#Hot Corner

Living with mascots (even the awful ones)

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

The New Yorker's Ian Crouch isn't a fan of the Cubs' new mascot, and you can't really blame him (although one of Crouch's issues, Clark's below-the-waist nakedness, has been approved by Grant Brisbee). In fact, Crouch is pretty picky about his mascots:

There are thirty M.L.B. teams but only two good mascots: Mr. Met and the Phillie Phanatic. Mr. Met is credited with being the first live-action, costume-wearing mascot in baseball, having made his début in 1964, when the Mets moved into Shea Stadium and were not above engaging in a bit of carnival nonsense to win new fans. He makes perfect surreal sense: a humanoid with the head of a baseball. The Phanatic first appeared in 1978, and set a standard for both physical oddity and on-field antics. (His great forbear in the hijinks department, the San Diego Chicken, who appeared at Padres games during the seventies, was never an official team representative.) The rest of baseball’s mascots form a motley crew, mostly literal animal characters so boring as to be beneath mention. The Kansas City Royals have a lion mascot that spells its name Sluggerrr. Several have no obvious connection to the teams they represent: the Colorado Rockies have a dinosaur, the Arizona Diamondbacks have a bobcat, and so on. Others are merely lesser approximations of the Phanatic—strange creatures that are unlikely to do anything but terrorize children and bother adults.

Also at The New Yorker, a slide show -- wait, The New Yorker does slide shows??? -- of baseball's costumed mascots, both past and present, and it's worth clicking just for DANDY, the Yankees' ill-fated-and-later-disowned mascot of the late 1970s. And you thought George Steinbrenner never made any mistakes.

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