Watching Major League Baseball (MLB) on TV is excellent, but nothing compares to the experience of going to the ballpark and seeing your favorite baseball team play in person. The smell of ballpark food, the sounds of cheers and bats smacking the ball, the team mascots handing out high fives– all of these elements combine to create a fun and memorable ballpark experience. To honor the age-old tradition of going to the ballpark and enjoying this beloved American pastime, we’re breaking down the best MLB mascots.
Mascots make baseball games fun, but these loveable characters do more than make fans giggle, they enhance the ballpark experience. Of course, visiting players and coaches don’t always feel the same way. The good news is that whether you’re a fan of the home team or the visiting team, a recent study says simply getting out to the ballpark to enjoy a game is very beneficial for your mental health.
Scientists at Anglia Ruskin University say that watching live sporting events actually helps boost mental well-being and reduce feelings of loneliness. Sports fans that gather with other fans at a live event feel part of something larger than themselves. The findings come after a survey of 7,000 adults discovered that people who had recently watched a live event – pro, college, or otherwise – scored better in terms of life satisfaction.
Most college and professional sports teams have a mascot – they’re an inherent aspect of team sports. Regardless of your favorite team’s mascot, a recent study found that fans are willing to travel and spend big bucks just to see their favorite teams play in person. A survey of 2,000 self-identified sports fans found that the average sports fan is willing to travel five hours and 48 minutes plus spend $762 on tickets just to watch their favorite team play live, in person. Of the 2,000 respondents, a staggering 35 percent of fans have planned a family vacation around going to see a live sporting event. Undoubtedly, team mascots make those events all the more enjoyable and fun for the whole family.
So, which colorful MLB mascots are considered the best? StudyFinds did some digging, consulting 10 baseball and sports websites in an effort to bring you a consensus best MLB mascots. Our list comprises the five most frequently listed MLB mascots from across these sites. Think we missed your favorite mascot? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
The List: Best MLB Mascots, According to Baseball Fans
1. Phillie Phanatic (Philadelphia Phillies)
The top spot on the list of the best MLB mascots belongs to the hilarious Phillies Phanatic, the official mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies Phanatic has been around for generations of Phillies fans, and this fuzzy green mascot deserves the top spot.
“Baseball’s greatest dynasty, they say, is the Yankees teams of the late 1940s and early ’50s, when they won six World Series in seven seasons. They are wrong. The greatest dynasty is the Phillie Phanatic… The Phanatic was created in 1978 by Bonnie Erickson, a genius costume designer and puppet maker who also created Miss Piggy, Statler, Waldorf, Youppi!, Ribbie, Roobarb, Booster, Dandy and Hugo among others,” writes The Athletic.
If you don’t know who most of those characters are, don’t feel bad, we don’t either. Still, the Phillies Phanatic is an icon in the city of Philadelphia and he’s easily one of the most recognizable mascots of all time. “The best MLB mascot, in my opinion, is the Philly Phanatic from the Philadelphia Phillies. He is wild and energetic. His antics are off the charts. So much so that some have had enough of his antics. He used Derek Jeter’s razor in a commercial, parachuted into the stadium and face planted, and dramatically fell while getting hit with a foul ball. With moments like these, it is obvious why he is the best and most iconic mascot of all time,” furthers The Foreword.
Philadelphia does a great job with its mascots, and the Phanatic sets the standard for those other teams. And, as the experts explain, the Phillie Phanatic’s antics are nothing short of entertaining and marvelous.
“The competition for the top spot is not even close. The Phanatic is the most well-known mascot in baseball and one of the most well-known across North American professional sports. It is one of the most entertaining mascots day in and day out. It is fun for kids, teenagers, young adults, and even older baseball fans. The Phanatic’s antagonization of opposing players and coaches is hilarious to watch. Additionally, the Phanatic is great with young children, from countless appearances at local elementary schools and community events to hot dog tosses and t-shirt shots. It rightly has more accolades than any other mascot in baseball and rightly deserves the top tier on this list,” notes Pitcher List.
2. Mr. Met (New York Mets)
Smiling into the second spot on the list of the best MLB mascots is none other than Mr. Met, the mascot for the New York Mets. “First introduced as an illustration on the team’s programs in 1963, Mr. Met made his major league debut in 1964 as the first modern live-action mascot in baseball. Mr. Met has become synonymous with his favorite ballclub and can be seen everywhere the team is, including overseas. When the Mets opened their 2000 season at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, Mr. Met became the first mascot in baseball history to make an appearance in the Far East. Inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2007, Mr. Met is a living legend and one of the most recognizable mascots in professional sports,” explains Bleacher Report.
Mr. Met transformed from a cartoon drawing into one of the most recognizable characters in North American sports history. Although Mr. Met has plenty of imitators, no other baseball character compares to the loveable Mr. Met.
“Mr. Met is essentially the same in design as Rosie Red, but the reason why he ranks a little higher is because he is a much more iconic mascot from a much more iconic team. While I myself am not a huge fan of the design, his impact on mascot culture is unmatched,” adds The Foreword.
Mr. Met is synonymous with the New York Mets baseball team. The Mets are so enamored with Mr. Met that his image is sewn onto the players’ jerseys. “It’s a big call, but we don’t think any mascot is as big a part of their team as Mr. Met and the New York Mets. He’s even on the team’s jerseys. Mr Met was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in the [90s] and he’s still going strong,” notes 888 Sport.
3. Wally the Green Monster (Boston Red Sox)
The third spot on the list of the best MLB mascots belongs to Wally the Green Monster – the mascot for the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox mascot is a take on the team’s enormous green wall that occupies left field at Fenway Park. Add some green fur and zany antics and you have Wally the Green Monster.
“When it comes to mascots, few hit the mark quite like Wally the Green Monster. Sure, it took Boston fans a little while to warm to the idea of having an oversized green monster as a mascot after his debut in 1997, but Wally has quickly become a prominent member of Red Sox Nation. Aptly named after the fabled 36-foot-high wall in left field at Fenway Park, Wally has become one of the most recognizable and popular mascots in the game, stealing the show from David Ortiz and Jorge Posada in what has become a legendary ‘This is SportsCenter’ commercial for ESPN back in 2007,” writes Bleacher Report.
The commercial with Red Sox legend David Ortiz and Yankees catcher Jorge Posada is one of the most iconic ESPN commercials of all time. Still, Wally’s origin story is beyond creative, and it’s hard to believe that this iconic MLB mascot is less than 30 years old.
“Wally is a tribute to the iconic Green Monster wall at Fenway Park. The tale goes that Wally lived in the wall for the first 50 years before coming out in 1997 – he has served as the team’s mascot ever since. Ahead of the 2016 season, Wally’s little sister Tessie appeared on the scene. Fenway should be on the bucket list of every sports fans. It’s not one of the biggest MLB stadiums, but few can rival its history,” furthers 888 Sports.
“Puns can be hit or miss. Wally is a green monster that lives within a wall known as the Green Monster. It might be too on the nose for some people, but it works for me. Wally is well designed, and he is one of the best mascots in sports. The Yankees should learn something,” notes Overtime Heroics.
4. Bernie Brewer (Milwaukee Brewers)
The fourth spot on the list of the best MLB mascots is reserved for Bernie Brewer, the official mascot of the Milwaukee Brewers. Of all the MLB mascots, Bernie Brewer is the only human. Actually, they’re all human, but Bernie Brewer is just a cool guy with an epic mustache.
“The home run slide act is a bit tired, to be honest. But Bernie plays. That is an amazing mustache. And Bernie gets bonus points for being the best human mascot. It’s a whole thing in Milwaukee. An old codger camped out on the scoreboard in 1970 until more fans showed up. Bernie came along in his image in 1973. The Brewers did away with Bernie in 1983, because teams are so often stupid, but they brought him back in 1993 when fans demanded his return,” explains The Athletic.
Some of the best mascots have been done away with only for fans to demand they return, and Bernie the Brewer is a prime example of MLB fans getting what they want from a character. Regardless of his long hiatus, Bernie Brewer was welcomed back by Milwaukee Brewers fans.
“As a man who currently has a mustache, I respect Bernie’s commitment to the craft. It is comically large and almost like a 70s TV villain, but it works. Human mascots are a bit goofy, but Bernie works. Maybe he should run for president,” notes Overtime Heroics.
It’s all about the mustache, and Bernie Brewer has a killer stache. However, most MLB fans outside of Milwaukee and the NL Central Division probably believe the famous Racing Sausages are Milwaukee’s mascot. Although these are fun ballpark characters that fans can only find in Milwaukee, Bernie Brewer is the official mascot of the Brewers and one of the best in MLB.
“He’s got the best mustache in baseball and, from atop his beer-barreled chalet, slides down into a gigantic beer stein every time Milwaukee hits a home run or wins a game. While the Famous Racing Sausages have stolen some of his thunder, Bernie remains one of the cooler mascots in the game today,” adds Bleacher Report.
5. Orbit (Houston Astros)
Rounding out the list of the best MLB mascots is Orbit, the loveable mascot for the Houston Astros. Orbit is currently on his second tour of duty with the Houston Astros baseball team, and his story is beyond interesting.
“An alien of the Homerunus Spectacularus variety, Orbit served as Houston’s mascot from 1990 through 1999 until the Astros moved out of the Astrodome. Then, as the team announced, he hitched a ride on the space shuttle Discovery to return to the Grand Slam Galaxy and was replaced by Junction Jack. With Houston’s move to the American League West in 2013 coinciding with Junction Jack’s retirement to a carrot ranch in the hill country of Texas following the 2012 season, Orbit returned for his second tour of duty with the Astros,” explains Bleacher Report.
Obviously, the Houston Astros took a while to get this mascot thing right. Houston cycled through several mascots before Houston Astros fans demanded Orbit – similar to the way Brewers fans demanded Bernie.
“Orbit is a fan favorite for a reason… He has hours and hours of footage of lightening up the mood (except for the opposing team, who he bothers quite a bit). His golden interactions specifically come from his interactions with the Toronto Blue Jays, who always seem down to feed into his antics. One of the best moments with them was when Orbit initiated a doll fight with third baseman Jose Bautista back in 2014,” notes The Foreword.
Like a lot of mascots, Orbit is really good at making Astros fans laugh while annoying the life out of opposing players and coaches. Orbit is also the most popular mascot on Twitter, and his staggering number of followers just keeps growing.
“Orbit, an alien-looking thing, is the highest-trafficked MLB mascot on Twitter, with more than 78,000 follows. Houston has had a difficult history with mascots. They wisely got rid of Chester Charge, the Texas cavalryman, in 1990 and replaced him with Orbit, in honor of the city’s NASA association. But somebody couldn’t leave well enough alone, and Orbit was shelved for Junction Jack, a 7-foot tall rabbit, and some cartoony train idea until fans demanded Orbit return in 2012,” adds The Athletic.
You might also be interested in:
- Bleacher Report
- The Foreword
- The Athletic
- 888 Sport
- Overtime Heroics
- Sports Illustrated
- Pitcher List
- Through the Fence Baseball
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