Arts & Culture

The Most Memorable Minor Leaguers

Baseball mascots are delightfully colorful tributes to their Southern hometowns

 

As fans of America’s favorite pastime know, an evening at the nearby minor league park offers much more than a ballgame. There are local food and drink specials, a chance to see up-and-coming players before they hit the big time, and, perhaps most importantly, enthusiastic mascots who entertain audiences between innings. In recent years, minor league programs across the South have taken on more playful team names (Flying Squirrels in Richmond, Virginia; Biscuits in Montgomery, Alabama) and, with them, loveable—and sometimes bizarre—mascots (looking at you, Strike the Sasquatch, who keeps the crowd’s feet stomping for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals). Click through the gallery to see some of our favorites.

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Sway

Sway is a nod to the palm trees lining the promenade of the Fort Myers Miracle stadium in Florida.

 

photo: by Captive Photons

Ballapeno

Ballapeno is a jalapeño on a hot streak with the San Antonio Missions.

photo: courtesy San Antonio Missions

Strike

Strike the Sasquatch of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals based in Springdale, Arkansas.

photo: Courtesy NWA Naturals

Charlie T. Riverdog

Charlie is known for his dance moves at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park, home of the RiverDogs in Charleston, South Carolina.

photo: Courtesy Charleston RiverDogs

Chopper

Chopper is the groundhog mascot of the Gwinnett Braves, who play at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

photo: Taylor Botta/Gwinnett Braves

Conrad and Candy

Conrad and Candy Crawdad of the Hickory Crawdads in North Carolina.

photo: courtesy Hickory Crawdads

D-Jay

D-Jay of the Dunedin Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida.

photo: Allasyn Lieneck

Nutzy and Nutasha

Nutzy and Nutasha rally the Richmond Flying Squirrels in Virginia.

Marty

Marty of the Bradenton Mauraders in Florida.

photo: Courtesy A Plus Pro Photo/Marty Morrow

Big Mo

Big Mo is a creature after our own hearts—he’s the biscuit-loving beast of the Montgomery Biscuits in Alabama.

photo: Courtesy Montgomery Biscuits

Ace and Otey

Ace the Horse and Otey the Swamp Possum of the Arkansas Travelers in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

photo: Courtesy Arkansas Travelers

Muddy

Muddy the Mudcat roots for the Carolina Mudcats in Zebulon, North Carolina.

photo: Courtesy NIKOLAUS/Carolina Mudcats

Mini Muddy

Muddy’s smaller sidekick, Mini Middy.

photo: Courtesy NIKOLAUS/Carolina Mudcats

Reedy Rip’It

Reedy Rip’It catches flies for the Greenville Drive in South Carolina.

photo: Gwinn Davis

Sherman

Sherman the Shorebird of the Delmarva Shorebirds in Salisbury, Maryland.

photo: Courtesy Delmarva Shorebirds

Wool E.

Wool E. is the top spirit rouser for the Durham Bulls in North Carolina.

photo: Chris Adamczyk/Durham Bulls

Miss Lou Lou Gehrig

They aren’t technically mascots, but the black Labrador retriever bat dogs of the Greensboro Grasshoppers in North Carolina are fan favorites. Currently Miss Lou Lou Gehrig runs the bases and retrieves balls (read more about her spring training here), and she learned her tricks from Miss Babe Ruth and Master Yogi Berra, who passed away peacefully this summer.

photo: Greensboro Grasshoppers