Mickey Mouse, Ronald McDonald don't make cut

Updated: August 17, 2005, 2:24 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Mascot Hall of Fame has three new members.

The Phoenix Suns Gorilla, the Philadelphia Phillies Phanatic and the San Diego Padres' Famous Chicken were inducted into the inaugural class during a ceremony Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Famous Chicken
The Chicken was a rare bird among mascots.

The three were chosen from a list of 14 finalists that included Mickey Mouse, Ronald McDonald and the Denver Nuggets' Rocky.

"The Gorilla has meant so much to the city of Phoenix and he has taken on a life of his own," Suns owner Robert Sarver, who introduced the Gorilla, told MLB.com. The community loves the Gorilla and we're honored to see him inducted today."

To be eligible, a mascot must have been in existence for at least 10 years; have a major impact on its sport, industry and community; and have a performance that is consistently memorable and groundbreaking.

"When I helped create [the Phanatic] in 1978, I had no idea it would develop like this," Phillies chairman Bill Giles, who introduced the Phanatic, told MLB.com. "The popularity has gone beyond the ballpark and into the marketing and tourism of the city of Philadelphia. It is very surprising and amazing at the same time."

Not everyone was celebrating, however.

"We win the pennant, and they want to make the Chicken bigger than the team," Jack McKeon, who worked in the Padres' front office during the 1980s, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "Our marketing people think he's putting people in the seats. Marketing people thought he was the reason we were putting people in the ballpark. Once you see him 10 or 12 times, come on.

"Fans liked him. The Chicken is all right. Do your act, and get the hell off the field," McKeon said.

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