Philadelphia Phillies: 50 Most Memorable Moments in Phillie Phanatic History

Marilee Gallagher@mgallagher17Contributor IIJanuary 20, 2012

Philadelphia Phillies: 50 Most Memorable Moments in Phillie Phanatic History

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    He's big, green, furry and lovable.

    There is only one creature that can fill this description and subsequently these big shoes. That is the one and only Phillie Phanatic. Ever since he first popped out of the baseball in 1978, making his debut to the world, the Phillie Phanatic has captivated millions of Philadelphia Phillies and baseball fans alike.

    His antics are hilarious and humorous. No one—celebrities, players and fans included—is off limits from his practical jokes and entertaining behavior.

    A 33-year career of skits and more, there is really nothing the Phanatic hasn't done. He has made countless public appearances throughout the Philadelphia area and met celebrities. The Phillie Phanatic has even U.S. Presidents, and has also appeared on television programs, including The Late Show with David Letterman and The Simpsons.

    Needless to say, the Phanatic is one of, if not the most, entertaining and hilarious mascots in sports. He is part of the Phillies family and as much a part of Philadelphia as Rocky and the famous cheesestakes to which the city lays claim.

    So take a few minutes, watch a few videos and look back on 50 of the Phanatic's most memorable Moments. 

Skydiving, Ziplining and More: The Phanatic Is Born

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    One of the greatest Phanatic moments was when he, with the help of professionally trained skydivers, plummeted into Veteran's Stadium to the huge applause of all of the fans. It was an unforgettable moments and one that has really marked some of the craziness the Phanatic is willing to perform. 

    In addition to skydiving, this clip which is a short montage of the earliest Phanatic moments, shows his being birthed from a baseball, riding a Clydesdale and ATVs and zip-lining through Veteran's Stadium, showing some of the best and most creative moments in Phantic history.

1980 and 2008 World Series Parades

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    The Phanatic himself has said that the 1980 and 2008 World Series Parades and by far his favorite moments as part of the organization. Here is one of the many clips from the 2008 World Series where the Phanatic continues doing his job to hype up the fans as he dances on top of the parade float.

Who Used Derek Jeter's Razor?

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    One of the Phanatic's "other jobs" included being asked to take part in one of the famous, "This is Sportscenter" commercials. In this particular commercial, the Phanatic plays opposite Derek Jeter, who asks around the locker room to try to find out which of his colleagues has been using his razor.

Lady Pha Pha

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    One of the Phanatic's more recent and famous gigs came when on Opening Day 2011, the Phanatic, imitating a number performed by Lady Gaga, emerged from an egg to dance to Gaga's hit single "Born This Way." This was one of a few times that the Phanatic took to copying the famous singer's outrageous costumes as part of his skits.

Paint the Town Red Week

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    Paint the Town Red Week was an initiative that was started prior to the 2006 season as a way to get interest and hype for the upcoming season. The Phanatic, who was painted red, made appearances around the Philadelphia area, revving up fans.

    Proving to be a resounding success, the Phillies have continued this campaign every year since its inauguration, and the Phanatic continues to be a huge part of the festivities. 

This Is Thriller

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    In 2009, putting his best dancing skills to the test, the Phanatic jumped off of his ATV to try to teach one of the workers, his version of Michael Jackson's famous "Thriller" dance. After the dance, the Phanatic has his fun with his victim before getting back on his ATV and driving around Citizen's Bank Park.

Super Phanatic Saves the Day

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    This is one of my more favorite Phanatic moments. It was after the World Series, and part of a skit. Nevertheless, the Phanatic's superhero prowess was awesome.

    After a New York Mets fan steals the 2008 World Series trophy and gloats to the fans about having it, the Phanatic, dressed as a superhero, emerges from his ATV to take back the trophy and its Philadelphia glory. After successfully bringing down the villain, the Phanatic completes his own special brand of hilarious justice.

The Phanatic Dances to "Single Ladies"

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    The Phanatic Dance, which happens every seventh inning, has really become a huge part of each home Phillies game. Typically a choreographed affair, the Phanatic performs a dance which has become known as the "Phanatic Dance." In this particular installment, Philly's green mascot takes on Beyonce's "Single Ladies" with the help of some dedicated and fancily dressed assistants.

Phanatic Around Town

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    This may not have been a Phanatic moment as something that he did, but it is one of the greatest moments because it gave recognition to the almost 34-year-old Philadelphia celebrity.

    As part of the initiative in Philly to revive the city's arts and murals program, different artists came together to create a plethora of Phanatic statues that were placed around the town for a few months in the summer of 2010. These statues which were created by different local artists featured the Phanatic in various poses.

    From being Ben Franklin to Frankenstein, these statues were fun for fans to pose with and take pictures. After leaving town, they were brought to Citizen's Bank Park where they were on display for a period of time before being auctioned off.

    This video is a clip of the making of the High Hopes Phanatic in honor of Harry Kalas.

Getting into Uniform

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    In every definition of the word, the Phillie Phanatic is a cheerleader. He leads the Philly faithful in cheering for the Phillies and uses his antics to hype up the crowd.

    Preceding a game, the Phanatic took his cheerleading a step further as he, with the help of the Penn State University Cheerleaders, donned a uniform and blonde wig to help participate in the fun and entertain the fans.

Use the Force

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    As a Star Wars fan, this clip is one of my favorite Phanatic acts. Taking to the dugout, the Phanatic grabbed his lightsaber and took on one of Hollywood's most notorious villains in Darth Vader. The battle was short, but, as is the case in most of his antics, the Phanatic was victorious.

Rallying the Crowd

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    The Phillie Phanatic takes his job seriously. Every single game, he knows what he has to do so he jumps on that dugout and dances. He waves to fans, high-fives youngsters, rubs a few bald heads and ventures into the stands.

    Purely put, the Phanatic does his thing to keep the crowd involved in the game and cheering for the Phillies. This may not be one particular Phanatic moment, but his rallying of the crowds is one of the most important aspects of what the Phanatic does.

Temple Rugby Loses Their Ball

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    As part of the connection the Phillies have with the local colleges, the Temple University Rugby team was invited to take part in a little on-field practice. As they tossed the ball around, the Phanatic emerged and wanted to be a part of the game. It took a little convincing on his part, but eventually the players tossed him the ball.

    What did he do with it? Well, you'll have to watch and see.

Bringing Canada to Philadelphia

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    One of the more interesting games to actually take place in baseball happened in the summer of 2010 when the Phillies played the Toronto Blue Jays. Originally scheduled to take place in Toronto, the game had to be moved to Citizen's Bank Park due to the scheduled G-20 Summit. As a result, the Blue Jays came into Philly, not as the road team, but as the home team.

    In renditions of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and "YMCA," the Phanatic danced on the dugout as he usually does with the help of the Canadian Mounted Police. After the song and dance, the Phanatic thanked the Mounties for their help in the performance.

Miming the 2008 NLCS Lineup

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    As part of Fox's NLCS coverage, the Phanatic was asked to present the starting lineup for one of the NLCS games. In one of his funniest moments, the Phanatic mimed each of the players. For Shane Victorino, he did a hulu and  for Ryan Howard, imitated his batting stance. He did each of the players, including starting pitcher Brett Myers, which is one that you will definitely want to see.

Happy Birthday Phanatic!

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    The Phanatic celebrated his 32nd birthday in 2010 with a party at Citizen's Bank Park. To celebrate their friend's birthday, many of sports mascots including the Zooperstars (http://www.zooperstars.com/Characters/ZOO_Characters.asp), joined in to perform a special rendition of "Soulja Boy." The Phanatic and his friends danced to the tune in one of the best mascot performances of all time.

Induction into the Mascot Hall of Fame

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    One of the proudest moments for the Phanatic had to be his induction in the inaugural class of the Mascot Hall of Fame. In 2005, the Phanatic joined other famous mascots in the Phoenix Suns Gorilla and San Diego Padres Chicken as part of the Hall's first class ever.

    Congrats to the Phanatic for having his accomplishments recognized.

Doing a Jig

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    Celebrating Irish Heritage is something that the Phillies have been doing for a while. In order to keep with the theme, even the Phanatic has his own way of celebrating the special event. Donning a very special cape and top hat, the Phanatic with the help of one of the umpires, took part in an Irish jig.

Taunting the Astros

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    Part of what the Phanatic does is taunt the players on the other team. In this particular clip, he is seen imitating the stretching of Lance Berkman and Hunter Pence, who is probably a bigger fan of the Phanatic now that he wears the red pinstripes.

    Taunting the opposing team is part of what he does, but this particular clip is funny because of what he does when one of the players begins running in the outfield.

    Let the taunting ensue.

The Tommy Lasorda Incident

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    Not everyone is a fan of the Phillies' mascot. Some of the players and coaches don't always take kindly to his antics, and some have even responded harshly and have fought back against them.

    One such person who isn't a fan of the Phanatic is former Los Angeles Dodgers Manager, Tommy Lasorda. Lasorda, who has gone on record saying he is not a fan of mascots in general, has a particular problem with the Phillie Phanatic.

    He recounted an incident in which the Phanatic tossed around and made fun of a doll made to look like Lasorda as one of the main reasons he hates the Phanatic.

    As the Phanatic pranced around, Lasorda eventually grew tired of the act and ran onto the field to tackle the Phanatic and take possession of the doll. As the video, which is a clip from a blooper reel shown at Dodger Stadium, shows, Lasorda did not take kindly to being made fun of.

Gone Streaking

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    Another one of the Phanatic's funny ploys was when he decided to streak across the field at Citizen's Bank Park. The act was inspired by a fan who ran on the field a few weeks prior and was Tasered by security as a result. 

    Watch that furry, green guy run!

Surprise Attack

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    In this video, the Phanatic uses one of his many tactics to surprise a fan. Hiding in the seats, the Phanatic waits until his perfect opportunity. In one of his better fan interaction moments, completely surprises the unsuspecting woman.

Dancing with the Mini-Me

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    This video is simply adorable.

    The Phanatic is just doing his thing, and all of a sudden, a little Phanatic emerges from the stands and is invited by the Phanatic to dance with him on the field. The Phanatic continues his dancing and shows his biggest admirer, some of his famous moves.

Conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra

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    The Phanatic is a creature of many talents, entertaining on the baseball field only one of the them. For this particular clip, the Phanatic took to the streets to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in an outdoor performance. The Phanatic showed that conducting is just one of a plethora abilities he possesses.

Wedding Crashers

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    Having your wedding at Citizen's Bank Park sounds like a great idea if you are an ultimate Phillies fan. Well, as this couple soon learns, there is no bigger Phillies fan than the Phanatic himself. Doing his best Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn impression, the Phanatic crashes the wedding and takes center stage as he dances with the newlywed couple and invited guests.

    Always the life of the party, who wouldn't want the Phanatic to crash their wedding?

Trying to Arrest the Mets

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    Had this actually worked, it would have been one of the funniest baseball moments of all time. However, it is still one of the Phanatic's best moments as he attempts to get justice against the New York Mets.

    As is shown in a clip that occurs before this, one of the Mets steals the keys to the Phanatic's ATV, as the Phanatic is distracted from messing with David Wright while stretching. As the Phanatic gets up to leave, he realizes his keys are gone and as the clip shows, brings a security officer over to try to get his keys back and to punish the Mets for taking them.

Smashing a Mets Helmet

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    Another classic Phanatic move is to smash a helmet of the opposing team. Having done it against many teams, including the Boston Red Sox, as the theme of Cheers played in the background, this clip shows the Phanatic taking out a hammer and smashing the Mets helmet to a chorus of cheers.

Becoming an Umpire

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    It isn't easy to mess around with the umpires if they aren't on the field. In this top Phanatic moment, the green mascot becomes impatient waiting for the umps to take the field. Instead of waiting patiently, the Phanatic stands behind the plate and does his best impression of calling a player out on strikes before proceeding to mock the umpires as they finally take the field.

Nanananana Batman!

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    This clip is one of the funniest Phanatic moments based on the context of the situation. As the clip begins, the Phanatic is just doing his regular activities. That is until he notices famous actor, Jack Nicholson in the audience. That Phanatic seems taken by this especially since Nicholson is wearing a New York Yankees cap.

    After leaving the field for a few minutes, the Phanatic returns and dressed as Batman, he proceeds to mock and have a little fun with Nicholson, famous for playing the Joker in one of the Batman movies. 

    Always a good sport, Nicholson plays along with the Phanatic and takes part in the skit.

Ridin' Dirty

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    This clip is funny because it involves a lot of mascots on a little car. Now, you can probably guess what will happen, but I won't spoil it. Let's just say that the Phanatic doesn't take kindly to being jostled and to not being the center of attention, even if he is in San Francisco.

Phanatic vs. Mr. Met

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    It isn't just the Phillies and Mets fans and players that take part in the rivalry. The mascots don't exactly like each other, either. This particular clip just shows the two battling for supremacy on the red carpet prior to the 2008 All-Star Game. 

Hit by Pitch

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    This clip is certainly one of the strangest things to ever happen to the Phanatic. In a minor league game, the Phanatic was on hand to help cheer for one of the Phillies minor-league affiliates. As he revved up the crowd, the Phanatic was unaware of a batted ball that came over in his direction.

    It bounced off of the dugout and hit the Phanatic square in the neck, meaning it hit Tom Burgoyne, the Phanatic's portrayer right in the face. This was a serious incident, as Burgoyne actually had to go to the hospital after the incident.

Cinco De Mayo

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    Costumes, dancing and the Phillies. There really isn't much more that the Phanatic loves.

    In this clip, the Phantic donning a particularly festive costume, participates in the Phillies' festivities at their Cinco de Mayo celebration. Let the dancing begin!

Smooth Criminal with Mario, the Drexel Dragon

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    The Phanatic has a lot of friends including the mascots of the City Six sports teams. For this particular bit, the Phanatic visited Drexel University during a basketball game to see some of the moves of the smooth dancing Mario, the Drexel Dragon.

    As Mario wows the crowd with a rendition of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal," the Phanatic uses it to pump up the crowd before eventually joining Mario in the dance.

Teaching His Dance to the Rally Towel

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    The Phanatic absolutely loves dancing on the dugout and he finds even more fun when someone joins him, enabling him to showoff and teach his awesome moves. One of his dance partners was the Phillies' own Rally Towel. Rally Towel, on hand for the playoffs, jumped on to the dugout and allowed the Phanatic to teach her some of his moves. Together, the two really entertained the crowd.

Fun with Phoebe

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    Besides performing his antics on opposing players, umpires and fans, the Phanatic also loves to involve his mom, Phoebe, in the fun. In this particular clip, the Phanatic dances for his mom before proceeding to tackle her to the ground. It is one of the best Phanatic and Phoebe Phanatic moments.

The Phanatic Shuffle

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    Anybody can do the "Cupid Shuffle," but it takes a very special breed to take on the Phanatic Shuffle. 

    During a home game against the Padres, the Phanatic, aided by the San Diego Friar and a very enthusiastic ump, danced the Phanatic Shuffle to the delight of all in attendance.

Dr. Freeze and the Phanatic Do Michael

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    The Phanatic never backs away from a challenge and the same was the case when Dr. Freeze, a known Michael Jackson impersonator, found his way onto the dugout and began demonstrating some of his moves to the Phanatic.

    After watching for a few moments, the Phanatic jumped off of the dugout to get on his own red coat in order to show Dr. Freeze, his version of some of the King of Pop's best moves.

The Phanatic Performs CPR

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    In a classic Phanatic skit, the Phanatic tackles the Clearwater Threshers mascot to allow a young kid to round the bases. It is a skit the Phanatic had done before but this time, but it went horribly wrong. After a few seconds of gloating, the Phanatic realized that Phinley was not breathing. He imitated the acts of doing chest compressions.

    When that didn't work, he performed CPR on his fellow mascot.

YMCA

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    The title pretty much explains itself, but this clip is just one of the many times the Phanatic invites security and field workers to join him in dancing. This time, it is for a performance of the YMCA.

This Is Phillies Country

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    It is clear to most that Mets fans are not welcome in Citizen's Bank Park, but this fan didn't get the memo. Watch the Phanatic demonstrate what it means to be in Phillies country and watch him show this Mets fan who exactly he is dealing with.

Surf's Up

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    In the final clip, the Phanatic uses a Phillies ground crew worker to do one of his funniest stunts. The Phanatic begins in a Hawaiian shirt and begins to surf on the grounds of Florida's Brighthouse Field. After surfing for a bit, the Phanatic pulls over a ground crew member to take over surfing on the board.

    As the unsuspecting member continues to surf, the Phanatic gets a hose and, well, I think you know what happen next.

Rocky Balboa

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    A Philadelphia icon, the Phanatic took to the steps of the Philadelphia Art Musuem to mimic yet another Philly icon, Rocky Balboa. Part of the Phanatic imitating Balboa came as he was asked to appear in the end credits of the final Rocky movie. It was a big thing for the Phanatic.

    Just like most Philly locals, the Phanatic had always dreamed of climbing those steps and imitating that historic pose.

All-Star Game Dance

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    In 1996, Philadelphia and Veteran's Stadium received the honor of hosting the All-Star Game. As part of the in-game festivities, the Phanatic was right in the thick of things as his tradition of dancing during the seventh inning still went on. Because this was the All-Star Game, the Phanatic was joined by Pirate Mascot, Mr. Met and the Braves mascot.

    Normally, sharing the dugout with the Mets and Braves wouldn't work for the Phanatic, but in the case of the All-Star Game, these NL mascots came together to do the Phanatic's dance in order to put a hex on the American League.

Final Game at the Vet

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    For the Phanatic, this game was a very memorable one as it marked the last game he would get to zip-line through the stadium, climb the 700 level stands and drive his ATV on the turf. As the Phanatic, Harry Kalas and the rest of the Phillies players, coaching staff and fans said goodbye to the beloved stadium, the Phanatic and HK waved in the symbolic ending of an era by taking the Vet Countdown to zero.

Classic and Early Shenanigans

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    This picture is from one of the Phanatic's earliest days. In this particular antic, the Phanatic jumped on top of an unsuspecting player eventually bringing both to the ground. Like many of the Phanatic's antics, the player is laughing and is having fun with it just like the Phanatic is.

Having Fun with the Blue Jays

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    During the 1993 World Series, the Phanatic made use of his specially made Blue Jays doll. Similar to what he did with his Tommy Lasorda doll, the Phanatic paraded around the field tossing the doll and using it as a prop in some of his comedic acts.

Kiss Me, I'm Irish

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    Never shy, the Phanatic showed this when he kissed umpire Phil Cuzzi. The Phanatic, donning a green top hat, kissed the ump after having fun with him as part of one of the Phanatic's many skits involving umpires.

Watching a Game

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    Never one to miss a game, the Phanatic took to perch high above the ground. Situated where he had a view of the city, the Phanatic plugged in his little television in order to watch the Phillies home opener against the Marlins.

Celebrating Jim Thome's 400th Home Run

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    It was a great moment for all in attendance when Jim Thome belted his 400th career home run. It was a great moment and the Phanatic especially was there to celebrate the moment. Holding up a sign marking the occasion, the Phanatic looked down to the dugout to congratulate Thome after he returned home from rounding the bases.

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