Who Do Mascots Look Up To? We Still Don't Know : Vox Politics On the road in Indiana, Take Me To Your Leader learns the challenges of interviewing a baseball mascot.

Who Do Mascots Look Up To? We Still Don't Know

The Gary Railcats, northwest Indiana's beloved Minor League baseball team, have made it to the playoffs. The stadium, situated near the US Steel works, was packed with fans yesterday afternoon. We stopped by for a couple of innings to watch their game against the Joilet Jackhammers.

The general manager of the stadium says running the place is like throwing 48 parties a year. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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David Gilkey/NPR

We profiled a few of the stadium employees -- including the general manager and a vendor named Ms. Fantastic -- for a piece today on All Things Considered. But we were bummed that we didn't have time to include a conversation we had with Railcats junior mascot, Rascal the Cat.

Rascal the Cat (AKA Antonio Taylor, 17) knows no speed limit on his tricycle. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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David Gilkey/NPR

Even though we weren't able to include our interview with Rascal in the piece, we did learn some valuable lessons from the experience. For example:

Lesson 1
Mascots have large, fake heads, and microphones don't pick up voices very well through 4 inches of foam and fur.

Lesson 2
Mascots aren't supposed to talk. A talking mascot is apparently very scary to a small child.

I'd like to submit the following transcript of the interview as evidence of the challenges we confronted in recording this Minor League baseball mascot:

David: How hot is it in there?

Rascal: Enough to get you sweating. There'll be a lot of sweat when I finish.

David: How many times do you this?

Rascal: I do it every game. Sometimes it's fun when you get a lot of crowd. When it's boring you get frustrated.

David: Do you ever look at pictures of yourself doing this and --

Rascal: Yeah, I look at pictures all the time. I've got a couple in the dressing room right now. I look at them like -- I can't believe that's what I do.

David: And so what are you riding here?

Rascal: Just like a little tricycle.

David: Did you have to train to do this?

Rascal: In real life, my daddy is Rusty. The person actually doing Rusty is my father.
(Note: Rusty is the other, more senior Railcats mascot.)

David: Did he teach you to do this?

Rascal: Just about.

David: What advice did he give you?

Rascal: All he said was act unusual, kind of funny, do things you wouldn't do in person.

David: We're talking to people about people they look up to in their lives. Who would you say you look up to most in your life?

Rascal: Well, the other day we had the famous chicken in here. I kind of look up to him right about now. The funny egg chicken. The San Diego Chicken.

David: The San Diego Chicken was here?

Rascal: Yeah.

David: What about in real life? You were talking about your dad...

Rascal: We're gonna have to do this over here -- cause I'm not supposed to talk.

David: Oh, I got you. You mean the kids are wondering why you're talking?

Rascal: Yeah.

David: Yeah, we don't want to scare the kids. Thank you very much.