glendale Park and Swap.
Dinger is the official mascot of the Colorado Rockies. He is an anthropomorphic purple triceratops. The choice of a dinosaur, specifically this type, was inspired by the discovery of a number of dinosaur fossils—most notably a 7-foot-long (2.1 m), 1,000-pound (450 kg) triceratops skull—at Coors Field during its construction. His name "Dinger" is one of many slang terms for a home run.
Dinger is often seen on the field before and after the game and roaming around the stadium during the game. When Rockies hitters are at bat in the late innings of a game, he often dances in the seats immediately behind home plate in an effort to distract opposing pitchers, sitting down only immediately before the beginning motion of each pitch.
Dinger has been the Colorado Rockies biggest fan since he first hatched from his egg at Mile High Stadium on April 16, 1994 . Dinger works year-round promoting physical fitness and literacy for thousands of elementary school students in the Rocky Mountain Region. He acts out his own Dinger Story for the kids. He also makes appearances at Children's Hospital Colorado and Denver Health. He makes appearances at Rockies events including the 5K Home Run, and the Rockies Rookies Kids Fan Club. He is a purple dinosaur with a Rockies jersey on with black sneakers.
DJ Kitty is the new mascot for the Tampa Bay Rays. DJ Kitty comes from the Internet sensation of a kitty playing a DJ System and dancing to the music. The cat wears a Tampa Bay Rays ring, wears chains, and wears his Rays hat backwards. As of 2013, DJ Kitty is the new secondary mascot for the Rays along with Raymond.
Fredbird is the official mascot for the St. Louis Cardinals. He is an anthropomorphic cardinal wearing the team's uniform. A person dressed up as Fredbird can often be found entertaining young children during baseball games at Busch Stadium. His name is derived from "Redbird", a synonym for the cardinal bird and for the Cardinals themselves.
Fredbird was introduced in 1979 by the Cardinals, then owned by Anheuser-Busch, to entertain younger fans at the games. He quickly became popular with fans for his dancing, habit of "beaking" the heads of supporters, and for throwing T-shirts into the stands. In later years, he has been joined by "Team Fredbird", a group of young women employed by the club who help him with his T-shirt toss and occasionally in other duties. He is one of baseball's best-known mascots, and he makes hundreds of appearances year-round in the St. Louis area.
Gapper is one of the current mascots for the Cincinnati Reds. He was first introduced as the furry companion to Mr. Red, the long-time mascot in the winter of 2002 as the franchise was preparing to move to their new home, Great American Ball Park. The mascot was created by David Raymond's Raymond Entertainment Group, the founder being the man inside the Phillie Phanatic costume from 1973 to 1993. A young fan won two season tickets for submitting the winning name; he is named after the "gap" in the stands in the seats of Great American, which provides a view into and out of the stadium. The term "gapper" is also a slang phrase for a batted ball which falls into the "gap" between outfielders (generally a ball hit to either left-center or right-center field which rolls to the fence). According to a recent cincinnati.com poll of the Red's four mascots, he is the least popular amongst fans. He received 6% of the voting, Mr. Red received 23%, Rosie Red received 34%, and Mr. Redlegs received 47%.
Junior is the younger brother of Ace. He made his mascot debut in 2011. He is half the size of Ace and wears the number 1/2. He only appears on Jr. Jays Sundays (formerly Jr. Jays Saturdays, prior to the 2018 season).
Lou Seal is the official mascot of the San Francisco Giants. "Born" on July 25, 1996, Luigi Francisco Seal has been a regular part of all Giants home games, as well as numerous events in San Francisco and around the United States, ever since. Although his name (a play on the name "Lucille") is a bit ambiguous, he is indeed "officially" male and the person inside the costume is a man. Species-wise, Lou Seal is a reference to the San Francisco Seals, the baseball club that was a mainstay of the Pacific Coast League from 1903 until 1957.
In a contest held by the Giants where fans were asked for ideas, six people submitted the name "Lou Seal." These lucky fans were then invited to a game that season where they sat in a luxury box and got to meet the newly named mascot, and one of them was randomly chosen to throw out the first pitch. In 2008 Forbes Magazine named Lou Seal the best mascot in sports. He has had 1,150 consecutive home-game appearances, and is one of the four subjects followed in the second season of the Hulu series Behind the Mask.
Lou Seal also made occasional appearances at the Giants' High-A minor league team, the San Jose Giants. This practice ended in 2006 when the San Jose Giants introduced their own mascot named Gigante.
The Mariner Moose is the mascot of the Seattle Mariners. In 1990, a contest for children 14 and under was held to select a mascot, after 2500 entries the club chose the "Mariner Moose" The Moose made his debut on April 13, 1990 dancing on the field at the Kingdome. During the 1995 American League Division Series between the M's and the New York Yankees, the Moose gained national attention when he broke his ankle crashing into the outfield wall at the Kingdome while being towed on inline skates behind an ATV in the outfield. Inline skating behind an ATV would continue to be a fan favorite until 1999, when the team moved to Safeco Field and a natural grass playing surface. Since then, the Moose has become quite adept at driving his own ATV around Safeco Field's warning track while performing various tricks and having water coolers emptied on him by bullpen pitchers.
The Moose makes several hundred appearances in the community each year in addition to Mariners home games, at everything from hospitals to wedding receptions. The Mariner Moose was featured on the ballot for the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006 and 2007. He also nearly ran over Coco Crisp with his ATV in 2007, raising the ire of Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell.
Mr. Met is the official mascot of the New York Mets, and MLB's first live action mascot (April 14, 1964). He is a baseball-headed humanoid being who wears a Mets cap and uniform. He can be seen at Citi Field (and previously at Shea Stadium) during Mets home games. He also has appeared in several commercials as part of ESPN's This is SportsCenter campaign, and was selected in 2007 into the Mascot Hall of Fame. Starting in 2014, Mr. Met appeared as a sleeve patch on the Mets' blue alternate home and road jerseys.
Mrs. Jan Met (or Lady Met) is the female version of Mr. Met, the mascot of the New York Mets. She is a baseball-headed humanoid being, has brown hair in a ponytail and wears a Mets cap and uniform.
Mrs. Met first appeared at games in 1975 before disappearing into obscurity. She appeared with Mr. Met in a 2003 "This is SportsCenter" commercial. The Mets reintroduced Mrs. Met in mascot form in 2013.
Mr. Red (or The Running Man) was the first mascot of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. He is a humanoid figure dressed in a Reds uniform, with an oversized baseball for a head.
Mr. Red made his first appearance on a Reds uniform as a sleeve patch in 1955. The patch featured Mr. Red's head, clad in an old-fashioned white pillbox baseball cap with red stripes. The following season, 1956, saw the Reds adopt sleeveless jerseys, and Mr. Red was eliminated from the home uniform. He was moved to the left breast of the road uniform, and remained there for one season before being eliminated entirely. In 1999, the Reds re-designed their uniform and "Mr. Red" was reintroduced as a sleeve patch on the undershirt. A human version of the mascot didn't appear until the early 1980s. The costumed mascot disappeared in the late 1980s but was reintroduced in 1997. The humanoid Mr. Red retired in 2007 leaving Gapper, Rosie Red and Mr. Redlegs to take his place. A new version of Mr. Red was unveiled at Redsfest 2012; the new mascot will be on the field with Mr. Redlegs, Gapper and Rosie Red.
Mr. Redlegs is a mascot of the Cincinnati Reds. He was reintroduced in 2007 to play a supporting role, along with Mr. Red. Mr. Redlegs appeared as a patch on the Reds' uniforms for two seasons in the 1950s (the team briefly assumed the nickname as a response to the second red scare). In 2008, Mr. Redlegs gained national notoriety by falling off of an ATV during pre-game antics. This caused the large, baseball-shaped head to fall off of the Mr. Redlegs costume, exposing the head of the person inside the costume. He was seen a few days later wearing a neck brace as a joke.
Orbit is the mascot of the Houston Astros. Orbit represents a green space alien with antennae, in keeping with the Space City theme of the city of Houston. Originally serving as team mascot from 1990 until 1999, he was replaced by a new mascot, Junction Jack.
To coincide with the Astros' move to the American League West and unveiling of their new uniforms, caps, and logo, Orbit was reintroduced on November 2, 2012 to serve as the Astros' mascot once more for 2013 and beyond.
The Oriole Bird is the official mascot of the Baltimore Orioles and is a cartoon version of the bird of the same name. He was "hatched" out of a giant egg prior to the team's 1979 season opener at Memorial Stadium on April 6. According to Orioles.com, The Oriole Bird's favorite foods are "mostly bird seed, with occasional crab cake." The Oriole Bird's head was featured on the team's caps from 1966 until 1988, and again since 2012.
Paws is the mascot of the Detroit Tigers. He is a tiger who made his debut on May 5, 1995, in Tiger Stadium. He wears a Tigers hat and jersey; in previous years, Paws' jersey would have the current season's 2 digit abbreviation (i.e. '10 for 2010). However, in 2011 and 2016, Paws' number changed to 00, since the Tigers retired No. 11 and No. 16 in honor of Sparky Anderson and Hal Newhouser, respectively. His dress changes during Comerica Park theme nights such as a Santa Claus outfit during "Christmas in July" night, or an Elvis Presley-inspired costume for Elvis Night. He "resides" in Comerica Park to this day.
Phillie Phanatic is the official mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies. He is a large, furry, green bi-pedal creature with a cylindrical beak containing a tongue that sticks out. He was created by Harrison/Erickson, who thought that the team needed a mascot similar to The San Diego Chicken. The character is named for the fanatical fans of the team and, according to current owner and former team vice president, Bill Giles, was to bring more families to Veterans Stadium, the Phillies' ballpark at the time, which had become noted for rowdiness and even violence at times. He can be seen riding around on an ATV at home games. In 2008, Forbes named the Phanatic the second best mascot in sports, behind San Francisco's Lou Seal.
The Pierogis are a series of seven people dressed in pierogi costumes that race in a promotion between innings during Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games. The contestants in this race include: Jalapeño Hannah (green hat), Cheese Chester (yellow), Sauerkraut Saul (red), Oliver Onion (purple), Bacon Burt (orange), Potato Pete (blue), and Pizza Penny (Red and White checkered). The Great Pierogi Race was inspired by the Milwaukee Brewers' Sausage Race.
The Pirate Parrot is the mascot of the Pittsburgh Pirates, debuting in 1979. He is a large green parrot who wears a Pirates jersey and cap. The character of a parrot was derived from the classic story Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, most notably the one owned by Long John Silver named "Captain Flint". He is often seen dancing on the dugouts and shooting hot-dogs from a cannon.
The Washington Nationals have a President Race during their games. The race debuted in 2006, and the four presidents on Mount Rushmore – George Washington ("George"), Thomas Jefferson ("Tom"), Abraham Lincoln ("Abe"), and Theodore Roosevelt ("Teddy") – have raced in every season since. In 2013, a fifth permanent contestant – William Howard Taft ("Bill") – was added. A sixth contestant was added in 2015 as part of a three-year marketing deal with the White House Historical Association, with the sixth slot changing annually based on the president featured by the association on its annual Christmas ornament. Calvin Coolidge ("Cal") was the first to fill the sixth slot, making his debut in July 2015. Herbert Hoover ("Herbie") replaced Coolidge for 2016. Each president has a uniform number corresponding to his place in the order in which they held the office (George – 1; Tom – 3; Abe – 16; Teddy – 26; William – 27; Cal – 30; Herbie – 31).
The Racing presidents became an instant success upon their 2006 debut and make multiple public appearances every year. Notably, Abraham Lincoln appeared on the Illinois float for President Barack Obama's first inauguration parade on January 20, 2009.
A running gag with the Racing presidents from 2006 to 2012 was that Teddy could never win a race, although he came close in 2012, after apparently defeating the other three presidents: While he was "Tebowing" near the finish line, George drove up in a car and whacked him in the back of the head with a baseball bat, knocking him out before he could finish the race. In October 2012, however, just before the regular season ended and shortly before the Nationals' first postseason run began, Teddy finally won his first race, and he then went on to win four straight.
The Nationals scrapped plans to replace Herbie in 2017 with the president to be featured on that year's White House Historical Association Christmas ornament. Instead, they announced before the 2017 season that Bill, Cal, and Herbie all had retired to Florida, where in 2017 they began a new series of presidents Races among themselves during Nationals spring training games at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach. Meanwhile, the presidents Race at Nationals Park returned in 2017 to its original format of 2006–2012, featuring only George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy.
Rally Squirrel is a secondary mascot for the St. Louis Cardinals. He is an anthropomorphic squirrel wearing the team's uniform with a number 11 (presumably for the 2011 postseason), and was introduced not long after an actual squirrel appeared on the field at Busch Stadium during the fifth inning of Game 4 of the 2011 National League Division Series. The squirrel ran across home plate as Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt was delivering a pitch to Skip Schumaker, causing Oswalt to complain to the umpire that he was distracted by the squirrel. The video of the incident became very popular, and several local businesses in the St. Louis area began creating items to capitalize on the phenomenon.
A performer dressed up as Rally Squirrel took part in Cardinals fan rallies beginning with Game 3 of the 2011 National League Championship Series, and was a companion of the existing Cardinals mascot Fredbird during the remainder of the postseason, assisting Fredbird and Team Fredbird with their duties entertaining the Cardinals fans at Busch Stadium. Since the Cardinals "won" the 2011 World Series, it is unknown if Rally Squirrel would become an official secondary mascot alongside Fredbird.
Rangers Captain is the mascot for the Texas Rangers. Introduced in 2002, he is a palomino-style horse, dressed in the team's uniform. He wears the uniform number "72" in honor of 1972, the year the Rangers relocated to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
Rangers Captain has multiple uniforms to match each of the variants the team has; his chosen uniform for the game matches the uniform choice made by the team for that particular game. However, his outfit sometimes matches a theme the team is promoting; as an example, on April 24, 2010, he dressed up like Elvis Presley as part of an Elvis theme promotional night.
Raymond is the mascot of the Tampa Bay Rays. Raymond is a furry blue creature wearing a large pair of sneakers and a backwards baseball cap, completed with a Rays jersey. He is described officially as a "seadog", having been born somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. He is said to reside in a private condominium inside Tropicana Field. Raymond was awarded an honorable mention in the GameOps.com Best Mascot contest for 2006.
Rosie Red is the female mascot of the Cincinnati Reds. She was introduced in August 2008 as the new companion of Gapper and Mr. Redlegs, and her name comes from a female fan, Rosie Janis, who became famous in 1940 for cheering for the team, and is also derived from a female fan group founded to prevent the team from moving from Cincinnati in 1963 and is a philanthropic group associated with the team. The official group name comes from the acronym of "Rooters Organized to Stimulate Interest and Enthuiasm in the Cincinnati Reds."
The sausages are unofficial mascots of the Milwaukee Brewers. They are stylized in the appearance of sausages from around the world. When they were debuted in the mid-1990s there were only three: The German Bratwurst, The Polish Kielbasa, and The Italian Sausage. In the late 1990s the Hot Dog became a racer. In 2006 a fifth sausage was debuted, The Spanish Chorizo. They are a favorite of fans and make sports highlights reels occasionally.
Screech is the mascot of the Washington Nationals. He is a bald eagle who wears the home cap and jersey of the team. He was "hatched" on April 17, 2005 at the "Kids Opening Day" promotion at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. A nine-year-old fourth grade student in Washington, Glenda Gutierrez, designed the mascot and won a contest sponsored by the team, explaining that it was "strong and eats almost everything." A new "matured" ion of the mascot was unveiled March 2, 2009. The Springfield Falcons, which played in the American Hockey League until they moved to Tucson in 2016, also had a mascot named Screech.
Slider is the mascot for the Cleveland Indians. He is a large, furry fuchsia-colored creature. He has a large yellow nose and shaggy yellow eyebrows. He was created in 1990, inspired by the Phillie Phanatic. He was best known for an injury during the 1995 American League Championship Series when he fell six feet off an outfield wall and tore knee ligaments. He was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2008.
Sluggerrr is the official mascot of the Kansas City Royals. The lion whose mane looks like a crown made his debut on April 5, 1996. The word slugger also refers to a powerful batter with a high percentage of extra base hits. Sluggerrr is one of few mascots that has Facebook and Twitter accounts, both clearly marked on his homepage.
In 2009, a spectator was injured by a hot dog thrown into the stands by Sluggerrr as part of a between-innings promotion. The spectator sued the Royals organization, claiming that they had been negligent. A jury found that neither the team nor the fan were at fault, and awarded no damages.
In 2017, Sluggerrr was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame.
Southpaw is the mascot of the Chicago White Sox. His name is a reference to a left-hand pitcher and is also a reference to Chicago's South Side, where the team plays. He was on a float for Illinois at Barack Obama's inauguration, along with the Washington Nationals racing president representation of Abraham Lincoln.
Stomper is the mascot of the Oakland Athletics. Created in 1997, he is an elephant who wears an A's uniform adorned with the number 00. Stomper has performed at several All-Star Games and has appeared in a Public Service Announcement discouraging the use of chewing tobacco.
The use of an elephant to symbolize the A's dates back to the early years of the franchise, when a group of Philadelphia businessmen, headed by industrialist Benjamin Shibe, became the team's first owners. When asked to comment, John McGraw, manager of the New York Giants of the rival National League, said something to the effect that "Shibe had bought himself a white elephant." In response, A's manager (and future owner) Connie Mack selected the elephant as the team symbol and mascot. From time to time an illustration of an elephant has been featured on the Athletics uniform, including from 1988 to the present.
The Swinging Friar is the mascot of the San Diego Padres.
The Swinging Friar has been a mascot with the team as early as 1958, when the Padres were still a member of the Pacific Coast League, a minor league baseball organization. He was named after the Spanish Franciscan friars, who founded the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, around which the city of San Diego began to emerge in the 18th century. The Padres joined Major League Baseball in 1969 and kept the popular mascot. He was even on the team emblem until 1984. Wanting a more "professional" image, the owners introduced a more corporate logo. In 1996, he was brought back as a sleeve patch for the club's blue alternate jerseys, and though the team has changed its logo and colors since then, the Friar remains there to this day.
The Swinging Friar is a cartoon-like character, pudgy, balding, and always smiling. He is dressed as a friar with a tonsure, sandals, a dark hooded cloak, and a rope around the waist. He swings a baseball bat; but reportedly, in some years he swings left-handed, in other years he swings right-handed, he may be ambidextrous, or even a switch hitter. On home game Sundays, the Friar wears a special camouflage cloak as the team honors the military background of San Diego with similar uniforms. The Friar also rings a mission bell at home games immediately after a win.
Originally, The Swinging Friar was represented at the ballpark as a real man wearing a friar outfit. Since his return, the character has been a full mascot costume.
Some in the past have confused The San Diego Chicken as the mascot of the Padres. Although he does make appearances occasionally at San Diego sporting events, he has never been the official mascot of any San Diego sports team.
T. C. is the mascot for the Minnesota Twins. He was first introduced to Minnesota on April 3, 2000. T. C. is loosely modeled after the Hamm's Beer Bear, a mascot used in advertisements for Hamm's Brewery, an early sponsor for the Twins. The "T. C." stands for the "Twin Cities", Minneapolis and St. Paul. Prior to T.C., the mascot for the Minnesota Twins 1980–81 was a loon named "Twinkie".
Wally the Green Monster is the official mascot for the Boston Red Sox. His name is derived from the Green Monster nickname of the 37-foot (11 m) wall in left field at Fenway Park. Wally debuted in 1997 to the chagrin of many older Red Sox fans, despite his popularity with children.
According to the Red Sox promotions department, Wally was a huge Red Sox fan who, in 1947, decided to move inside the left field wall of Fenway Park, since it "eats up" hits that would easily be home runs at other parks. Apparently, he was very shy and lived the life of a hermit for 50 years. In 1997, on the 50th anniversary of the Green Monster being painted green, he came out of the manual scoreboard and has been interacting with players and fans ever since.
When the team began to grow out their beards as a trademark during their 2013 World Series run, Wally was given a long beard as well.
In January 2016, the Red Sox unveiled a new mascot named Tessie, Wally the Green Monster's little sister. Tessie is named after the song "Tessie", which has long been associated with the Red Sox.
This is a list of former Major League Baseball mascots. Some of these mascots may still be used, but are not considered "official" mascots.
Astrojack, an anthropomorphic rabbit, and Astrodillo, an anthropomorphic armadillo, were mascots for the Houston Astros in the 1980s. They wore the Astros' "rainbow" uniforms of that time, and were also the team's first mascots to circulate through the crowd. Before games and during breaks between innings, they would also race around the field on three-wheelers and perform skits with the Astrodome's house band, The Astronuts. The creator of Astrojack and Astrodillo, Logan Goodson, would go on to create a later Astros mascot, Junction Jack.
BJ Birdy served as the official mascot for the Toronto Blue Jays from 1979 to 1999. He was ejected from a game in 1993 for "showing up" the umpire, after making gestures the umpire found offensive. He was replaced in 1999 with Ace and Diamond. BJ was created and played by the same person, Kevin Shanahan, for his entire 20-year career as the Jays' mascot. Shanahan lost 3 toes on his left foot in an automobile accident during the 1991 off season, but managed to return as the Jays mascot, missing only the first home game of the season.
Bonnie Brewer is a former official mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers, appearing at Milwaukee County Stadium from 1973 to 1979. Bonnie was portrayed as a young blonde woman in a gold blouse and short blue lederhosen, wearing a baseball cap and frequently carrying a blue-and-gold broom which she would use to sweep the bases.
Bonnie was first introduced as the female companion to the Brewers' mascot Bernie Brewer. Bernie and Bonnie were created by then-team vice president Dick Hackett as part of an effort to create a lively atmosphere at County Stadium, which also included hiring organist Frank Charles to play a Wurlitzer during the games. As Hackett remembers it, Bernie and Bonnie were added over the objections of team owner Bud Selig.
Bonnie was noted mainly for her colorful antics during the seventh-inning stretch. As the grounds crew swept the infield, Bonnie wielded her signature broom, sweeping off each base in turn. After sweeping third base, she would playfully swat the opposing team's third-base coach on the backside with her broom, following it up with a kiss on his cheek.
Bonnie was discontinued after the 1979 season, although no clear reason has ever been given for her "firing". Bernie Brewer was discontinued as a mascot in 1984, although he was brought back as a costumed mascot in 1993, complete with full-body costume and large foam head. Bonnie Brewer returned as part of the nostalgia-heavy final home stand at County Stadium, September 18–28, 2000. As of 2008[update], Bonnie is part of the Brewers' "Retro Fridays" promotions at Miller Park, incorporating the traditional base sweeping as well as dancing with Bernie on Bernie's Dugout during the fans' singing of the "Beer Barrel Polka" in the seventh inning stretch.
The Braves Bleacher Creature was a mascot for the Atlanta Braves major league baseball team during the late 1970s. It featured green shaggy fur with a Braves cap and logo on top. The word Braves was written across its chest in big red letters. It had a permanent toothless smile. The mascot usually roamed the stands from time to time during home games and was intended more for the entertainment of younger fans.
The mascot was costumed by Alan Stensland, then a student at Georgia Tech. Stensland was working as an usher at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium when he was approached to wear the costume. The outfit required someone who was 5"8" to 5'10" tall, and Alen met the height and shoe size requirements. Alen recalls having one of his costume's eyes removed by a youngster on his first night out. They also attempted to bust his kneecaps on bat night. During the 1977 season, the mascot made some 250 appearances at games, parties, and parades.
Stensland was only 18 at the time he first donned the costume. The most intense problem he had was the heat. With the added humidity, a really "funky smell" permeated the inside of the costume. Once Stensland graduated, he left the Braves organization, and the mascot was discontinued. The other Braves mascot, Chief Noc-A-Homa, continued on for several more years.
When the A's moved to then heavily Democratic Missouri, where the official state animal is the mule, Warren Hearnes gave a mule to Finley for his barnyard menagerie at Municipal Stadium which also include sheep and goats that scampered up the hill behind right field. The Municipal Stadium menagerie also included Warpaint, the horse mascot of the Kansas City Chiefs. As questions swirled about whether Finley would be loyal to Missouri, he embraced the mule and removed the elephant from the A's logo and changed the A's colors from blue, red and white to green, gold, and white.
Finley took the sorrel 5-foot-tall (1.5 m) mule around the country, walking him into cocktail parties and hotel lobbies, and on one occasion even into the press room after a large feeding to annoy reporters.
In April 1977 the Houston Astros introduced their very first mascot, Chester Charge. Chester Charge was a 45-pound costume of a cartoon Texas cavalry soldier on a horse. Chester appeared on the field at the beginning of each home game, during the seventh inning stretch and then ran around the bases at the conclusion of each win. At the blast of a bugle, the scoreboard would light up and the audience would yell, "Charge!" The first Chester Charge was played by Steve Ross who was then an 18-year-old Senior High School student. The creation of Chester Charge and the (incredible for its day) scoreboard graphics were created by Ed Henderson.
Chief Noc-A-Homa was the original mascot of the Atlanta Braves from the 1950s until 1986. The name was used for the "laughing Indian" sleeve patch worn on Braves jerseys. From at least the early 1960s, while still in Milwaukee County Stadium, until the early 1980s at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium, this mascot "lived" in a teepee in an unoccupied section of the bleacher seats.
The teepee was involved in a bit of controversy in 1982 when the Braves, who were in first place in the National League West at the time, elected to remove the chief's home to provide more seating for the fans. The team dropped out of first when they lost 19 of 21 games after the removal. The teepee was returned to its spot and the team won the division.
Opposition to Native American mascots caused the Braves to retire Chief Noc-A-Homa and eventually replace him with Homer The Brave.
The Crazy Crab was a mascot of the San Francisco Giants for the 1984 season. As opposed to other mascots, Crazy Crab was meant as an "anti-mascot", satirizing on the mascot craze that was going on at the time. Fans were encouraged to boo the mascot (played by actor Wayne Doba) and manager Frank Robinson appeared in a commercial with the crustacean where Robinson was restrained from attacking him. This encouragement may have worked too well, as Giants fans regularly threw various dangerous objects at Crazy Crab, including beer bottles and batteries, and Crazy Crab's suit had to be reinforced with a fiberglass shell for protection. The crab was so hated, players on both the Giants and even the opposition would throw rosin bags and other objects at the mascot. Doba sued the San Diego Padres after two of their players (Kurt Bevacqua and Bruce Bochy) tackled him, causing injuries. The mascot lasted only one year and the Giants would not have another mascot until Lou Seal in 1996. The crab returned for the last game at Candlestick Park that the Giants played in 1999, and a bobblehead was given away with its likeness July 18, 2008 as the franchise celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in the Bay Area. There is even a website devoted to bringing back the Crazy Crab called Rehab The Crab and now a Crazy Crab sandwich at AT&T Park. In 2014, Colin Hanks directed The Anti-Mascot, an ESPN 30 for 30 short about Crazy Crab. On July 7, 2018, Crazy Crab made an appearance at AT&T Park in honor of the Giants' Crazy Crab scarf giveaway.
Dandy was a short-lived mascot of the New York Yankees. He was a large pinstriped bird-like mascot that sported a Yankees hat. He had a mustache that gave him an appearance similar to that of former Yankee pitcher Sparky Lyle. His name was a play on the classic American folk song "Yankee Doodle Dandy". He appeared at the start of the 1980 season and was so unpopular that he was quickly canceled. Dandy was beaten up by fans who didn't want a mascot, and quit, leading to the elimination of the character as the Yankees chose not to replace him.
Along with this experiment, the Yankees briefly had mascots resembling ballpark food (plus Yankees hats on top) during the mid-1990s. Outside of these two occasions, the Yankees have not had an official mascot or cheerleading squad roam the stands or perform on the field, although the late Freddy Schuman has served as an unofficial promoter in the stands for decades, and a squirrel appearing on the field has brought inspiration as a mascot for the team.
General Admission (a pun on the unreserved $4 seating section of the Astrodome) was a mascot for the Houston Astros in the mid-to-late 1990s. He was played by a middle-aged white male, who is now the Senior Director of Guest Services for the Houston Astros, and wore a traditional U.S. Cavalry uniform complete with gold stars he would affix to his uniform for every Astros home run hit in the dome. Whenever an Astro hit a home run, General Admission would fire a cannon from his outfield platform (that would often scare those seated near him). He was "killed off" at the end of the 1999 season when the Astros main mascot, Orbit, had him zapped by an alien ray gun on the penultimate game of the regular season.
Homer was the mascot of the Atlanta Braves. He had a baseball shaped head, and looked a little like Mr. Met. Before having the baseball head however, Homer was the personification of the old "Screaming Warrior" logo the Braves used before dropping it in 1988.
Homer's full name was Homer the Brave. This was meant to sound like "home of the brave", the last words of the national anthem. Incidentally, "homer" was also the longtime nickname for a home run.
Junction Jack was the mascot character for the Houston Astros from 2000 until 2012. He was a 7-foot-tall (2.1 m) rabbit dressed as a railroad engineer. His "relatives" were Junction Julie and Junction Jesse, although they were not certified official mascots by the Astros.
Junction Jack replaced Orbit when the team moved from the Astrodome to Minute Maid Park. The new stadium was originally called "The Ballpark at Union Station" because it was built on the site of the historic railway station in downtown Houston. In keeping with this new theme for the Astros, Orbit was replaced by the engineer. The character was designed by Logan Goodson and named by Duone Byars, both former Astros employees.
After the 2012 season, Junction Jack, Julie, and Jesse were retired, with Orbit returning to his former place as the Astros mascot on November 2, 2012. Orbit's return coincided with the Astros' move to the American League West as well as their new uniforms, caps, and logo.
Before their retirement in 2014, Lefty and Righty were each a large, red sock with arms, and before Tessie the Green Monster's introduction in 2016, were the alternate mascot characters for the Boston Red Sox through the 2014 MLB season, joining Wally the Green Monster. They were seen on large outings with Wally such as the 2007 World Series Parade as well as weekend afternoon games at Fenway Park.
Mettle the Mule was a mascot of the New York Mets for a short time starting in 1976. Originally named Arthur, Mettle was renamed as a result of a fan contest. Mettle was kept in a pen near the Mets' bullpen in the right field of Shea Stadium.
Philadelphia Phil and Philadelphia Phillis served as mascots for the Phillies during the 1970s (1971–79). Their costumes invoked the city's revolutionary spirit from 1776. The pair reappeared with their replacement—the Phanatic—as the Phillies celebrated their final year at Veterans Stadium in 2003, including the final opening day and final game.
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Rally was one of the Atlanta Braves mascots. He was a bear-like mascot and looked like Wally the Green Monster.
Ribbie and Roobarb were a pair of mascots used by the Chicago White Sox from 1981 to 1988 at Comiskey Park. After the Sox were sold in 1981 by Bill Veeck to an ownership group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn, the new owners, who were eager to draw on the 1970s popularity of such mascots as The San Diego Chicken, hired the design firm responsible for creating the Phillie Phanatic to create a new mascot for the Sox.
They debuted the pair of furry mascots in September 1981, but the fans never accepted the two, ridiculing them throughout their tenure with the team—both because of their ludicrous appearance, which had no apparent connection with the team, and also because they were seen as an attempt to eliminate Andy the Clown, who had performed unofficially at Sox games since 1960. "Rhubarb" is longtime baseball slang for a heated on-field argument; Ribbie comes from the acronym RBI, for runs batted in. Often reports will say ribbie instead of RBI to describe it.
For most of the 1980s, the patrons at Comiskey Park ... were asked to endure the 'antics' of baseball's least appealing mascots, Ribbie and Roobarb. One looked like the dim-witted son of Oscar the Grouch, the other like a chartreuse anteater with a genetic flaw.
After another failed mascot in the early 1990s was Waldo the White Sox Wolf. The White Sox introduced a new mascot, Southpaw, in 2003.
Scoop and Clutch were mascots for the Anaheim Angels in the 1990s. The pair were bears wearing Angels uniforms complete with halos and wings for some time. They disappeared and were effectively replaced by the Rally Monkey in the 2002 season.
Souki was the mascot of the Montreal Expos, for only one season (1978), a figure in an Expos uniform with a giant baseball for a head. It was a variation of the popular mascot of the New York Mets called Mr. Met, but with one difference. The Expos' Mr. Met, called Souki, had odd antennas sticking out the sides of his head. He looked like something from outer space and the kids were afraid of him. During a game in late fall, a father attacked Souki after his child was afraid of him (and after a loss).
Twinkie was used by the Minnesota Twins for two seasons 1980 and 1981.
Youppi! was the mascot of the Montreal Expos, before the franchise moved to Washington as the Washington Nationals. He is an orange furry creature with a white face originally leased in 1979 and designed by Bonnie Erickson, formerly a designer for some of Jim Henson's Muppets characters. Youppi! was so named resembling the phrase Yippee! or Hooray! in French. Youppi! was the first mascot to be thrown out of a Major League Baseball game: on August 23, 1989, in the 11th inning, while atop the visitors' dugout, Youppi! took a running leap, landing hard and noisily on its roof, and then sneaked into a front row seat. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda complained to the umpires and Youppi! was ejected, though he later returned, confined to the home team's dugout roof. Youppi! was abandoned as a mascot after the Expos franchise moved to Washington in 2005, but was adopted by the NHL's Montreal Canadiens team on September 16, 2005, as potentially the first sports mascot to switch their allegiance from one sport to another, while remaining in the same city.
The following MLB teams do not currently have an official mascot:
The "Build-A-Bear Workshop" Make-Your-Own-Phanatic store, at Citizens Bank Park, was the first store of its kind in sports. Fans are invited to buy and stuff a Phillie Phanatic doll and dress it up. Following the 2010 season, the Build-A- Bear in Philadelphia was discontinued. Similar shops have since been set up in Cincinnati (Great American Ball Park), Cleveland (Progressive Field), St. Louis (Busch Stadium), San Francisco (AT&T Park), and Washington, D.C. (Nationals Park). The Milwaukee Brewers also have in their main team store at Miller Park a whole section of their store consisting entirely of merchandise featuring the Racing Sausages, called The Meat Locker.
Gapper, one of the official mascots of the Cincinnati Reds.
Sluggerrr, the team mascot of the Kansas City Royals.
Ace is the mascot for the Toronto Blue Jays.
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There's a never before seen member of the Red Sox family that has perimeter and diehard Red Sox fans alike asking, "wait, who?" Her name is Tessie, and apparently, she's Wally the Green Monster's sister. In a video posted by the team, Wally is seen heading home to visit his parents at JetBlue park in Fort Myers when Tessie runs out onto the field. Together – to a special Dropkick Murphys track – the pair enjoy some sibling time at the park. But when Wally gets ready to head back to Boston, it's decided that Tessie's coming too.