It’s hard out there for a beloved(?) muppet-like giant sports mascot:
Years of dancing on and around baseball dugouts has finally caught up with the Phillie Phanatic.
The most recognizable mascot in sports was performing Wednesday night at Lehigh Valley, home of the Philadelphia Phillies’ triple-A affiliate, when a foul ball bounced off of the dugout and struck the Phanatic in the neck.
Ever the pro, the Phanatic incorporated the bad hop into his routine. Still, it turned out to be a serious matter, as the Phanatic was hospitalized later that evening.
Tom Burgoyne, the man inside the green costume for the past 19 years, posted this on his Facebook page: “Hi Everybody – Thanks for all of your posts, texts and emails. The Phanatic is fine. He took one off the neck last night at the Iron Pigs game. Since we’re soooo close, I felt his pain and have a nice golf ball-sized knot just above my eye. Bring on the A’s this weekend – the Phanatic will be ready!”
I await the inevitable conspiracy theories that there was a second batter hidden in the grassy outfield.