The 1979 Yankees had their fair share of characters — Lou Piniella and Reggie Jackson in the outfield, Thurman Munson behind the plate, Billy Martin in the dugout.
But one character from that season is now a distant memory. He made his debut that year, and instead of turning into the sensation he was projected to be, he simply faded away, shunned by the team who gave him his shot.
No, we're not talking about some long-forgotten draft bust. We're talking about the short-lived and now- defunct Yankees mascot, the Yankee "Dandy."
According to the Wall Street Journal, Dandy was first created as an attempt to capture the success the Philadelphia Phillies had with their now-famous mascot, the "Phillie Phanatic." The Yankees even turned to the same company who created the Phanatic in 1978, with the hope they could duplicate that success.
Acme Mascots — the brainchild of Wayde Harrison and his wife, Bonnie — set to work to create a character that screamed Yankee.
What resulted was Dandy. Sporting a pear-shaped body, a bright red Thurman Munson mustache and a big bat, the 7-foot Dandy was ready to make his debut.
Then Lou Piniella happened.
While playing the Seattle Mariners in the Kingdome, the visiting San Diego Chicken was placing a fake hex on Yankees pitcher Ron Guidry. Lou Piniella, not digging the act, chased after the chicken and ultimatley tossed his own glove at the mascot out of pure rage.
It was the beginning of the end for Dandy after that. In support of his players, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner declared that mascots do not belong in baseball, leaving Dandy and his creators out.
"It was so unbelievable," Bonnie Erickson told the Wall Street Journal. "We just sat there in front of the TV with our mouths open. Did he forget or something? I can remember hearing him on the news: 'Those things don't belong on the field.'"
And really, who could ever see a mascot fitting in with the Yankees? The already have an annoying clown, better known as Alex Rodriguez.
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