Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mass Gotcha' open...

Mascots, play an important position on the team roster, making the kids and the adults laugh alike. Lets face it, it doesn't take much to get a smile on a young kids face thats what cotton candy and soda are for, but making a middle aged man or An elderly woman laugh and giggle is a little harder of a task. The job of the mascot is to make sure he gets a laugh or an emotion out of you the fan or opposing fan. As far back as my cloudy memory goes, as a little youth at a phillies game or a local appearance where he would be, The Philly Phanatic always had the crowd going and was a fan favorite. Maybe thats why he has a place in the baseball hall of fame. Mascots in general are cool and imaginative, and most of the time fun. Heres a few pics of the Phanatics friends and foes good times and woes with a little history lesson to edutain your brain...

The Phillie Phanatic (also called the Philly Phanatic) is the official mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies Major League Baseball team, a fat, furry, green creature that somewhat resembles a bird from the rear view with a cylindrical beak containing a tongue that sticks out. He was created by Harrison/Erickson of New York City (now known as Acme Mascots), who have had ties with Jim Henson's Muppets and the team's marketing and promotions department during the winter after the 1977 season, by a young executive named Dennis Lehman, who thought that the team needed a mascot similar to San Diego's Famous Chicken. Instead of a number on the back of his jersey, he wears a star.
The character is named for the fanatical fans of the team after an incident during the third game of the 1977 National League Championship Series played at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium, in which fans drove Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Burt Hooton into losing his composure after he complained to umpire Bob Engel over balls and strikes (he was removed from the game, but the Dodgers went on to win the game, and ultimately, the series). Another reason he was created, according to current owner and former team vice president Bill Giles was to bring more families to The Vet, as some of the more inebriated fans were involved in various fights when the team was doing well or poorly.
The Phanatic replaced "Philadelphia Phil" and "Philadelphia Phillis", a pair of siblings dressed in 18th-century garb to invoke the city's revolutionary spirit from 1776. The pair were in the team logo from 1976 through 1978, and were part of the team's "Home Run Spectacular" at The Vet from 1971 through 1979. They reappeared with their replacement — the Phanatic — as the Phillies celebrated their final year at Veterans Stadium in 2003, including opening day and the final game.
In his book Pouring Six Beers At A Time, Giles wrote of the worst decision of his life when it came to the creation of the Phanatic. The design would cost $5,200 (US) for both the costume and the copyright ownership, or $3,900 just for the costume with Harrison/Erickson retaining the copyright. Giles chose to just buy the costume. Five years later, when Giles and his group of investors bought the team from Ruly Carpenter, the franchise paid $250,000 to Harrison/Erickson for the copyright.
The Phanatic debuted on April 25, 1978, Jimmy Carter was president, gas prices were at an all time high, and disco music ruled the land. In Philadelphia, the experience of watching a professional baseball game was being forever altered. A feathery, green creature from the Galapagos Islands was making his Major League debut: the Phillie Phanatic! From his first pratfall and shake of his bountiful belly, the Phanatic (named after Philadelphia's fanatical fans), was deemed an instant success and has been a fun part of Phillies baseball ever since. At the game, you can't help but notice the ever-present Phanatic. Riding around on his all-terrain vehicle before the game, the Phanatic is at his mischievous best, mixing it up with opposing players and coaches, trying to knock them off their game to give the home team any advantage. In the crowd - watch out! - the Phanatic may clumsily spill a tub of popcorn, steal your girlfriend, buff a bald head or just sit down and watch the game with you - from your lap! Hungry? Well, put on your glove because the Phanatic likes to shoot cooked hot dogs into the crowd with his four foot long Hot Dog Launcher, mustard and relish included. And be on the lookout because the green guy is always searching for a worthy dance partner. Philadelphia's own Phred Astaire has danced with reluctant umpires and frazzled third base coaches as well as TV stars, Hollywood celebrities, politicians, sports legends, and most of all, fans like you.
Now the dean of all professional sports mascots, the Phanatic has entertained millions of fans all over the world. He has traveled to Japan, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico. He has made national TV appearances on the "Today" show, "Good Morning America," "The Regis and Kathy Lee Show," and "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." An ESPN Sports Center fixture, the Phanatic has also starred in that network's as well as Fox Network commercials.
The Phanatic has supported numerous local and national charities over the years and has brought smiles to the faces of children and adults who need it most. Whether he is giving his signature "smooch" to a sick child in the hospital or flopping to the turf after a kiss from a third base coach, the Phanatic's antics are guaranteed to brighten your day.

Phanatics around town...20 statues painted by local artist spread throughout the city up until August.
Before and afters, with an in progress with Thom Lessner...

Related to has a posse...
Height: 6 feet 6 inches
Weight: 300 pounds (mostly fat)
Waist: 90 inches
Eyes: White eyeballs, black pupils, purple eyelashes and blue eyebrows
Skin: Bright green fur
Physical Attributes: Overweight, clumsy feet, extra long beak, extra-long curled up tongue, gawking neck and "slight" case of body odor
Birthplace: Galapagos Islands
Mom: Phoebe
Best Friend: Phyllis
Favorite Food: cheesesteaks, Soft pretzels, hoagies, scrapple and Tastykakes
Favorite Movie: Rocky
Favorite Song: "Motown Philly" (and "Take Me Out To The Ballgame, of course!)
Greatest Moment: The parade down Broad Street after the Phillies won the 1980 World Series
Hobbies: Eating, reading, sleeping, and cheering on the Phillies!

No comments: