5 Reasons the Rally Squirrel Is Better Than the Rally Monkey

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2012

5 Reasons the Rally Squirrel Is Better Than the Rally Monkey

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    The rally squirrel and the rally monkey have some things in common and some major differences.

    Both are animals, both backed good teams and both infused excitement into a loyal fanbase.

    However, the rally squirrel is newer. The squirrel is also a real animal and propelled the St. Louis Cardinals into the 2011 World Series. The most superstitious of fans—and players—may argue that the squirrel is the reason the Cardinals were able to pull off their miraculous championship run.

    Mascots are important in any sport. They help morale, boost fans' spirit and bring general excitement to the game.

    Unexpected mascots are even better, especially mascots that impact the game like this.

Engraved on World Series Ring

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    The St. Louis Cardinals would go on to win the 2011 World Series shortly after the rally squirrel's famous debut in the NLDS. This prompted the Cardinal brass to include the squirrel on their 2011 World Series rings.

    Having a mascot is one thing. Having a mascot worthy of permanent engravings is another.

    The rally squirrel's modest presence on the World Series rings cements its position as one of the greatest mascots of all time, and a truly remarkable occurrence.

Impact on the Game

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    The rally squirrel interrupted play when it appeared in Busch Stadium's outfield on Oct. 4, but it caused an uproar in on Oct. 5.

    Roy Oswalt was facing Skip Schumaker in the fifth inning. Umpire Angel Hernandez was behind the plate. As Oswalt was delivering, the squirrel ran in front of Schumaker, creating mass confusion.

    Oswalt threw a ball and claimed he was distracted by the squirrel running across the plate. He believed the pitch should not count, but Hernandez disagreed.

    After the game, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel threatened to shoot the squirrel.

    One animal caused a massive uproar among multi-million dollar athletes and coaches. That's a powerful mascot.

Topps Baseball Card

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    Skip Schumaker had a new baseball card in the 2012 Topps Series I collection. However, the card did not feature your traditional face picture.

    As pictured to your left, the Schumaker card featured the rally squirrel running across home plate. Schumaker's leg did make the photo, earning him a spot on the card itself.

    Every team has a mascot, but not every team has a baseball card for its mascot like this.

    This card immortalizes the rally squirrel among baseball card collectors and baseball fans alike.

Random Animal

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    The sheer randomness of the rally squirrel's appearance makes it a bigger deal than the rally monkey.

    The monkey was a video-imposed image taken from the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. The squirrel was a random grey squirrel from the St. Louis wilderness.

    Pure coincidence makes situations bigger than they really are. The squirrel's random appearance against the Phillies, and the events that occurred following its debut make this random appearance legendary.

Timing of Debut

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    The rally squirrel made its debut on Oct. 5, 2011, in the Cardinals' NLDS series against the Phillies. The timing of this debut could not be more perfect considering St. Louis' improbably World Series run.

    A squirrel appeared the night before as well. It has never been confirmed if they were the same animal, or not.

    Granted, the Angels enjoyed a great season in 2000 when their rally monkey debuted. However, the rally monkey did not debut in a playoff game.

    Good-luck charms appear at the right time, sometimes. In this case, the squirrel's appearance caused hubbub among Cardinal fans and earned a distinction because of the playoff atmosphere.