Happy birthday, Phillie Phanatic! While the Phanatic’s birthday will be observed on a Sunday as usual — May 18th of this year — the Phanatic debuted at Veterans Stadium on April 25, 1978. He was first formally introduced on television by Captain Noah — the Captain and the late Mrs. Noah are the Phanatic’s godparents. Yes, the Phanatic has been baptized.
The Phillie Phanatic was not beloved instantly, and not because his baptism surely raises numerous theological questions. By August of that same year, the Phillies didn’t like him. After a win over the Padres, the Phillies questioned whether mascots should even exist! “All the activity was sort of upsetting,” said Larry Christenson. “I think maybe it detracts from the game,” said Danny Ozark, the manager.
Eventually, though, he won over our hearts. The Phanatic is the best mascot in sports. He’s entertaining. He’s emotive despite having a fixed expression. He’s hard-working and silly and his skits are both groan-worthy and brilliant at the same time. He’s also kind of a jerk. Somehow this stupid green monster is incredibly entertaining.
To celebrate his birthday, here are five great video clips of the Phanatic.