The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California, is a unique major league ballpark experience … to say the absolute least. The park boasts impressive fake-rock waterfalls and appropriately-timed pyrotechnics and bouncy blonde girls with t-shirt cannons that only reach the expensive seats, and all sorts of new-fangled gadgets and gizmos that create an energetic vibe not unlike the other amusement park they share a city with (that’s the one with The Mouse).
But what is most deeply burned into my memories of Angel Stadium is one frightening ridiculous thing that is at once more frightening and ridiculous that the name of the team. It is:
The Rally Monkey.
Does anyone actually like the Rally Monkey? Wait. Let me collect my thoughts for a moment and rephrase that.
Does anyone actually like the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim? Growing up in SoCal (Southern California, for you non-locals), I don’t think I ever met one self-professing Angels fan. However, as I learned in my undergrad Intro to Logic course, it would be a fallacy to conclude that Angels fans certainly do not exist based on the evidence that I have never met one. And in fact, as I mentioned prior, I have sat through several games at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim California USA, and all of them were exceedingly well-attended by men women and children in red clothes.
So, we may have cleared that up. At least for now. With the help of Jered Weaver, Albert Pujols,
Mark Teixeira, Mike Napoli and Mike Trout, the Wherever Angels of Whateverigiveup are a fun bunch to watch. So this brings me back to my initial question:
The Rally Monkey … what?
And more importantly … why?
The Rally Monkey is a mascot for the LAA team that materializes at Angels home games when the team is behind. In such instances, shown on the jumbotron is a video clip of a monkey jumping around the set to the song “Jump Around,” which is clearly the most clever song choice, and it must have taken months of well-back-to-the-drawing-boards to settle on that one.
Legend has it that this tradition started back in 2000, during a game against the San Francisco Giants. The Angels were down 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning, when two foolish/genius fool/geniuses presented the jumbotron audience with an image of a monkey titled “RALLY MONKEY!”
And the Angels scored two runs. And won the game. And so the craze began. The Rally Monkey phenom was further popularized in 2002 when the Angels took their furry friend to the Big Show, and they won that too.
There comes a deciding time in every man’s life when he must ask himself this question: Do I believe in miracles? Or do I believe in monkeys?
If you’re a baseball fan of SoCal’s other team (no, not that other-other team), sometimes you get both: monkeys and miracles.
And you know what? When that particular primate comes on the jumbotron, you best be jumpin’ around, if only to keep up with the crowd. Fans go bananas. They go ape nuts. For whatever reason, it almost appears as if they actually like the monkey. “Like” is a strong word. Tolerate.
Personally, I can’t get behind the Rally Monkey. For three main reasons:
1. I don’t like monkeys. They cannot be trusted.
2. I don’t like the Angels. This should also be obvious.
3. Stop it. You guys are embarrassing me. For real.
But. I will defend your right to buy overpriced Rally Monkey stuffed animals and t-shirts for your children. And I get it… using an angel as your mascot would be way too controversial. Monkey on.
Do you have a favorite baseball tradition? Is there a particular ghost of baseball past you would like to revisit? Ever wonder why they do what they do, and when they started doing it? If you have a suggestion, question, or submission for Throwback Thursday, contact Elise by tweeting @Elise_Myers.