NPB Mascot donation brings fan experience to Museum
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“Mr. Saijo noticed my interest in American mascots and started bringing me those Japanese mascots,” Wiles said.
Wiles’ donation included mascots that represent 11 NPB teams and two MLB teams. Many of the mascots have similar traits of American mascots. Slyly, the mascot for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, features fluffy hair similar to that of the Phillie Phanatic.
The mascots go well beyond their appearance, though. Museum registrar Peyton Tracy investigated the NPB mascots and found numerous relationships between them.
“The Nippon Professional Baseball mascots are very different from how we have our mascots here I found,” Tracy said. “We’ve got the two from the Yomiuri Giants, and they’re part of a whole family.”
Mr. Giabbit and his daughter Vicky were the two Yomiuri Giant mascots included in the donation. The family totals six members including twin siblings, Mr. Giabbit’s twin brother and a grandfather.
While some MLB mascots have been introduced with parents, such as Wally the Green Monster and his mother Momma Monster, NPB mascot’s relationships extend to opposing teams. Tracy noted that the bird-like mascot Zu-Chan of the Chiba-Lotte Marines, included in the donation, has a ‘crush’ on Buffalo Bell of the Orix Buffaloes.
“Sometimes you collect something, and you can certainly see the cultural value of it, but at your own home you might run out of space, which is basically what happened to me,” Wiles said with a laugh. “So [I’m] happy to support the mission of the Hall of Fame.”
Steven Walters is the 2018 public relations intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development