This list should be taken with all of your seriousness. This is definitive. If you disagree, change your mind.
Mascots will not be ranked within their tiers (other than the top tier). Except for a certain group of running politicians, only a team’s primary mascot will be included. With apologies to the spouse of Mr. Met, let’s begin.
Los Angeles Angels – None
It appears the Angels are too busy wasting the primes of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani to get a mascot. I would say the Angels should revive the Rally Monkey but are we sure the Angels are good enough to have a mascot that has any relation to a World Series? I don’t think so.
Los Angeles Dodgers – None
You can have baseball’s largest payroll, but you cannot pay a mascot? Perhaps the only relation the Dodgers have to mascots is Tommy Lasorda and his well-documented issues with National League mascots.
New York Yankees – None
Isn’t this a dandy? The Yankees have had one primary mascot in their illustrious history, and the fans were so against the idea that they beat Dandy – the mascot – up. Maybe they should beat up the team because they haven’t made a World Series in 12 years.
Nightmare Fuel Tier:
Arizona Diamondbacks – Baxter
The thing with mascots is that they should mimic reality, not be reality. Baxter is too realistic to be an effective mascot, but the exaggerated features likely haunt the Diamondbacks more than Josh VanMeter‘s home run to ruin their No.1 pick chances.
Chicago Cubs – Clark
Clark looks like he sold his soul for a World Series. He is bordering on demonic in the same vein as the aforementioned Baxter. The backward hat is a nice touch, but Clark is firmly in nightmare territory for Cubs fans. Move over, Steve Bartman, you have company.
Chicago White Sox – Southpaw
Arizona and the other Chicago team were too realistic. The White Sox went in the other direction and achieved this mess. While he does have a cool name that relates to baseball, the design is questionable considering the target audience.
Houston Astros – Orbit
Orbit looks like he belongs in a trash can (at least Oscar the Grouch is a phenomenal design). Fitting. As with Southpaw, Orbit is a cool name for a mascot, especially one that likes watching moonshots against his team in the playoffs from Albert Pujols and Jorge Soler.
Minnesota Twins – T.C. Bear
Legend has it, T.C. Bear’s mouth gets bigger for each consecutive playoff loss the Twins suffer. Like Baxter and Clark, this mascot is too realistic for mascot standards, and the script flips him into being nightmare fuel. At least the Twins won’t be competing for playoff wins anytime soon, so T.C. Bear’s dentist bills will not grow.
Mildly Annoying Tier:
Atlanta Braves – Blooper
As a Braves fan, I have mixed feelings about Blooper. He looks ridiculous, and he would be a shoo-in for the “Nightmare Fuel” tier, but his Twitter presence is unmatched. On the field, I would rather have a different mascot, but his tweets do enough to pull him from the bottom tier.
Colorado Rockies – Dinger
If you search “Rockies Dinger,” the first few articles are related to an incident that a fan may or may not have shouted a racial slur. Dinger looks like a Triple-A mascot that made the Majors because the league decided to adopt a promotion-relegation format. He’s solid but forgettable.
Oakland Athletics – Stomper
Stomper almost falls in the “Nightmare Fuel” tier, but I think his ears are just ridiculous enough to turn into stuffed animal territory. While you need to be a baseball historian to understand why an elephant is relevant to the Athletics, Stomper works as a reasonable mascot. Sadly, he will likely be relocating in the coming years.
San Diego Padres – Swinging Friar
Is the Swinging Friar iconic? Yes. However, he looks ridiculous. His smile is almost as wide as the gap between the Padres’ expectations and where they actually finished in 2021. The San Diego Chicken, despite being nightmare fuel, is vastly superior.
San Francisco Giants – Lou Seal
Lou Seal is likely the most forgettable mascot as far as I’m concerned. The best part about Lou Seal is that it is a play on “Lucille.” Beyond that, it’s a seal. If you had to create a seal mascot in a video game, Lou Seal would be a solid representation.
Toronto Blue Jays – Ace
Ace is bordering on ridiculous, but it is a fair presentation of a Blue Jay. He’s blue, and he’s a jay. Great work, Toronto. If I were the creator, I would have added a splash of red in a maple leaf, but that’s just the failed designer in me. Ace is a solid mascot.
Cincinnati Reds – Rosie Red
For some reason, baseballs work as heads for mascots. The thought of a football, basketball, or hockey puck as a mascot is nightmare-inducing, but Rosie Red is an example of a baseball working. There is a perfect amount of red (including the hat, baseball stitches, lipstick, and buttons) to clarify that this is the Reds mascot. Is it a little basic? Sure, but Rosie Red is a good mascot.
Milwaukee Brewers – Bernie
As a man who currently has a mustache, I respect Bernie’s commitment to the craft. It is comically large and almost like a ’70s TV villain, but it works. Human mascots are a bit goofy, but Bernie works. Maybe he should run for president
Tampa Bay Rays – Raymond
Mascots exist on a spectrum. Raymond extends the nightmare fuel spectrum to a point that it becomes usable in the context that he is so absurd that your mind cannot recreate it for a nightmare. It is an overwhelming amount of blue, but the touch of blonde hair is perfect for the Rays.
Texas Rangers – Rangers Captain
This is one of the best-designed mascots. However, the designers fumbled the bag with “Rangers Captain.” Seriously? Is it against baseball’s unwritten rules to have a cool name? His snout grows with each former Ranger that becomes a Yankee.
The team has paid for it to not be Nightmare Fuel Tier:
Cleveland Guardians – Slider
If you told new baseball fans that a handful of MLB mascots were in the Hall of Fame, Slider might be the last one you’d guess. Heck, people would probably expect the Yankees or Dodgers to have a Hall of Fame mascot (without existing) before this atrocity. They say the MLB Hall of Fame is open to too many people. That honor should go to whoever let Slider in.
Philadelphia Phillies – Phillie Phanatic
Calm down, Phillies fans. The Phanatic is the best mascot in sports. However, he is nightmare fuel. From his nose to the overwhelmingly green, the Phanatic embodies everything right with mascots while looking like he would enjoy scaring children.
St. Louis Cardinals – Fredbird
It might just be the angle shown on MLB.com, but Fredbird looks cursed. He is a great mascot, but he also looks like he enjoys eating humans. It is well-designed, but Fredbird is the last mascot that you would want to see in your dreams.
Baltimore Orioles – Oriole Bird
Black. Orange. Perfection. The Orioles understood the assignment and achieved greatness here. While he does not entertain many fans for the horrendous Orioles teams, he is an excellent mascot. Hopefully, the Orioles will return to prominence soon.
Boston Red Sox – Wally
Puns can be hit or miss. Wally is a green monster that lives within a wall known as the Green Monster. It might be too on the nose for some people, but it works for me. Wally is well designed, and he is one of the best mascots in sports. The Yankees should learn something.
Detroit Tigers – Paws
Take everything I said with Oriole Bird and it applies here. Paws is a spot-on representation of a Tiger, and the Tigers jersey is timeless. The name works as well, critical to top-tier mascots. He looks like he would be a nice guy to watch a baseball game with.
Miami Marlins – Billy the Martin
Does he have a head? Does he have consistent colors? Is he as famous as Marlin Man? None of these questions matter. Billy has a comically long nose that represents the number of zeroes in someone’s bank account if they bet on the Marlins to win the World Series in 1997 or 2003.
Seattle Mariners – Mariner Moose
Does a moose relate to the Mariners? Not really. However, Mariner Moose is peak design from a mascot standpoint. Like Paws and Oriole Bird, he is expertly created to be a mascot interpretation of a real animal. Also like Paws and Oriole Bird, he misses October baseball.
No.4: Washington Nationals – The Racing Presidents
Unlike Bernie, these mascots ran for president (quite literally). The four main mascots are Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and George Washington. In an ironic twist, they have very punchable faces like many politicians. The Nationals understood the assignment too well.
No.3: Pittsburgh Pirates – Pirate Parrot
Does your mascot help MLB players acquire cocaine? Pirate Parrot did in the 1980s. Is it morally wrong? Yes. Is it iconic? Also yes. If the scandal happened in a modern context, the parrot likely would have been discontinued, but he is still around to raise the Jolly Roger for Pirate victories.
No.2: Kansas City Royals – Sluggerrr
Spellcheck’s worst nightmare, Sluggerrr is a great mascot. His head resembles a crown (hence, Royals) while his body is a Lion. He is a member of the Mascot Hall of Fame, and he is a deserving member. MLB.com describes Sluggerrr as the most athletic mascot, so a team of Sluggerrrs might win a theoretical mascot World Series.
No.1: New York Mets – Mr. Met
Unlike the 2015 World Series, the Mets beat the Royals here. Mr. Met likely displayed a middle finger to Sluggerrr after the victory. As mentioned with Rosie Red, baseballs are excellent heads. Sadly for Mr. Met, his expression is locked in a perpetual “damn, we suck again” manner.
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main image credit: Embed from Getty Images