The Arkansas Travelers have entered a worthy bid for the most horrifying mascot by scurrying up Otey the Swamp Possum for the 2014 season.
Otey was introduced alongside Ace the Horse early this week after the minor-league team’s last mascot, a mare named Shelley, was put out to pasture in 2013 after 17 seasons.
According to the Travs’ press release, Ace is a strapping pitcher whose favorite former team player is Los Angeles Angel Jered Weaver. Fellow Southeast Arkansas native Otey (named after former Traveler infielder and groundskeeper R.C. Otey) "grew up watching Travs games with his family from underneath the stands at Little Rock’s Ray Winder Field."
Having a buff-looking horse to hoof up support for a sporting team is one thing. But an overall-wearing swamp possum whose main line of defense is to "play dead" is quite another, as seen in this KARK news report:
Arkansans have spoken out that they are decidedly not cool with the Travs’ self-proclaimed good luck charm.
KARK’s Facebook page was filled with comments such as, "Our state took 4 steps back with this fiasco," "How are we ever going to overcome the Hillbilly Image with this??" and "Looks like the Chucky cheese guy fell on hard times."