Part of the charm of going to a professional sporting event is watching the insane antics of the team mascot. With so many crazy and unique mascots out there, I decided to put together a list of what I felt are among the best North American sports mascots. For this list, I stuck with professional teams across the United States and Canada, selecting those I thought were really creative or just unique and original.
The Swinging Friar, San Diego Padres
When Europeans began colonizing what became the United States, Spain claimed much of the western U.S.
Helping spearhead Spain’s colonial efforts were Catholic monks, who established a string of missions along the Pacific coast as far north as the San Francisco Bay, including San Diego de Acala, where the city of San Diego currently sits.
The Swinging Friar first appeared as a Padres mascot during the Pacific Coast League days of the 1950s and has been watching over the team ever since, even donning camouflage robes during Military Appreciation Sunday games.
Big Joe, Ottawa Redblacks
French-Canadian lumberjack Jean Montferrand, also known by the name Big Joe Mufferaw, is a folk hero in Canada with some stories about him being more extraordinary than those of Paul Bunyan. When the Redblacks took the field in 2014, the team decided to pay tribute to the city of Ottawa’s history and its role in the Canadian timber industry by making its mascot a lumberjack, appropriately named Big Joe.
Poe, Baltimore Ravens
It’s hard to argue the city of Baltimore has had a more iconic resident than writer Edgar Allen Poe. It felt almost natural when the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore in the 1990s, they would adopt a name along the lines of Ravens.
With that in mind, was there really any doubt the team wouldn’t name its mascot after the author who provided its nickname?
Orbit, Houston Astros
When MLB added a team in Houston in 1962, the franchise was initially known as the Colt .45s, but changed its name in 1965 in honor of the city’s role in the Space Race. Eventually, the fuzzy green alien known as Orbit came to be a staple of Astros games throughout the 20th century.
After being retired when Minute Maid Park opened and a rabbit dressed like a train engineer named Junction Jack took over mascot duties, Orbit returned to cheer on Houston starting in the 2013 season.
Dinger, Colorado Rockies
How interesting a team named for a mountain range would select a dinosaur for its mascot. Making this mascot what it is actually makes a lot of sense, though. First off, Dinger is purple, which fits perfectly, since purple is one of the three main colors for the Rockies.
Specifically, Dinger is a triceratops, one of the most easily recognizable types of dinosaurs to ever walk the earth. The story goes when work crews were digging out the site where Coors Field is located, they uncovered a seven-foot long triceratops skull, thus leading to the mascot seen at Rockies games to this day.
Squatch, Seattle SuperSonics
When the SuperSonics left Seattle for Oklahoma City just over 10 years ago, they left behind one of the most creative and unique mascots ever seen in a sporting arena.
The mythical creature known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch has long been rumored to make its home in the northwestern United States, so it just seems fitting a Seattle team would run with that and have someone dressed as Bigfoot entertaining its fans.
Overall, it’s hard to argue a Sasquatch mascot has to be the most original mascot in any sport, anywhere.
Donald Campbell is a former staff writer for The Outlook.