Should the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Retire Rally Monkey?

Katie Des Londe@KatieStarsContributor IIMay 10, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 20:  A young Angels fan with rally monkey cheers support during game two of the 2002 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Anaheim Angels at Edison Field on October 20, 2002 in Anaheim, California.  The Angels won 11-10, knotting the series at one game apiece.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Rally Monkey came from humble beginnings.

Her debut was in June of 2000, in a clip video operators used during interleague play when the Angels trailed the San Francisco Giants 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The clip from Ace Ventura became so popular among the Angels' fanbase that a simian thespian named Katie was hired to film some fresh clips for the team.  Katie often appears on the scoreboard dressed in a tiny Angels uniform carrying a sign that reads "RALLY TIME!"

Rally Monkey's fame soared during the Angels' 2002 World Series run as she spurred the team on to a very impressive come-from-behind victory in Game 6.  Rally Monkey has been synonymous with the Angels ever since.

Some believe Rally Monkey is MLB's best rally tool, with rally caps and rally towels lagging far behind.  How can inside-out articles of clothing be expected to compete with an adorable capuchin monkey in the tiniest uniform you've ever seen?  The fans of the monkey just might have a point.

But while Rally Monkey gets fans out of their seats faster than any towel ever could, there is still a downside to Rally Monkey.  To start with, Rally Monkey exists as nothing more than an on-screen graphic.  Sure, they occasionally superimpose Rally Monkey into other famous clips, but they are working with the same set of videos all the time.  What makes Rally Monkey any different from putting the word "Charge!" up on the JumboTron?

Being nothing more within the stadium than a clip, Rally Monkey is unable to interact with fans.  While Rally Monkey is in all fairness more than just a screen graphic, can the monkey do what the Philly Phanatic does?

There is something to be said for a classic mascot feeling the vibe of the crowd and pressing on accordingly.  Fans might cheer on some video, but there's a true excitement to high-fiving your team's mascot as he walks through the concourse.

Will Rally Monkey stand the test of time?  Without a little bit of updating, the craze will probably fade.  With the great and rapid strides often made with camera work, the clips already appear outdated.

Maybe there should be a new hire—or even give Rally Monkey a chance to morph into a full-on life-sized mascot before it becomes totally irrelevant.