With Phillies fans prevented from attending games at Citizens Bank Park, roughly 45,000 seats go empty at every game.
Fortunately, Major League Baseball protocol permits the wackiest mascot in the land to be at games — even if his lack of access to then feels slightly restrict his usual tomfoolery.
“It’s really been strange,” Tom Burgoyne, the 'Best Friend' of the mascot, told KYW Newsradio. “The Phanatic is so used to the crowds and the people and energy.”
To fill that void, Burgoyne explained, the Phanatic has turned to the cardboard cutouts of fans placed in the seats throughout CBP.
“To see all these smiling faces — the Phanatic, before every game, just likes walking around the ballpark and looking at the cardboard cutouts. It’s really cool.”
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And, for some reason, the Phanatic has been very determined to extract some real-life emotion from these inanimate objects.
(Oops. Did I say that out loud?)
“I talk to him every night,” Burgoyne said. “He said, ‘I try to get them going. I’m trying to get them clapping and cheering, and they’re a little stiff.’”
Sometimes, the Phanatic runs into a cutout featuring the logo of the opposing team.
“Frankly, he’s appalled,” Burgoyne said.
The Phanatic has no patience for someone ... or something ... who isn’t on the Phillies' side.
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For everyone else who is on the right side but unable to take in Phillies games in person this year, Burgoyne said the Phanatic feels it’s on him to bring their spirits into the ballpark.
“The Phanatic feels like he’s got this a real responsibility to represent all the fans … so he’s really taking this responsibility seriously and wants to put his best foot forward.”
That's a lot of shoes to fill. Good thing his feet are really big.
If anything, with social distancing in play, he has even more room to pull off his antics.
A post shared by Phillie Phanatic (@philliephanatic) on Aug 9, 2020 at 8:01am PDT
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