In honor of Opening Day, I thought I’d post about the best opening tradition in baseball. The Reds used to always be the first game in town, until sometime in the late 90’s. I live in Chicago now, so going to Cincinnati’s Opening Day isn’t very realistic any more. Plus, the Reds aren’t going to be very good this year, so I might as well do some kind of Reds post now.
I posted about Mr. Red last year after going to the All-Star game. The Reds have 4 mascots, so even after this post, I’ll only be halfway done with all those mascots after this post!
Mascot/Team: Mr. Redlegs (Cincinnati Reds, 2007-current)
Background: The Reds first came up with a mascot known as Mr. Red in 1953 as part of the Crosley Field All-star game logo. The character with a baseball head and a handlebar mustache and a bat. The same character then appeared on either a primary or secondary logo for the team from 1954 through 1967.
However, this mustachioed gentleman isn’t the guy really known as Mr. Red – that was the clean-shaven mascot that appeared on the “Running Man” logo that started in 1968, became the primary logo in 1972, and held that distinction for 20 years. Running Man still functioned as an alternate logo until 2007.
Mr. Red aka Running Man retired in 2007 to make way for the return of Mr. Redlegs (and female mascot Rosie Red). These days you can find Mr. Redlegs at every Reds game, adorned in an old school Reds uniform with the striped cap that was replicated in last year’s all-star game.
Outside of baseball: Like any good mascot, Mr. Redlegs hates the offseason and losing seasons. Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight for the latter. He also doesn’t like strikeouts, and his favorite song is “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”.
Baseball card connection: There aren’t too many cards of Mr. Redlegs, probably due to the fact that the Reds basically have 4 mascots (and maybe more if you count Schottzie the dog from the infamous Reds’ owner). He was featured on a Topps team card in 2009, and also on the Reds’ Mascot cards from last year’s All-Star Fan fest giveaway.
I got Gapper and Mr. Redlegs himself when I was down there!