The Chicago Cubs have fallen from the ranks of MLB teams without a mascot, leaving the Angels, Dodgers, and Yankees remaining. On Monday, the Cubs announced that they'd be introducing a mascot for the 2014 season: Clark (named after Clark Street, one of the roads bordering Wrigley Field) will debut at a charity event on Monday night and make appearances throughout the season.
The bear-cub mascot will appear with more than a dozen Cubs prospects enrolled in the team's rookie development program, underway this week in Chicago. The goal of Monday's appearance is for the players and Clark to help reinforce positive activities being taught to children with autism and other developmental challenges.
The Cubs say Clark will be a champion for Cubs Charities' mission of targeting improvements in health and wellness, fitness and education for children, and families at risk. Young fans will see the mascot at schools during Cubs Caravan or "Cubs on the Move" fitness program visits; hospital appearances; and other family-focused events, such as the upcoming Cubs Convention.
The Cubs say the mascot will not be on top of the dugout between innings, tossing T-shirts or hot dogs into the stands, and it won't disrupt the game. Instead, Clark will greet fans as they enter Wrigley Field, and also stop by the ballpark's "First Timers Booth" to welcome new guests. On family Sundays, the mascot will help kids run the bases after the game.
You know what? I don't think this is necessarily a terrible thing, rage from Cubs fans not withstanding. Anything that the Cubs can do to make young fans smile in the community without taking away from the product on the field is probably for the best. Now, if Clark shows up on Wrigley's new Jumbotron trying to get fans to make noise…then we might have a problem.
But then again, my views don't represent those of the long-suffering Cubs fanbase. They're going bananas on Twitter. Maybe you should go with their opinion instead of mine.
Oh, and Clark has a Twitter account too.
Still figryuing out how 2 tyype with these big pawz. Will gett lessons from @Cubs. Come back soon!!
— Clark the Cub (@ClarktheCub) January 13, 2014