This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Video: Where Did the Dancing Dodger Bear Mascot Come From? [Updated]
In the bottom of the eighth inning, there was a glimpse of someone dressed in a bear mascot with a Dodger shirt dancing on top of the Cardinals first-base dugout. It looked like the dancing bear was apprehended, but the action on the field was too much for Vin Scully to bother with narrating. Carl Crawford has just hit a one-out single, and the Cardinals made a pitching change with Mark Ellis at bat.
Thanks to an intrepid fan, here is what happened:
So where did this bear come from? Cue the X-Files music. Here's my conspiracy theory.
Lon Rosen currently is the Chief Marketing Officer of the Dodgers. He is probably best known as Magic Johnson's agent and was key in getting Johnson a part of the current Dodger ownership group.
Rosen was also the CMO for the Dodger back in 2004 when Frank McCourt came to town. Here's an excerpt of an LA Times story dated June 1, 2004:
"I think two-thirds of the Major League Baseball teams have mascots," Rosen said Monday. "The Angels have a mascot, the Yankees don't have a mascot, Philadelphia has a famous mascot, but I don't know if it will work. We're going to take a look at it and talk to people about it."
The screams from fans were immediate. The subject was soon dropped, and Rosen left the Dodgers in 2006.
But here we are, the Dodgers trailing in a playoff series needing to win at home. "I think realistically you feel like it's a must-win," manager Don Mattingly admitted after the game. With the proliferation of viral videos and guerrilla marketing over the past five years, why not take a stab at testing out a mascot in a live setting?
You see the crowd reaction there. The fans liked the bear and urged security to let it roam free. So why not have the bear for all games? With cheerleaders?
The Dodgers denied any involvement by Rosen with any of this. But, as they said in X-Files, the truth is out there.
Update: KTLA found the guy: Mark Monninger. He was forced to sign a waiver saying he will not return to Dodger Stadium. Or so they would have us believe.