Not long ago, we took a look at the creepiest mascots in college football. Today, however, baseball is on our brains. The 2013 season now in its final week, and the playoffs are just over the horizon. So why not take a look at the creepiest mascots in MLB? On the whole, the creepiness factor may not be as high, but there are still some pretty whacked-out mascots to be found in ballparks across the country. So take a look and tell us what you think.
We kick off our list with a tribute to a seriously creepy MLB mascot who left us this year.
When the Astros moved from the Astrodome to Minute Maid Park in 2000, they replaced their old mascot, Orbit, with Junction Jack—an anthropomorphic rabbit dressed as a railroad engineer who looks like maybe his mom and dad are brother and sister.
This season, when the Astros went back to their old star-based logo and uniforms, they also went back to the decidedly un-creepy Orbit. So sadly, Junction Jack is out of work.
In Memoriam: Junction Jack
When you're creating an animal mascot, you've got to find the right balance between cartoonish and realistic. The current iteration of Screech, the Washington Nationals' bald eagle mascot, doesn't have that balance. Sure, he is not nearly as creepy as the original. But I still wouldn't want him up in my face, with those bug eyes and open beak.
First off, fish don't have arms and legs. That right there is problem number one. Problem number two? He's made of hard plastic, and, being a marlin, he's got a dangerously sharp sword nose. If he got close to my kids, I wouldn't be worried about Billy scaring them. I'd be worried about Billy poking an eye out. (And I seriously doubt the Marlins have insurance to cover that sort of thing.)
10. Billy the Marlin
Dreams? More like nightmares. I mean, just look at Slider. His nose is basically all nose hair. Sure, it's well-groomed nose hair, but still, I can't be the only one who finds that kind of gross, right? From far away he probably looks pretty cute. But up close? Not so much.
(PS, click on the picture to see it bigger.)
Now here's the thing about this list. Just because I say a mascot is creepy, that does not necessarily mean they are not also awesome. Take the Pirates' Parrot, for example. I think he's great—much better than Screech the bald eagle. But you have to admit he's still kind of creepy. Hell, from this angle he kind of looks like Tammy Faye Bakker.
So yes, there is good creepy, and there is bad creepy.
8. The Pirate Parrot
Get it? Tampa Bay Rays? Raymond?
Right. Anyway, I don't know what Raymond is. I assume he's just supposed to be some miscellaneous monster-type creature. But what makes him creepy (to me anyway) is the excessive facial hair and lack of mouth.
I really don't know what's going on with Cincinnati Reds mascot Gapper. Is he supposed to be a dude with lots of crazy body hair? And if not, why does he have hair everywhere except his cheeks? Is he a bird with a mustache on his beak? Was he sent to terrorize the elderly?
There are just so many questions. Fortunately, in addition to Gapper, who is bad-creepy, the Reds also have a mascot who is good-creepy...
Now Cincinnati's Mr. Redlegs—there's a mascot who is all the right kinds of creepy. With the crazed expression in his eyes and that huge handlebar mustache, it's a wonder opposing players can even concentrate when he's in their field of view. If you get a hit, he just might come out and murder you with an ax or something.
I love it.
5. Mr. Redlegs
Here's a free tip for you, Major League Baseball executive. If your mascot's head looked like a giant pickle with mold growing all over it, something is very wrong.
Such is the case with the White Sox Southpaw, of course. If he were, say, orange, I'd probably say he looks cute and cuddly. But he's not orange. He's green. And he looks kind of disgusting.
Is it just me, or what?
Come on, Royals. How do you mess up a lion? It's a lion! Just give him big cartoon eyes and a bushy mane and you're good to go. But no, you have to go and make his actual head the shape of a crown. That's just...I don't even...ugh. From the side he looks like Bart Simpson crossed with a bear.
No, San Diego Padres. Just stop it. Like, right now. It's bad enough that this guy is called the swinging Friar. Yes, we know you probably mean that to reference swinging a baseball bat, but "swinging" also means other things. And when you give the guy a big pervy smile...and he does stuff like pull up his monk dress to show his sexy leg, or when he does stuff like this... I mean, come on. What are we supposed to be thinking?
2. The Swinging Friar
Congratulations, Diamondbacks. You have the creepiest mascot in Major League Baseball!
Of course, I understand that you really can't have a guy dressed as a rattle snake walking around the ballpark. That just won't work at all. So you choose a bobcat for some reason. Fine. But Baxter doesn't look like a sports mascot. He looks like some guy who just came from a furry convention. (If you don't know what furries are...well, God bless you.)
Quite frankly, Baxter makes me a little uncomfortable.