Here is what the Twins website posted on their website today:
For several games this season, Twins Season Ticket Holders can register for the chance to sport one of five Mascot costumes and be on the field for the race before the 5th inning.
Wait WHAT!?! Real fans running in goofy costumes running around the warning track at Target Field with no prior training whatsoever!?!
Pinch me. I must be dreaming.
It has been a lifetime fantasy of mine to run in a mascot uniform. In fact, when I worked for the Worcester Tornadoes as an intern, I was incredibly to realizing my dream when they needed someone to put on the Twister costume to do the base race in the middle of the second inning. When the game was rained out, the drops spat all over my yearning.
It warms my heart that Twins fans get to experience the magic of not being able to see out of an oversized mask while running as fast as they can.
So in the spirit of this wonderful news, here are my favorite MLB mascot races.
The first ever race definitely has to be the highest rated, and for good reason. What started as a cartoon at County Stadium turned into a game-day tradition at Miller Park in the middle of the sixth inning. Bratwurst, Polish Sausage, Italian Sausage, Hot Dog and Chorizo have become icons in Milwaukee, the crowd exploding with cheers whenever the five weenies run from dugout to dugout.
The Nationals not only do a very tasteful race to promote history – that really is the only reason why William Taft is in the race, because he’s not a sexy pick for best American presidents – but also added it’s own personality to it. The fact that Teddy Roosevelt and Taft rarely win, and no reason specific reason at all, is genius, providing an underdog to a daily race that the crowd can pity for. In fact, when Roosevelt finally won on the last day of the 2012 season, ESPN made it a national story. That’s tradition. That’s Awesome.
Not only is it the second ever mascot race of all time, starting five years after the Sausage Race, but most people outside of Pittsburgh know what a pierogi is. I’ve been to Pittsburgh, and they do not even eat pierogies there. There are also nothing symmetrical about their costumes, a more loveable imperfection. It is also one of the only races to feature a lady competitor, Jalapeno Hannah. In a city that has not had a winning baseball team since 1992, they made PNC Park one of the funnest places to go watch a baseball game.
These three even travel with their teams so they can face off with each other, nationalizing a mascot event is sweeping the nation. The next big thing? Putting season ticket holders in them like the Twins are doing.
(Photos Courtesy of the Minnesota Twins, Wiki Photos, Brad Mills/US Presswire, and Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)