Phillie Phanatic MLB mascot to visit Charleston

  • Thursday, February 13, 2014

Philadelphia Phillies’ mascot the Phillie Phanatic will visit Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park Feb. 20. PHOTO PROVIDED

The famed Philadelphia Phillies’ Phillie Phanatic is coming to Charleston.

On Thursday, Feb. 20, popular Charleston RiverDogs mascot Charlie T. RiverDog will host one of the most famous mascots in the world when the Phillie Phanatic visits Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park from 6-7 pm at the RiverDogs’ souvenir store located inside the ballpark’s gates.

There will be a free meet-and-greet and fans are invited to mingle with the world famous mascot and take part in some special buys of RiverDogs merchandise and special ticket offers. The Phanatic’s stop in Charleston is presented by D.D. Peckers’ Wing Shack in West Ashley.

During his appearance at Riley Park, the Phanatic will be presented with a proclamation from City of Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., as well as numerous other Lowcountry mementos to help wish him safe travels down to sunny Florida.

“We’re ecstatic to host the Phillie Phanatic at The Joe for everyone in Charleston to meet,” said RiverDogs GM Dave Echols. “When it comes to fun and excitement with the game of baseball, it doesn’t get any better than the Phanatic.”

A furry green creature, the Phillie Phanatic was created by Harrison/Erickson of New York City (now known as Acme Mascots), who have had ties with Jim Henson’s Muppets and the team’s marketing and promotions department during the winter after the 1977 season by a young executive named Dennis Lehman, who thought that the team needed a mascot similar to The San Diego Chicken.

The Phanatic debuted on April 25, 1978 at The Vet when the Phillies played the Chicago Cubs. Since then, he was given the title “baseball’s best mascot” by sports analyst Tim McCarver. The Phanatic was originally portrayed by Dave Raymond, who was working originally as an intern in the team’s front office from 1978-93. Raymond’s father is retired College Football Hall of Fame coach Harold “Tubby” Raymond at the University of Delaware. The Phanatic was voted ‘best mascot ever’ by Sports Illustrated for Kids and Sports Illustrated.

The Phanatic’s “best phriend” is Tom Burgoyne, a graduate of Saint Joseph’s Prep and Drexel University, both fixtures of Philadelphia education. The Phanatic rode around on an ATV, being the first professional mascot to do so, on the artificial turf of The Vet, and now, with regular tires, navigates on the grass at Citizens Bank Park. In 2005, Raymond founded the Mascot Hall of Fame, and the Phanatic was inducted as a charter member. In addition to being “best phriends” with the Phanatic, Burgoyne has written twelve children’s books featuring the Phanatic that the team has published since 2003.

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