There is tradition surrounding the Chicago Cubs like there is for only one or two other teams in Major League Baseball. They are one of the oldest franchise’s still remaining and have what many consider to be the greatest stadium for watching a sporting event in the country. No, they have not won a World Series since 1913, but that only seems to add to the tradition of being a Cubs fans. On Monday however, the Chicago Cubs announced that they are becoming, sadly, a little bit more like every other franchise in baseball by making the colossal mistake of hiring a new team mascot.
The cubs have always had the Cubby Bear, the long reigning symbol of their franchise, but before Monday they had never had a physical representation of that mascot who could be visible at baseball games. The Cub’s absence of a mascot was one of the charms of Wrigley Field. A magical place where there was baseball, beer, hot dogs and little else to distract you from the action on the field.
Now, the mystique of Wrigley will be softened, just a little bit, by the addition of what is essentially a cheerleader in the stands for families. Sure, families might have a more enjoyable experience now that there is a mascot, but it used to be that simply the game of baseball was enough. As more and more teams began to make stadiums more like malls and amusement parks to attract fans, the Cubs had remained on the outside, offering simply baseball.
The decision to hire a mascot, whose name is Clark and described as a “young, friendly Cub,” came after a survey conducted by the Cubs and Northwestern University which found that fans wanted the 100 year old park to become more family friendly.
The senior director of marketing for the Cubs, Alison Miller said in a press release that the Cubs are excited to welcome Clark to the Chicago Cubs family and that the friendly Cubby Bear will be seen at the gate welcoming fans into the ballpark. The addition of a mascot in Chicago is a sad day for baseball, as it makes the Wrigley Field experience a little bit more alike every other stadium across the league.
Clark wears a backwards hat and a Cubs jersey and will be seen greeting fans as they enter Wrigley Field. The name Clark was chosen after the intersection of the two streets, Clark and Addison, where Wrigley Field is located.
The Cubs had been one of only four other teams that did not have a mascot before Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Anaheim Angels and the New York Yankees being the other three. Some Say that the Angels do have a mascot in the form of its Rally Monkey, however, this monkey only ever appears on the screen. The New York Yankees have tried multiple different mascots in the past but all of these attempts failed.
Wrigley Field is still one of the greatest venues to watch any game in America. It is so full of history and memories that even the addition of a new mascot will not ruin the experience. It still comes as a sad day for baseball purists however, to learn that the Chicago Cubs are becoming a little bit more alike every other team in the league.
By Nick Manai