The Phillie Phanatic's birthday is always an exciting affair. Last year he arrived over the stadium in a helicopter dressed as "Super Phanatic."
This year an all mascot game was scheduled for April 23, 2006.
For a few days before the game the Phanatic made the rounds on the talk show circuit. He seemed very excited to be playing a game with all his "mascot friends."
So, it seemed a little suspicious when they announced before the game that it was going to be a surprise.
The brought the Phanatic out to the field wearing a blindfold.
Then they REMINDED us that the game was a "surprise" and told us to yell "SURPRISE" when they removed the blindfold.
"He's blindfolded, not EAR-folded!" I shouted, not realizing how stupid that sounded.
Anyway, an all-star set of mascots was ready to play baseball - or something that vaguely resembled baseball. They were assembled into two teams:
THE NATIONAL LEAGUE
Phoebe Phanatic: The Phanatic's mom, representing the Philadelphia Phillies.
Mr. Met: A man with a baseball head, representing the New York Mets.
Lou Seal: A gray seal, representing the San Fransisco Giants.
Gapper: A fuzzy red monster, representing the Cincinnati Reds.
The Parrot: A green parrot with an over sized beak, representing the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Billy the Marlin: A big smiling fish, representing the Florida Marlins (who incidentally were playing the Phillies later in the day.)
THE AMERICAN LEAGUE
The Bird: An orange and black bird, representing the Baltimore Orioles,
Slider: A bizarre purple and yellow monster, representing the Cleveland Indians.
Wally: The green monster (named after the infamous Fenway outfield wall), representing the Boston Red Sox.
TC: A bear, representing the Minnesota Twins.
Slugerrrr: A buff crown-wearing lion, representing the Kansas City Royals.
Each team was also joined by a bunch of kids. The Phanatic pitched for both teams.
I didn't take any notes, and I don't think anyone kept score, but here are some of the things I remember:
The American League batted first. Every mascot that batted seemed to be thrown out. The kids, however, each hit a home run.
One girl foul tipped the ball and somehow had the audacity to round the bases.
Wally The Green Monster got a solid hit, but was called out when he left the playing Field to attack a man in a Yankee hat. After the man was down The Parrot joined in and the two pummeled him for so long it became a bit horrifying.
Lou Seal was playing second base and at one point he stole second. Stole it and walked away with it.
Slider mistook Mr. Met's head for the "actual" ball. So he hit him in the head with a bat and ran to first. Luckily the Phanatic grabbed Mr. Met and dragged him to first where he tagged Slider out with his head.
After the American League scored 4 runs and recorded 5 outs (by my count) it was time for the National League to bat.
Once again the kids got home runs and the mascots were out. Almost every play involved at least one mascot tripping over another mascot.
Gapper stepped to the plate and, rather than hit the ball, caught it. He tried to run it for a touchdown, but was tackled on the first base line.
The Phanatic's Mom got up to bat as the announcers reminded us how "competitive" the Phanatic was on the mound. As if to prove that, the Phanatic intentionally beaned his mom. A furious Phoebe Phanatic stormed the mound, but was restrained.
After all the National League kids had scored their home runs, and all the mascots were out the Phanatic asked if he could bat. He did, and he hit a home run. Not a "legit" homer, but it was as legit as any of the ones the kids scored.
Throughout the game the other mascots were on hand to entertain kids and pose for photos.
Also at the game were the "Zooperstars" a bizarre group of inflatable mascots that danced and performed skits with the Phanatic.