1978: Phillie Phanatic Makes His First Ever Appearance, Starting Weird Legacy

By | April 24, 2020

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Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda with the Phillie Phanatic during an MLB baseball game at Veterans Stadium circa 1981 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lasorda managed the Dodgers from 1976-96. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

The Phillie Phanatic, mascot of Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies, is an institution, famous for his antics and general inexplicable nature. Born in 1978, the Phanatic is said to be a bird, although he doesn't look like any bird you've ever seen. He's birdlike in that he could be a deranged, many-times-removed cousin of Sesame Street's Big Bird -- which, in fact, he is. But that is the Phanatic's charm, and why the people of Philadelphia, a city with a sense of humor, have embraced him. Like the Muppets' Grover or McDonald's Grimace, the Phanatic is one of a kind and inexplicable -- and Phillies fans love him for it.

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Source: (Bleacher Report)

In 1978, Bonnie Harrison and Wayde Erickson, who also had ties to the Muppets, created the character design and backstory for the Phanatic. According to the backstory, the Phanatic is a flightless bird from the Galapagos. He was named after the fanatical fans and he replaced the original mascots, Phil and Phillis. Which were essentially pilgrims.