There was a confusing five-letter word on our minor league baseball tickets:
“What does that mean? Is it like “Reggie,” like Reggie Jackson, or does it rhyme with “Geggy,” you know, from the band Geggy Tah?¹ You know, like someone who begs too much has gotten beggy?”
“What? I don’t know. I mean, if the local NBC affiliate is sponsoring it, can it be bad? It’s WSFA. It’s the Montgomery Biscuits. I guess we’ll see when we get there.”
It turns out that Reggy is, in fact, pronounced like Reggie. It also turns out that he is a giant purple furry who attempts to entertain the public by loudly and stupidly expressing a desire to “party.”²
Reggy, as it happens, has a webpage and makes appearances at various minor league baseball stadiums across the south. And WSFA, home to the ever-trusted Bob Howell and Rich Thomas, inflicted Reggy on a stadium half-full of mostly unamused Biscuits fans. We would have been frankly better suited had they wrapped a drugged Huntington frat boy in several yards of dirty carpet and shoved him out over the firstbase line while blaring “Hot Potato” by The Wiggles.
Reggy, according to his Wikipedia page, evidently studied mascoting under someone who once performed as the legendary and awesome Philly Fanatic.³ We, as fans of mascotting — and particularly minor league baseball clowning, find this hard to believe.
We, as much as anyone over the age of 5, appreciate quality pratfalls and the ancient art of harassing the other team’s base coaches. But Reggy seems like a smelly weirdo, emerging from his seedy-seeming basement to announce that he’s ready to “party” with the fans of the Lansing Lugnuts or Carolina Mudcats or whatever. He falls over, has an inflatable gorilla costume, dances around in drag, and takes a crotch shot or two. He got some decent play from an umpire that he draped with a feather boa, but mostly just left us (and several kids nearby) sort of uncomfortably shifting in our seats, wondering about the post-game rituals of sadness that Reggy must endure at some hotel bar.
And that’s not all we wondered about: What’s that thing dangling from his nose supposed to be? How did something as lame as Reggy become the spokes-mascot for the Mascot Hall of Fame? Why hasn’t the Mascot Hall of Fame updated its website since 2008? Are there no new inductees? How is a “mascot” different than this giant falcon, allegedly called a “skin character,” designed to promote debate in the nation of Qatar?
Reggy is at his worst when he grabs the microphone and uses his creepy “guy talking to little kids at a birthday party” voice. It was at this point, even before the Biscuits had taken the field, that we knew that we needed to blame WSFA for sponsoring this monstrosity.
Look, we understand that you have to spice up minor league baseball with crap like “fireworks night” and “clap your hands if you support the troops” night. The game of baseball is just too boring for the average modern ticket-buying rube, who can’t call a sporting event “family fun” unless it’s a Facebook Friday or a Limited Edition Porcelain Figurine Giveaway. God forbid people actually know who’s pitching or that the Biscuits are in dire need of a second baseman.
Even so, Reggy was taking things too far. His lame crotch gyrations certainly got the crowd around us talking … about how much we missed the decently-serviceable Biscuits mascot, Big Mo. Look, Big Mo may be a lame amorphous anteater-thing, so lumpy that he actually looks like a pile of poop wearing a baseball uniform. We get that. But he’s our pile of poop. He doesn’t do that much, shoots some biscuits out of a cannon at the crowd (the most important selling point, frankly, that I ever mention when describing our local game experience to out-of-town friends), and generally wanders around like a tolerable oaf, getting his picture made with the babies and whatnot.
We like Big Mo, especially in comparison to Reggy’s highly-contrived Spuds McKenzie antics, made all the worse by the fact that he shops said antics around the minor league baseball circuit like some kind of amethyst whore. Ideally, we’d have a mascot that was the actual team logo: a giant biscuit that would walk around and touch people with his butter-pat-tongue. And that tongue would taste like butter and it would also breakdance and have a better name than Big Mo.
But we don’t have that giant grunting edible biscuit walking around. We have Big Mo. And we like Big Mo. You know what you think about when the local TV station pays to bring in some imported teamless mascot when you already have a perfectly decent mascot at your minor league stadium? You think about the economy being in the toilet and outsourcing and how lame it must be to put on a suit in 95-degree heat and know that your employer is letting some guy from YouTube show up and throw frisbees to your crowd.
We like Mickey, the mayor of the Biscuit Bunch, doing their awful little line dances and Cupid Shuffling on top of the dugouts. We even keep quiet during his awful donning of the Indian headdress during YMCA. We frantically applaud his frantic waving of the Biscuits flag as Carmina Burana blares before each game.
Reggy? Well, we’ve already said it: WSFA, we blame you.
¹ It should be noted that as great and catchy as Geggy Tah’s song, “Whoever You Are” may be, the album on which that song appears is staggeringly weird. Hearing that entire album, it is no surprise that they could produce something so catchy and yet also disappear into obscurity.
² Your idea of what it means to “party” may, in fact, and likely will, greatly differ from Reggy’s idea about what “partying” seems to entail.
³ The Fanatic, while cool, is far from our favorite pro mascot. That honor goes to Youppi, formerly of the Montreal Expos (now of the Montreal Canadiens). One of many online looks at the world’s worst mascots can be seen here. This link is particularly good because it includes the reprehensible Izzy, but also several very strange and disturbing mascots from European soccer.