Today's Moment: 5/19/2017
How Milt Mason Lives Forever
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The story of Bernie Brewer is a great one and it starts with a fan named Milt Mason.
The Milwaukee Brewers’ mascot, Bernie, is hard to miss. With his striking yellow hair and exaggerated mustache, he looks like an old-timey baseball player in cartoon form. But this larger-than-life mascot was created in a real fan’s image, a one Mr. Milt Mason. (from Great Big Story)
Bernie started not as a large foam headed mascot with good hygiene, but rather a 69 year old retired aviation engineer (who I’ve heard, but haven’t confirmed, helped to build the original County Stadium). This aviation engineer, Milt Mason, so loved the Brewers that to combat struggling attendance numbers during their first Milwaukee season, he stubbornly vowed (with a nudge from his friend, Marvin Milkes, the Brewers’ Operations Director) to sit on top of the scoreboard (81 steps high) until attendance at a home game reached 40,000 (at first his goal was a sellout but he eventually became more realistic).
He was even given a specially constructed trailer with a 21-inch-color TV, a gas stove, an exercise bike, a refrigerator, and two telephones for talking to fans and the media respectively. Opposing coaches even accused him of stealing signs from his trailer with binoculars. His goal was accomplished on Bat Day, August 16, 1970, when a crowd of 44,387 showed up just to get Milt down from the scoreboard (or wanted free bats).
Nowadays teams spend a lot of money concocting these backstories and faux mascot origin stories....this shows being organic is sometimes just better.
Not only is his backstory great and his famous slide following home runs know world wide, but Bernie also enjoys one of the largest and strongest mascot followings on Twitter (his Klout Score is 78, which is pretty far above any other pro sport mascot we track). The reason (aside from his beer-swilling greatness) is the the team uses this as their primary promotional and marketing twitter...which is both rare, sensible and cool.
...and the slide thing always gets people talking.
All week we featured Mascot Moments in the Water Cooler. Be sure to click a star rating, leave a comment or submit one to us so we can share how your favorite mascot got people talking. Don't forget your mascot has the power to get people talking and should be trying to accomplish that every night. Use social media to spread the word and get people talking about what they did last night.
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