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The history of sports mascots

What would a sports team even be without a mascot?

Kansas City Royals v Tampa Bay Rays Brian Blanco/Getty Images

On this week’s episode of The History of Fun, Russ teaches us about the very, very bizarre world of sports mascots. From costumed creatures to the real animals trotted out at games (long live Handsome Dan!), mascots are as important to a team as the players themselves. But they weren’t always cute and cuddly: Sometimes, back in the day, a mascot could be an actual, human little boy ... one born with teeth. Yeesh.

Special thanks to everyone who participated in our new segment, Reader Only Memories, wherein we share listener stories about the topic at hand. Here is the full thread of responses:

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New to The History of Fun? Every Monday, Russ Frushtick, Allegra Frank and Chris Plante explore the hidden backstories behind the things we love to do. Ever wonder where dodgeball came from? Or the origins of the creepy Chuck E. Cheese robots? Or how about why Beanie Babies exploded and then vanished into the sands of time? We’ll seek to answer those questions and have some fun along the way! Subscribe and join us — we’d love to have you.

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