The Royal Rogue Guest Essay
Best of the Decade Audio Roundtable
James Phillips on "Behind the Mascot"
Fur and Loathing
YoJo: An Interview with Bromley Lowe
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Fans witnessing Bromley Lowe's final moments as a Major League Baseball mascot saw him taking off his size 22 floppy shoes and leaving them on the pitcher's mound as he exited off the field for the last time on his chopper scooter.
But that wasn't the end for Bromley Lowe as a performer...it was just the beginning.
Gameops.com: Bromley, tell us about your time with the Orioles. Best and worst moments.
Lowe: Well, I suppose I'll begin with the worst because the worst was at my beginning...1994! When I finally was selected as The Oriole Bird, I honestly thought to myself that I would never have to do any other work or do any other job for the rest of my life. Little did I know that the '94 baseball strike was just a few months away, and when that happened, it was really rough for me on many levels. First off, I was being paid per game, and since there wasn't any, I had my income chopped big time! And even though I was still performing as The Bird at outside appearances, I was always a constant target for fans to lash out and tell me how bad baseball was. I remember one Christmas parade was nothing but boos!
That fall, I got a job with a group called The Sports Magic Team entertaining at Washington Capitals games, but what-do-ya-know, hockey went on a lockout in '94, and that job couldn't pay much either. I was so poor! Technically I think I was considered poverty that year.
As far as my best Oriole Bird experience goes, there have been really so many... going to all the All-star games events with all the other MLB mascots, spring training in Ft. Lauderdale, getting a VIP tour of the west wing of White House (Yes, in costume!) ... but there actually are two moments that really stand out. One was being on the field during Cal Ripken's 2131st consecutive game. It honestly had little to do with mascotting but it just felt so historic and surreal. The other was at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York when the Orioles donated a full Oriole Bird costume. There was a small ceremony honoring The Oriole Bird outside the Hall that drew a big crowd, and I just felt so proud of all the work that myself and my co-performers have done over the years.
I should also say that performing at Superbowl XXXV as a Baltimore Ravens mascot was another one of those unforgettable events, too.
Gameops.com: I read about your post game shoe thing….clearly a take-off on the wrestling bit (no)? Are you the first to do this? Should we all be following in your footsteps?
Lowe: Well, as far as I know, I'm the only mascot performer to do this. I didn't think it would be entirely appropriate for me to end my career by ripping off my head, completely disrobing and streaking naked into the dugout. (Although, there were times when I thought about that). I wanted to do something that was somewhat subtle and a bit silly. So, I thought leaving my big size 22 floppy shoes on the pitcher's mound and the end of my last game was a good way to symbolize my finality without hurting the continuity of The Oriole Bird for future performers.
To be honest, I think it would be great for other sports mascot performers to end their own careers this way, but we'll see. It's always up to the individual or the organization.
Gameops.com: How long have you been working with YoJo?
Lowe: On Read Across America Day, (March 2nd) of 2000 my independent character now known as YoJo did his first school comedy shows at my wife's elementary school in Beltsville, Maryland under the name "Fuzzball" ... We had some trademark issues with the name Fuzzball, so we had to do a name change a few years ago.
Gameops.com: Tell us about your school program.
Lowe: YoJo's school assembly shows are awesome! They're the most rewarding work I've ever done, and I actually prefer this venue to a sports setting. It's sort of like this ... Just imagine the high-energy and animation of a top-notch mascot. Then add a whole van-load of over sized props, banners, sound effects and audio equipment. Then also include an additional actor to enhance the comedy and entertainment. Then combine all that with a hilarious 45 minute award-winning script dealing with educational issues ... Put all of that all on stage in front of an audience of hundreds of energized school kids and you can start to see what we're all about!
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