If there’s one thing in the baseball world I would think we could all agree on it would be mascots. Yet, every once in a while I come across someone who is very much in the anti-mascot camp. I do not claim to understand these people, nor do I really want to understand them. I am very much in the pro-mascot camp, been there my whole life, never have any intentions of leaving.
Let’s think about this for a second; of all the silly things baseball teams all over the globe use to try to connect with fans mascots are the only tried and true method. Promotional nights come and go, cheerleaders are either offensive or fine depending on your inclination, and even the players themselves are transitional most of the time these days. Mascots are here to stay, at least most of the time. I’m not worried about the Milwaukee Milkmen replacing Bo Vine. The giant idiot is a staple of games and always will be a staple of their existence. There’s no reason to do away with a gimmick that is fun and appeals to the key demographic for a baseball team, young fans.
That’s the catch, neither you nor I are the key demographic for a baseball team. Sure, they want our money in whatever form we are willing to give it to them. However, the way to getting our money is by creating fans when they are young. If a team can hook a kid then that kid eventually becomes me and spends all kinds of money on the team in question. Players and the actual game itself play a role in getting young fans on board, but so do mascots. I can’t tell you how many kids I routinely spot at games simply vibing with that team’s mascot. What’s happening on the field matters less than how that mascot is entertaining them at that moment.
I’m not arguing that mascots are the backbone of baseball. What I am saying is that they are a lot of fun, one of the only completely clean aspects of the game. If you look at Victor the Space Ape and feel anything but unmitigated joy; are you even human? Yeah, that’s what I’m arguing, the basic enjoyment gleaned from a character like Victor and craziness of the curmudgeons who can’t see that. Don’t let the curmudgeons win, enjoy yourself some mascots.
Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – La Jornada de Oriente