While the Perpetual Post’s Howard Megdal and Chris Plummer put Detroit’s 12 inning tie-breaker defeat/fold to Minnesota into proper context, ie. Choke City, but not nearly as extreme as the 2007 Mets (“like a bizarro member of the 1972 Dolphins, I acknowledge that your collapse is fine, I guess. But I didn’t even have to root for the Tigers to win Tuesday. Already, their choking paled in comparison”), I’ll instead turn your attention to something far more pressing ; a 10 day old interview with former Mr. Met (1994-1997) A.J. Mass. From Dumb As A Blog :
Was the job more or less fun than you expected?
I loved the interaction with kids. That alone was worth every bit of grief from management, who never quite understood what it took to do the job of mascot properly.
For example, they didn’t know why I couldn’t bend the laws of physics to be in three different locations in the stadium at the same time, or why I needed to take a 20 minute break after an hour in the costume on an August afternoon. Part of the reason I did stay in the suit longer than I probably should have is that I didn’t want any of those kids being disappointed.
How hard was the costume to wear? Is the head heavy? How do you stay cool in it on hot summer days?
The costume itself went through changes over the years to make it easier to move around in. The sheer size of the head made it difficult to maneuver. Forget about peripheral vision.
There’s no way of sugar-coating how hot it got being encased in a 20-pound polyurethane sphere in the middle of a heat wave. You’d take a towel and soak it in ice water and wrap it around your neck and shoulders and it would be bone dry by the time you hit the field. You simply endured.
Which ballplayers gave you an especially hard time?
Surprisingly, it was some of the Mets themselves, who were not used to having a stranger around the tunnels leading to the clubhouse, who were unreceptive at best and antagonistic at worst. I’ll save the naming of names for the book I’m currently shopping around.
Seriously, part of the reason I wanted to write a book about my time as a professional mascot is that most people have no idea what a mascot actually goes through on a regular basis. In my four years on the job, I was abused by players, reprimanded by umpires, nearly trampled to death by exuberant parade-goers, and even had my life threatened by Secret Service agents. Not to mention that I once a encountered a very gruesome naked celebrity.
With all due respect to Mr. Met Mass, can Joe Orsulak really be called a celebrity?