The Philly Phanatic
September 17, 2009 7:49 AM   Subscribe

Analyst Tim McCarver calls the Philly Phanatic "The best mascot in baseball." However, former Slim-Fast pitchman and ex Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda hates him. On being in the Phanatic costume Tom Burgoyne, who has had the role since 1993, says "I feel like I'm reliving my childhood." However, the Philly Phanatic is not always the funniest thing happening at Citizens Bank Park.
posted by Mayor Curley (63 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
From Lasorda's rant:

I often wondered how it got my jersey, and then I found out how. Steve Sax would give it the jerseys because my players thought it was a funny thing to do.

lol
posted by jquinby at 7:53 AM on September 17, 2009


I find it extremely bizarre that Lasorda refers to the Phanatic as 'it'. I mean, there is a MAN inside the suit. Seems to me unless you are giving the damn suit a life of its own, the proper pronoun is "he".
posted by spicynuts at 7:54 AM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


San Diego Chicken = best.
posted by billysumday at 7:54 AM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'd love to see a picture of Lasorda slamming the Phanatic.
posted by oddman at 7:55 AM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Tim McCarver is awful, and I cannot root for anything from Philly, but it's self-evident that the Phanatic is the best mascot in baseball, and probably the best mascot on the planet.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:55 AM on September 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Who cares what Tommy Fucking Lasorda thinks?
posted by sixpack at 7:58 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


All that Philly Phanatic stuff was just an excuse to link to the 'little Emily throws that foul ball back video.' I can't escape this story. My friends were at the game, it's been non-stop on local TV news, CNN, Philadelphia Inquirer, GMA, Today Show...
posted by fixedgear at 8:02 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


A friend of a friend worked for the Blue Jays clubhouse during their short time on top. He told me that the mascot was the most derided person in the organization. And believe me, based on the stories he told, that's saying something.

He told me no one would call him by his name. They all called him (the man inside the suit, not the mascot itself), "Chirp Chirp" and constantly filled his locker with birdseed and other nonsense. Apparently it drove him absolutely bonkers.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:02 AM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


From the Wikipedia article on the Phanatic:

"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."

All Philly sports franchise owners are notorious cheapskates.
posted by fixedgear at 8:05 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


According to this exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary, the Phanatic also played a key role in the development of the Hatfield hot dog launcher (the ammunition for which caused some problems last year).
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:05 AM on September 17, 2009


I'm more fond of the Phanatic's animated facsimile, the Capital City Goofball.
posted by anthom at 8:06 AM on September 17, 2009


just an excuse to link to the 'little Emily throws that foul ball back video.'

Yeah. I can't handle having my heart warmed at this hour of the morning. May try again after lunch.
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:07 AM on September 17, 2009


This post should've included a best of the Phanatic.

Check out the catch at :37 in that last link.
posted by sixpack at 8:11 AM on September 17, 2009


luckily, the best mascot in the universe is the gorilla
posted by beukeboom at 8:14 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Carl Seidel insists he never saw the backup Phanatic approach him that fateful night. Seidel said: 'He jumped on me with arms and legs, I fell down and I was unconscious. When I woke up, the Phanatic introduced himself and offered me a couple of tickets to the ball park. Heck, I didn't need them.'"
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:20 AM on September 17, 2009


You know, I grew up with the Philly Phanatic, and even as a child it was clear to me that he was the most badass phanatical mascot that baseball ever had. And then when I was 12, my parents moved us all to St. Louis, where they have the lamest excuse for a mascot ever, Fredbird. Fucking Fredbird. It's bird. A fucking bird. And that's it. What the hell kind of mascot is that?
posted by Afroblanco at 8:20 AM on September 17, 2009



All that Philly Phanatic stuff was just an excuse to link to the 'little Emily throws that foul ball back video.' I can't escape this story. My friends were at the game, it's been non-stop on local TV news, CNN, Philadelphia Inquirer, GMA, Today Show...


As it damn well should be. Can't...stop...watching...

Also, my mom got a kiss from the Phanatic once. So ha.
posted by kalimac at 8:22 AM on September 17, 2009


My Albuquerque Isotopes have a somewhat legitimate claim to Dancin' Homer. If he really was our mascot then that would be the best.... we get video clips on occasion though.
posted by MNDZ at 8:23 AM on September 17, 2009


Analyst Tim McCarver

I think you meant "Anal cyst Tim McCarver"
posted by dirtdirt at 8:27 AM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fucking Fredbird. It's bird. A fucking bird. And that's it. What the hell kind of mascot is that?

Um, probably a perfect one for a team named after a bird?

Just sayin'.
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:35 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


It took the jersey, put it on a dummy and ran over the dummy again and again.

WTF, it's baseball, not professional wrestling. No wonder Phillies fans are so obnoxious -- it's learned behavior.
posted by exogenous at 8:38 AM on September 17, 2009


If Tim McCarver says it, it must be utter bullshit.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:44 AM on September 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Nobody has made a "Philly Phanatic, i'maletyafinish, but the best mascot of all time was.." joke in this thread? Christ, what a bunch of assholes.
posted by spicynuts at 8:46 AM on September 17, 2009


checks Scribblenauts to see if "Philly Phanatic" calls up the mascot.

...

is disappointed.
posted by shmegegge at 8:48 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Tim McCarver. The Great American Songbook just got a little less great. (That's a Boston Globe link. Rgistration might be required.)
posted by Man-Thing at 8:52 AM on September 17, 2009


I'm more fond of the Phanatic's animated facsimile, the Capital City Goofball.

The Phanatic made a superquick cameo on The Simpsons himself last season, greeting a bunch of nuns in "Gone Maggie Gone."

As for the Montfortos, I'm so happy that the camera caught a nice family moment, instead of something awful like her dad teaching how to throw a battery.
posted by gladly at 8:53 AM on September 17, 2009


Fucking Fredbird. It's bird. A fucking bird. And that's it. What the hell kind of mascot is that?

Fredbird is a dumb mascot, for sure, but it is not his birdness that is bad; Cf. the San Diego Chicken.
posted by ericost at 8:55 AM on September 17, 2009


The Great American Songbook just got a little less great.

From the article:
"I mute my TV when Tim McCarver is broadcasting a game. Why would I pay to listen to him sing?"

It's funny because it's true.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:57 AM on September 17, 2009


The Red Sox technically have Wally, The Green Monster as their mascot, but we refuse to acknowledge his existence, preferring instead the antics of pixie-like Dustin Pedroya.

The Patriots have someone running around the field in a life-sized foam-rubber Teddy Bruschi head.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:19 AM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


If this had happened at a Mets game, the Dad would've dropped the pop-up, spilling his gourmet milkshake all over his daughter's overpriced Alyssa Milano-designed Mets jersey, and the ball would've conked the Met's third-string catcher on the noggin, sending him to the DL for the rest of the season.
posted by ericbop at 9:42 AM on September 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


No, I'm not bitter at all.
posted by ericbop at 9:42 AM on September 17, 2009


If this had happened at a Mets game

Nobody would have been there to catch the foul ball.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:47 AM on September 17, 2009 [14 favorites]


One of the worst incidents was perpetrated by the Phillie Phanatic. The Dodgers were in town to play the Phillies and somehow, it got ahold of one of my jerseys. It took the jersey, put it on a dummy and ran over the dummy again and again.

That type of a display should not be shown in ballparks, especially in front of children. It exhibits violence and disrespect.


What a wuss.

Here's my favorite Phanatic episode: The Phanatic vs. Darth Vader

posted by jason's_planet at 9:50 AM on September 17, 2009


Re tot dad vid: lol
posted by chinston at 9:54 AM on September 17, 2009


Best mascot in all of sports. <>
posted by gnutron at 9:56 AM on September 17, 2009


The Red Sox technically have Wally, The Green Monster as their mascot, but we refuse to acknowledge his existence, preferring instead the antics of pixie-like Dustin Pedroya.

For a week or two, we had the "Dancin' Papelbon," and before that we had Manny Ramirez.
posted by explosion at 10:00 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Real baseball teams don't have mascots.

Real football (NFL) teams don't have mascots nor do they have cheerleaders.

from the MLB.com comments (cue the 'heroic' music):

Phils_08 wrote:
Point is, there is a time and a place for everything. This moment could very well have been a once in a lifetime opportunity for the duo, and he made the best of it...He could have kept it to himself, but he didn't. He shared it with his little girl, and because of that, it became larger than life itself. Things have a way of working out when we stop looking out for only ourselves...That is why this is so beautiful, and that is why I don't care how big this things gets in the media. It truly is just one big reward for this family in the end...because they did the right thing, and they did it without even thinking...



((SNIFF))
posted by Zambrano at 10:02 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


1. McCarver's awful.
2. The Chicken beats the Phanatic.
3. I miss Youppi.
posted by rokusan at 10:03 AM on September 17, 2009


Real football (NFL) teams don't have mascots nor do they have cheerleaders.

There are NFL teams without cheerleaders?
posted by rokusan at 10:04 AM on September 17, 2009


The NY Football Giants- the last team to win a Super Bowl without the help of the refs.
posted by Zambrano at 10:12 AM on September 17, 2009


There are NFL teams without cheerleaders?

The Pittsburgh Steelers. Sadly their non-mascot status ended a year or so ago with (I can hardly bring myself to type the name), ahem, Steely McBeam. I refuse to google him for an image to link.
posted by chinston at 10:20 AM on September 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Neat. Clearly, I need to stop paying attention to that distracting stuff on the field, and pay more attention the sidelines.

College cheerleaders are better, anyway. All those pyramids.
posted by rokusan at 10:22 AM on September 17, 2009


The Pittsburgh Steelers. Sadly their non-mascot status ended a year or so ago with (I can hardly bring myself to type the name), ahem, Steely McBeam. I refuse to google him for an image to link.

Allow me! Village People dude similarities are entirely intentional.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:25 AM on September 17, 2009


That last link is fantastic.
posted by space2k at 10:27 AM on September 17, 2009


I am a lifelong Phillies fan and I love the Phanatic. However, for sheer hilarity, nothing beats the Nationals' Presidents Race. Poor Teddy, will he ever win?
posted by drinkcoffee at 10:36 AM on September 17, 2009


Afroblanco: "Fucking Fredbird. It's bird. A fucking bird. And that's it. What the hell kind of mascot is that?"

An obese green Q*Bert should be better?
posted by JHarris at 10:41 AM on September 17, 2009


An obese green Q*Bert should be better?

YES.

(Now I'm imagining the Philly Phanatic playing live action Q*Bert. Holy crap that would so rock.)
posted by Afroblanco at 10:48 AM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I got to be the summer reading mascot at the library! I was a big yellow cowboy dog (Readalong Cowboy), a penguin (Chill Out With a Good Book!), Clifford the Big Red Dog, and another beast that shall not be named.

Always in the summer and outdoors at some park. I was a hero to the Childrens Services staff. It was fun at the time, but right now I'm glad my job description does not include "wearing a mascot costume."

This Philly Phanatic guy looks like he's doing okay.
posted by marxchivist at 11:05 AM on September 17, 2009


There was a huge blowout in Iowa City when I lived there when the President of the University wore the Herky the Hawk mascot costume and paraded around without the head on. People were upset because they didn't want to know who was inside Herky, they wanted to think of Herky as an independently-functioning entity... or something.

Anyway, this insight into the man inside the Phanatic is valuable to me. Mascots are people, too.

And that little girl throwing the foul ball back? That's adorable. A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. Adorable.
posted by elmer benson at 11:19 AM on September 17, 2009


I was the Icee Bear for a summer. That was cool, too.
posted by elmer benson at 11:19 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I miss Youppi

He's with the Canadiens now. (Also...)
posted by clorox at 11:26 AM on September 17, 2009


The Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Bears too. I think there are several.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:11 PM on September 17, 2009


Sadly their non-mascot status ended a year or so ago with (I can hardly bring myself to type the name), ahem, Steely McBeam.

What, you never counted Myron Cope as a mascot?
posted by Spatch at 12:22 PM on September 17, 2009


Spy magazine once did an article for which the writer attended a camp for mascots. The magazine even created a mascot for the occasion. I think it was the Spy Pit Bull. Mascot Rule number one: Never let the public see you without your head. (Rule number two: No outside food.)
posted by Man-Thing at 12:57 PM on September 17, 2009


There are NFL teams without cheerleaders?

The Packers, who were the first NFL team with cheerleaders, haven't had an official cheerleading squad in 20 years. Instead, they invite cheerleaders from local colleges to cheer at their home games.
posted by dersins at 1:22 PM on September 17, 2009


I was the Icee Bear for a summer. That was cool, too.

Ha-ha! I get it.
posted by grubi at 1:49 PM on September 17, 2009


This far into the thread and no love for Bernie Brewer?

Dude's like a character in a Guy Maddin movie, is what.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:55 PM on September 17, 2009


Bring back the Crazy Crab!
posted by banshee at 3:13 PM on September 17, 2009


I never noticed that the Capital City Goofball was a ripoff of the Phanatic!

The Hiroshima Toyo Carp mascot, Slyly, is the Phanatic, but blue; apparently they were designed by the same company. Here are pictures of a Phillies fan with both of them.
posted by madcaptenor at 6:43 PM on September 17, 2009


YMCA with Phanatic, Spongebob, and Patrick.
posted by crataegus at 7:25 PM on September 17, 2009


These all got nothing on Albert.
posted by oddman at 9:09 PM on September 17, 2009


It's bird. A fucking bird. And that's it. What the hell kind of mascot is that?

But Stanford has a tree (who I just found out is unofficial!) and George Washington has a creepy first President. I don't see a bird at all being weird.

My favorite Simpsons mascot is obviously Springy! I'd link to a youtube clip if I weren't at work.
posted by This Guy at 5:33 AM on September 18, 2009


There is no room for discussion. The Phanatic is hands down the best.

As a kid growing up near Philly the Phanatic was the highlight of the games, especially considering the state of the team post-1983. I was at the game where the Phanatic rolled back and forth over the Dodger dummy right outside the Dodger dugout. Lasorda came out, apoplectic, then stopped, and just tried to stare down the Phanatic. The Phanatic stopped, stuck his tongue out, and sped away on the bike. The Philly crowd roared its approval.

One of my other favorites was a little thing the Phanatic would do frequently with umpire Eric Gregg. Gregg was a bit plus-sized, and during inning breaks the Phanatic would sneak up behind him, puff out his belly, and mimic Gregg's slow saunter. Gregg wouldn't notice a thing until he looked up on the giant TV screen and saw himself being mocked. He'd turn and chase the Phanatic in mock anger, but he'd never catch him. This game repeated itself countless times, and it never stopped being funny.

Another interesting factoid: While Tom Burgoyne is the current Phanatic, the role was originated by Dave Raymond, who started as an intern in the front office. He is the brother of professional tennis player Lisa Raymond, who won several grand slam doubles titles between 2000 and 2006. He now runs a company that is, among other things, a school for mascots.
posted by saladpants at 1:44 PM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


« Older Park(ing) Day NYC...  |  A talented Slovenian typograph... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments