Phillies: Phillie Phanatic permitted at 2020 home games
By Matt Rappa
The Phillie Phanatic will be allowed to attend 2020 Phillies home games
With the 2020 Major League Baseball season officially announced Tuesday evening, one burning question within everyone’s minds remained: would mascots — particularly the Philadelphia Phillies’ beloved Phillie Phanatic — be allowed inside stadiums?
As part of MLB’s 101-page 2020 Operations Manual, under the subsection “4.3.5 In-Game Entertainment,” fans were provided an answer — yes, but not entirely.
The manual states: “Home Clubs may have their mascot in the ballpark if they choose, however under no circumstances are mascots permitted on the field of play or in any other Restricted Area on game days.”
This means that, yes, fans are likely to see glimpses of the newly “evolved” Phanatic on their television screens cheering on the Phillies amid their 60-game schedule. However, the Phanatic appears to be banned from using his ATV to greet players before and during games.
It is not clear if the Phanatic standing on the dugouts is an option, either.
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The doubt of the Phanatic being able to attend games this season began in mid-May, when MLB proposed protocols that included banning team mascots. It appears the Phanatic “made the cut” after all, but, at the time of the report, Dave Raymond was not happy.
“Every mascot should be essential because of its ability to connect and distract with fun,” Raymond, the first-ever performer of the Phanatic, told The Associated Press.
Ahead of the Phillies’ spring training home opener in February, the furry, green Galapagos Islands native “evolved,” amid an ongoing legal battle.
Changes to the slimmer-looking Phanatic included a smaller and different-sized snout; longer tail with a lighter color at the end; as well as new shoes and socks, along with new scales along his arms.
Fans will likely have to wait until at least 2021 to see the new-look Phanatic perform in-person at Citizens Bank Park. At the end of the day, fans will still see him on their television screens again when this year’s season begins next month.