Philadelphia Phillies File Lawsuit to Prevent Phanatic From Cheering for Other Teams

Hunter Martin/Stringer/Getty Images
Hunter Martin/Stringer/Getty Images

Even people who don't follow baseball would likely recognize the mascot of Philadelphia's baseball team. The Phillie Phanatic—a furry, green, bird-like creature who's been entertaining Phillies fans for decades—consistently ranks among the most popular mascots in the MLB. Now, NPR reports that the Philadelphia Phillies have filed a lawsuit against the character's creators to stop the Phanatic from becoming a free agent.

In the 1970s, the mascots for the Phillies were the fairly forgettable 18th-century siblings Philadelphia Phil and Philadelphia Phyllis. Looking for a change, the baseball team commissioned the New York design firm Harrison and Erickson—whose previous credits included Muppets and the Montreal Expos' Youppi!—to craft a new character to personify Phillies fans. The energetic, passionate, frequently misbehaved Phillie Phantic debuted at Veterans Stadium in April 1978.

More than 40 years later, creators Wayde Harrison and Bonnie Erickson (the puppet designer behind Miss Piggy and Statler and Waldorf) are threatening to make the Phanatic a free agent that cheers for teams other than the Phillies, according to a lawsuit filed by the Philadelphia baseball team. The team claims it paid the design firm $200,000 by the end of 1980, and that a separate licensing deal was struck in 1984 when terms were renegotiated for $215,000. That 1984 agreement, the lawsuit alleges, gave the Phillies the rights to the Phillie Phanatic in perpetuity.

Harrison and Erickson allegedly disagree. According to the lawsuit, the creators sent the Phillies a notice saying they would forbid the team from using the Phanatic's likeness past June 15, 2020 unless a new licensing deal was agreed upon. They also apparently threatened to shop the mascot around to other teams.

This isn't the first time the Phillie Phanatic has been involved in legal trouble. In 2010, the Phanatic was working a private gig when he decided to surprise a woman by tossing her into a pool. She sued, targeting several men known to wear the costume at the time because she didn't know who had been behind the mask.

[h/t NPR]

The Red Sox’s Historic 19-3 Win Over the Yankees Saw Boston's Highest Run Total in Their 117-Year Rivalry

Adam Glanzman / Getty Images
Adam Glanzman / Getty Images

Although the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox have faced each other in more than 2200 games over the course of their 117-year rivalry, the score from Thursday night's game proves that there’s still plenty of history yet to be made between the two iconic ball clubs in 2019.

Earlier this season, the teams took part in MLB’s first-ever series in London, with the Yankees winning both games. Though the June 29-30 series produced a staggering 50 combined runs between the teams—setting a two-game record for the rivalry in the process—a more lopsided bit of history happened last night when the Sox bludgeoned the Bronx Bombers 19-3 at Fenway Park.

If you’re into baseball trivia, that’s the most runs the Red Sox have ever scored against the Yankees in a single game, with seven coming in the first inning alone (which also tied a 1989 first-inning record against New York). That 16-run difference is also tied for the highest margin of victory over the Yankees in a game—the Sox previously beat the Yanks 17-1 two times in 2005.

New York made even more dubious history last night: The 12 earned runs given up by starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was the most against the Sox since the stat was officially recognized back in 1913. (Earned runs is a stat that counts runs given up by a pitcher without the help of an error by a fielder.)

Even all those runs still slightly trail behind the Yankees's high-water mark for the rivalry: Back in 2000, New York went into Fenway and beat the Sox 22-1. The two teams have 11 more games against each other before the start of the playoffs, so there is still plenty of time to break even more records. 

CamelBak’s Ingenious Reign Sport Bottle Lets You Douse Yourself With Water When It Gets Too Hot


During virtually any activity on a blistering summer afternoon, it’s almost impossible to resist the urge to drench yourself in the cold, revitalizing contents of your water bottle. If you do this with a normal bottle, however, you might end up soaking the ground more than yourself. Enter CamelBak’s new Reign Sport Bottle, which is designed to give you the on-the-go miniature shower you need to make sure your walk in the park is a walk in the park.

The Easy Squeeze Jet Valve has three settings: Completely closed to prevent spillage; open to one stream of water for drinking; and open to several streams of water to pour on your face, your head, and/or your friend. With the high-flow stream, your mouth doesn’t even have to touch the water bottle, which is perfect for germ-wary companions. There’s also a grip pad to prevent condensation or sweat from causing the bottle to slip from your hands.

CamelBak Reign Sport Bottle

It’s engineered from CamelBak’s signature Trutaste polypropylene with Hydroguard, so your water will taste like water, not chemicals or plastic. Speaking of chemicals, it’s BPA-, BPS-, and BPF-free, so your environmental conscience can breathe a sigh of relief, too. And if you already own a Podium or Peak Fitness bottle from CamelBak, feel free to use this tri-mode cap on it, too.

If you’ve watched any outdoor, hot-weather sports games, you might’ve noticed that athletes often douse themselves with water from their bottles, and it’s definitely true that the Reign Sport Bottle was developed with sports in mind. But the sun doesn’t discriminate, and even stationary sunbathers can make use of such a versatile tool.

You can purchase the $15 bottle in a lime green/sky blue hybrid from Amazon, or in red, black, orange, royal blue, navy blue, or forest green from the CamelBak online store.

Just remember to wash it daily.