story by GLENDA WINDERS
Big news from the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting! In August they will be inducting two mascots – Otto the Orange from Syracuse University and Slugger from the Portland (Maine) Sea Dogs, a minor-league baseball team. The official induction will be Aug. 12 at noon, with the celebration lasting from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and including food trucks, artisans and sports memorabilia. The guest host will be Carmen DeFalco, ESPN personality and host of “The Carmen and Jurko Show.”
Otto, whom Syracuse fans say is “zesty, zany and full of heart,” became the school’s mascot in the early 1980s. More than 100 team members have worn the bright-orange costume since then to whip up enthusiasm at games, play tricks, sign autographs and be a positive representative of the school.
Slugger is a grey harbor seal who hails from the cold waters of Casco Bay and has been the Sea Dogs’ mascot since 1994. He has entertained more than 10.5 million fans with his antics, which include a skit at each game where he flips, dances, flips and interacts with fans. He makes some 200 appearances each year, some of them to visit schools and the children’s hospital in his area, and he heads up programs such as “Strike Out Cancer in Kids” and “Slugger’s Reading Challenge.”
The Mascot Hall of Fame is a great summer destination where you can learn, play and have fun. When you’re here you’ll be close to nearby Whiting Lakefront Park, with its Whihala Beach and Whoa Zone, where you can play on inflatables while you splash in the water. Or catch an Oilmen baseball game at the Oil City Stadium.
You’re within walking distance of the historic downtown area, too, with shops where you can browse and restaurants that serve up everything from Caribbean food to Mexican fare and pizzas. Wherever you decide to go and whatever you decide to do here, you’ll be on the unforgettable shore of lovely Lake Michigan.
For more information visit: mascothalloffame.com