It’s National Mascot Day, and few mascots have had as colorful a “life” as the Phillie Phanatic.
Since 1978, the Phillie Phanatic has been delighting Phillies fans and pestering opposing managers and players.
The original Phanatic was designed by one of the Muppets designers and named to honor Philadelphia’s phanatical phans. As far as team mascots go, he’s definitely one of the most provocative creatures, having been involved in quite a few fracases over the years. In 1982, the New York Times even called him “that fuzzy and intrusive varmint!”
In 2010, it was reported that the Phanatic had the distinction of being the most-sued mascot in sports. According to a May 2021 poll by Play USA of thousands of baseball fans, the fuzzy green anteater-like creature was voted ‘Most Obnoxious Mascot’ in MLB, but also won the honor of ‘Fans Who Love Their Team’s Mascot.’
If you’re not a Phillies fan, the Phanatic can make himself quite unlikeable, as evidenced by his antics during the June 12 game against the Yankees.
If you’ve never been to a game at Yankee Stadium, Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” plays at the end of every Yankees victory. So, in the sixth inning at Citizens Bank Park, Sinatra’s ode to the Big Apple began to play over the speakers, and the Phanatic took the field in a tuxedo. He danced and riled up the crowd, before taking a microphone stand and smashing it down onto a Yankees batting helmet.
Yankees fans weren’t thrilled, but fans of almost every other fan base were. As the old saying goes, ‘We root for two teams: our own and whoever’s playing the Yankees.’
After incensing Giancarlo Stanton and riling up the crowd, the green machine hopped back into his ATV and sped away, arms raised triumphantly like fellow Philadelphia legend Rocky.
Now, let’s look back on some of the Phanatic’s past provocations…