Ranking Minor League Mascots – Texas League
They say everything is bigger in Texas and in the Texas League bigger means more mascots! 4 out of the 8 teams have multiple mascots. This is a growing trend in Minor League Baseball. Being a performer sometimes it is lonely out there by yourself. Having another mascot buddy or even nemesis to play off of is a good thing. Just wait until we get to the Eastern League and the Reading Phillies.
Until then lets focus on the Double A Texas League.
Just like the previous leagues I have ranked according to creativity, exposure on team websites and basic subjective feelings. This is not a scientific poll by any means…because I am not a scientist. I am a mascot!
#8 – SHELLY THE HORSE – ARKANSAS TRAVELERS
Shelly? Because he is sponsored by Shell? I don’t mind a mascot bringing in revenue. In fact most General Managers of teams would love that extra income. Mascots should be a revenue stream, however to put the sponsor’s logo ON your mascot and naming the mascot after said sponsor? That may be a bit too much. Is he the sponsor’s mascot, or the teams?
#7 – LOUIE AND FETCH – SPRINGFIELD CARDINALS
I think that all of the St Louis affiliates have old Fred Bird costumes lying around. I totally understand affiliate teams holding on to their Major League franchise names. It is brand recognition…but this is the Minor Leagues, at least change-up the mascots, a little bit, please? They do have Fetch as the playful sidekick. No facebook presence that I could find.
#6 – STRIKE THE SASQUATCH – NORTHWEST ARKANSAS NATURALS
What a natural (pun intended) fit! Is he a Sasquatch or a wild-eyed crazy mountain man? The team website says he was found in the Ozark Mountains. He has a facebook with a very small following but he is a cool looking character. After viewing this photo though I don’t know if the girl is running for fun or for her life!
# 5 – RUSTY AND SAMMY – CORPUS CHRISTI HOOKS
Where is the hook? Is Rusty a hook? What I do like is that Sammy the Seagull is in charge of the birthday club and Rusty has the Kids Club. Double the mascots double the revenue streams! I just don’t feel attached to these two and no facebooks for fan interaction.
#4 – DEUCE AND DAISY – FRISCO ROUGH RIDERS
This pair of prairie dogs has a lot going for them. Kid friendly and great looking costumes. As I said in the Applachian League rankings I like the focus on both genders for the kids. No facebook that I can find which is a common theme here in Texas. Brand extension should be a focus of mascot programs. There are so many ways to interact with your fans outside of the ballpark. Letting fans see videos on facebook is fun!
#3 – ROCKY – MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS
His likeness is everywhere on Rockhound merchandise! This is the first case during my ranking that I have seen so much merchandise! Another great way to drive revenue through your mascot program. Rocky has his own ‘Rocky Town’ at Citibank Ballpark, presumably for picture and autograph opportunities for the fans young and old.
#2 – THE BALLAPENO AND HENRY THE PUFFY TACO – SAN ANTONIO MISSIONS
These are just funny. A Ballapeno (who may be riding the puffy taco coattails) and a puffy taco..come on, what could be funnier? A pair of nuts? Personally I would feel a bit exposed in tights and half a jalapeno costume around drunk baseball fans. Props to whoever had the courage and maybe insanity to create these two mascots (and the performers inside of them). I know Henry is not an official Missions mascot but here is his facebook. He was recently named the 2012 Chips King! Ballapeno’s facebook is here.
#1 – HORNSBY – TULSA DRILLERS
This may be the greatest mascot photo of all time per Benjamin Hill on his MiLB blog, and I have to agree. Hornsby has a lot of great videos online and a great look. This is another example of a great costume, a great committed performer and solid backing from the front office. I would just like to see a dedicated facebook page to this great mascot!
Thoughts, suggestions, comments leave them below. Next it looks like we may be heading to the Northwest League!