There’s a new mascot on the block: Team Israel’s Mensch on the Bench.
The Mensch rooted on Israel to a shocking 3-0 start in the World Baseball Classic. Player Cody Decker, who acquired the Mensch, is quick to praise the benchwarmer: “He’s a mascot, he’s a friend, he’s a teammate, he’s a borderline deity to our team.”
He is also just one of the amazing mascots who set out to inspire fans and instead traumatized (or at least startled) them. Here are the MVPs (Most Valuable Performers):
Yes, Cincinnati’s Mr. Redlegs is pointing to the top of our list. Previously around in a more “clean-shaven” version named Mr. Red, the mustached mascot has been around in one form or another since the 1953 All-Star Game, which was hosted in the Ohio city.
St. Louis Billiken: You’re probably trying to figure out what kind of animal that strange creature sneaking up on the child is. Trick question: It isn’t one. SLU describes the Billiken as a mythical good-luck figure who represents “things as they ought to be.”
TCU’s Super Frog: Texas Christian University’s “Super Frog” is based on the horned frog, an actual animal, but somehow seems even more monstrous than the Billiken.
Penn’s Quaker: While a fitting tribute to William Penn, still an odd choice of mascot. (Nothing says “We’re going to win!” like a pacifist.) That noted, the Quaker boasts one of the more menacing mascot faces around, whether or not it’s actually being worn.
Miami Heat’s Burnie: Happily, Burnie and his basketball nose only busts out the Speedo on special occasions.
Xavier’s D’Artagnan the Musketeer and The Blue Blob: Separate, each of these mascots seems odd. Together, they are unstoppable.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane’s Captain Cane: The nickname came about because a coach wanted to use “Golden Tornado,” only to discover that was taken. The result is a mascot that looks like a natural disaster.
The Stanford Tree: Look to right of the photo above. Then just marvel. What makes the choice even more bizarre about the mascot choice is that the name of the team is the Cardinal — a vivid red color that has little to do with the psychedelic pile of greens the school’s teams ended up with.
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Steely McBeam: The Steelers are a rugged team from a rugged steel town. Somehow Steely got lost in translation.
UC Irvine’s Peter the Anteater: There was an actual debate about whether the anteater mascot looked more like a giraffe or a donkey. This ignored the larger question for the UC Irvine community: Why is our mascot an anteater?
Watch the short video below to see how the Mensch can turn a standard press conference into a magical event.
—Sean Cunningham for RealClearLife