Gray Sox Mascot “Shempy” Might Be Given the Boot
Fairfax, VA—The Gray Sox front office announced today that the team’s mascot, “Shempy Sox,” could be replaced after 35 years of service. The mascot, which is a hand puppet crafted from an old gray sock, might be ousted by “Stiffy the Squirrel,” a favorite of team owner, Hiram “Happy” Maloney.
Is Shempy Too Old School?
“Shempy has been a great mascot for decades, but his time has probably passed. He’s not something that can be marketed successfully to children,” said a spokesman for the team’s front office. “We had reports that kids have become increasingly afraid of Shempy. They cower when they see him roaming the stands, either because they can’t identify with sock puppets or his grin remains frozen like some sort of cotton mummy from the laundry crypt. He’s even begun to get hate mail, especially after that incident last summer in the stands.” The incident involved a sock puppeteer hired by the team. The man allegedly had too much to drink and was using Shempy Sox to inappropriately touch several women at the ballpark. An investigation followed, but no charges were filed. The puppeteer was later re-assigned to field crew duties with the team. “He’s fine with work gloves on the job—just not socks that serve as hand puppets,” said the spokesman.
Sox Players Speak Out
The Gray Sox players have mixed feelings about their team mascot. “Shempy’s been nothing but good for my career. He’s given me inspiration,” said team spokesperson, Jimmy “Dinks” Knowlan. “When I was a boy, I played with Shempy Sox hand puppets for hours, just dreaming of the day I could play semi-pro baseball and meet the real Shempy up close. I know he’s not glamorous like other mascots in our league—I guess it’s no secret that I’ve never had any use for Monty the Marmot, the mascot for the 7 Stars—but Shempy is all we’ve ever known, and that’s been good enough for me. I’d miss that old gray sock if he ever went away.”
Stiffy the Squirrel is more marketable, according to many in the Sox front office. “I can see his face on tee shirts, hats, coffee mugs, Frisbees, key chains, bandanas, flags, men’s and women’s apparel, and any other canvas ripe for Gray Sox promotion,” said Maloney.
Stiffy: New Breed of Fun-Loving Squirrel
“Stiffy is lovable and fun, and kids will take to him in a minute,” Maloney continued. “It’s hard to get the warm fuzzies from a gray sock, but a squirrel will make you laugh with his antics, and he’ll warm your heart with how hard he tries. Those characteristics mirror this baseball club, and fans—especially children—will embrace this lovable squirrel.”
Fan Can Decide
The public will get a chance to weigh in. The Gray Sox have announced they will honor a vote by the team’s legion of fans regarding Shempy’s fate.
To vote, simply state right here whether Shempy should stay or go. We will announce results before the team’s opening day, April 6.
(Story by Monty Huekle, a reporter for BBN. This story was not subject to the approval of MSBL or its clubs.)