Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Article excerpt

Today's quick query: They dress up as dogs, squirrels, dinosaurs and sea serpents. They pester opposing players, poke fun at umpires and lead cheers for the home team. Who are they?

If your answer was "World Wrestling Federation members," you get the gong. If you guessed "GEORGE STEINBRENNER and MARGE SCHOTT," you were close but no panatela.

But if you answered "minor-league baseball team mascots," proceed to the head of the class.

CINDY MARTINEZ RHODES of the Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise helps put mascot mania into perspective: "Think Barney at the ballpark. Chuck E. Cheese without the pizza. Mickey Mouse minus the rides. You get the picture. And so have many of the general managers in the (Class A) California League and throughout minor-league baseball."

Case in point: Tremor the dinosaur. A real mover and shaker, Tremor resides at The Epicenter, home to the wildly successful Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. In three years of existence, the Quakes have shattered a number of minor-league attendance records, and they attribute a large part of their success to Tremor.

Tremor's earth-shaking success has, naturally, produced emulation. Over in San Bernardino, that means the Spirit Bug. Chuck Sanders has a wife, a full-time job and two children that love the fact that Dad is the Spirit Bug.

"When the (Spirit Bug) head's in the house, my 2-year-old daughter will run by it and call it Daddy," Sanders said.

Hmmm, sounds as if there's potential here for a sort of Pocahontas-Lion King movie starring KEVIN COSTNER and called "Dancing With Spirit Bugs."

Tennis star STEFFI GRAF became so bored waiting for MONICA SELES - or GODOT - to show that she took up fashion as a hobby, theorizes ED MOORE, wordsmith for the Newport News (Va.) Daily Press.

Her venture into the world of denim, decolletage and dollars gives rise to the question, can other athletes get in on this gig? …

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