Monday Mascots #2: The Rally Monkey

22 06 2015

Rally Monkey

Since I am in the midst of posting about the the 2002 season and playoff review – this seemed as good a time as any to do my 2nd mascot post about the Angels’ Rally Monkey that became famous during their run to the title that year.  My first mascot was a kid who acted as Babe Ruth’s mascot for home games in the 1920’s – so I still haven’t done one you would think of as a “traditional” mascot (i.e., a costumed character like the San Diego Chicken or Mr. Met).  But these “organic mascots” are pretty fun!

Mascot/Team:   Rally Monkey (Anaheim Angels, 2000-current)

Torii Hunter Rally Monkey

With Torii Hunter

Background:   In June 2000, the Angels were in a nail-biter in Interleague play against the San Francisco Giants.  Down a run at home in the 9th inning, the scoreboard operators posted a picture of the monkey from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.  To the delight of the home crowd, the Halos pieced together a true rally – a walk and 3 singles, to earn a comeback win against star closer Robb Nen.  The monkey became so popular that the Angels bought their own Capuchin monkey to help inspire the crowd at home games.

The Rally Monkey (along with young fire-baller Francisco Rodriguez), became a national story as the Angels rolled off multiple comebacks in the 2002 playoffs.  It was certainly a gimmick – but one that was representative the true home field advantage that had popped up in Anaheim.  The monkey gained iconic status at the end of game 6 in the 2002 World Series.  The Angels were down 5-0 going into the bottom of the 7th, with just a 3% chance of winning according to baseball probability score.  But the Rally Monkey doesn’t know anything about advanced sabermetrics, or even about basic statistics.  The Angels scored 3 runs on a Scott Spiezio homer in the bottom of the inning, and scored 3 more in the bottom of the 8th to cap an incredible comeback victory.  They shut down the Giants the next night to take their only World Series title.

Rally Monkey plush

Since then, the Rally Monkey has maintained its presence at the Big A, coming on most often to “Jump Around” from House of Pain.  Plush versions of the monkey are popular sales items at the team shop, and it’s edited in to various films like Jurassic Park, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on the scoreboard whenever an Angels’ rally is needed.  The monkey has its own Facebook page and twitter account.

Outside of baseball:   As mentioned, the Rally Monkey originally featured on the Jumbotron at Angel Stadium was the character Spike from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

Capture

The monkey has also been featured on a “This is SportsCenter” commercial.  I don’t particularly like the Angels, but this is pretty hilarious if you ask me.

Baseball card connection:  I was pretty surprised, but there hasn’t been a card of the Rally Monkey made yet.  Between the Topps Team sets and the inserts in Opening Day, I would have thought at least one would have been made by now.

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