The bottom of the fifth has come to completion on March 2 in Clearwater. The Phillies are getting ready to get back on the field when fans hear the sound of a motor from an ATV.
The Phillie Phanatic came out of left field (literally). You know the drill; except, he’s in a ballerina tutu. Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers” plays through the speaker of Spectrum Field as the Phillie Phanatic shows off his new moves.
While this may appear bizarre to the average spectator, it’s nothing out of the ordinary for Phillies and other vell-versed baseball fans. It may be only a handful of games into Spring Training, but the Phillies Phanatic is already in mid-season form.
Since he made his debut on April 25, 1978, the Phillie Phanatic has set the standard for mascots in American sports. He’s even been inducted into the hall of fame; well, the Mascot Hall of Fame that is. Though he is one of three mascots on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame (the other two being Youppi! of the Montreal Expos and the San Diego Chicken of the Padres).
His popularity extended to merchandising that other MLB teams wish to promote. He can be found on hats, shirts (refer to featured image) and even headbands (shown below) at Spectrum Field, the Phillies Spring Training facility, in Clearwater, Fla.
The Phillie Phanatic is so important to the Phillies brand that the club is in a legal battle to prevent him from becoming a free agent. You can’t make that up. Depending on how a lawsuit pans out between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Phanatics’ creator, the mascot could potentially become a free agent.
Imagine a potential headline “Phillie Phanatic Signs Multi-Year Deal with Tampa Bay Rays.” There could be news about how he and Raymond will be roommates and how the Phanatic calls top bunk. Maybe they’re annoyed at Billy the Marlin because he owes the two money. The ideas are endless.
We all know he isn’t going anywhere though. Other team’s fans probably don’t want him anywhere else.
After 42 years, the Phillie Phanatic is still dancing with the same youthful spirit he had when he got started. It’s safe to say the Phillies will be flipping the bill on ATV repairs; and fans will see the green, cone-snouted fan-favorite for years to come.