One of northeast Pa.’s most recognizable baseball mascots is returning for another season. CHAMP, the team’s current mascot, is ready to take on 2013 cheering for the RailRiders, formerly known as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. A newly- named team isn’t the only change to his program this year, he will also be cheering and pumping up fans in a reconstructed stadium.
With opening day less than 40 days away, CHAMP has his hands full. He will make guest appearances during a season packed with events. Thankfully for CHAMP, he is getting a little help from some new friends. The RailRiders plan to add two currently unnamed mascots into the mix to accompany CHAMP and hope to have the names fairly soon.
CHAMP has some history at the stadium. The “bleacher creature” debuted in the summer of 2007 and has appeared at every home game for the team since he started. Following the team through their changes, CHAMP shared his happiness about still being part of the team, “ I was an integral part of the rebranding process,” CHAMP said. “I am extremely proud to now be a RailRider and currently wear the No. 13 on the back of my jersey in recognition of the inaugural 2013 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders season at PNC field.”
Being a mascot may sound like a simple job, but CHAMP shared his busy game days schedule. A day in the shoes of a larger-than-life team fun leader can include paperwork, attending community events, taunting opposing team players, assisting in field activities and posing for pictures. One of the biggest responsibilities of being the lead mascot of the team is raising the fans’ energy levels to new highs.
With a little help from his game- day assistants, more commonly known as the “Pinstripe Patrol,” CHAMP is hard at work with his game- day antics. He shared a few of his common stunts, “I typically make my grand entrance on a four wheeler and have been known to pull off a few tricks on the vehicle from time to time. “
CHAMP and his two new friends will be starring at home games at the newly renovated PNC field in Moosic this year. A ballpark full of excited fans is what any mascot could hope to see at work and CHAMP explained his excitement as he anticipated the start of the season, “The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders have a ton of great events planned for the fans this year, and we’re so excited to see everyone out at the newly renovated PNC Field.”
Catch CHAMP in action on opening day April 4.