Wally the Green Monster
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|Wally the Green Monster|
|Team||Boston Red Sox|
|Origin of name||the Green Monster|
|First seen||April 13, 1997|
Wally the Green Monster is the official mascot for the Boston Red Sox. His name is derived from the Green Monster, the nickname of the 37-foot 2-inch wall in left field at Fenway Park. Wally debuted on April 13, 1997 to the chagrin of many older Red Sox fans. Although he was a big hit with children, older fans did not immediately adopt him as part of the franchise. As of 2009, Wally has become more accepted by Red Sox fans of all ages, largely due to broadcaster Jerry Remy creating stories about him and sharing them during televised games.
According to the Red Sox, Wally the Green Monster has long been a resident of Fenway Park, residing in the Green Monster wall since 1947. Wally has seen many legendary outfielders (and even a few National Baseball Hall of Famers) play Left Field and master the infamous "Green Monster" at Fenway. In 1997, Wally emerged from the wall to everyone's surprise on Opening Day. After 15 years, Wally has become a family favorite and entertains the crowds of fans who come to Fenway to see the Red Sox play. He wears Red Sox Jersey #97, indicating the Year of his emergence from the Wall, and his trusty Team-Issued Size 37 ballcap is never far from his green head.
In his spare time Wally likes to play catch with the Red Sox players, read his favorite book "Hello, Wally" written by his good friend and NESN Red Sox Broadcaster Jerry Remy, and sneak into the concession stands when no one is looking to grab a bite - or more, to eat. He prepares for every Red Sox game by eating a good meal, watching batting practice, and tuning into Red Sox Pregame as he ties up his shoes and grabs his trusty Red Sox flag.
As pregame starts, Wally is on the field greeting fans near Field Level by taking pictures, signing autographs and sneaking in a kiss or two to the many fans of Red Sox Nation. After photo ops with some of Fenway's special guests of the game, he can be seen waving his flag and cheering on the Red Sox as the starting lineups are announced. The National Anthem is performed for all 37,000+ fans at Fenway and Wally, along with his special friend of the game, yell every baseball fans two favorite words, "PLAY BALL" and the game is ready to begin.
Wally is a busy monster throughout the game. From doing seat visits for some special guests, to jumping up on the dugout to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch, Wally stays plenty busy meeting and greeting the fans of Red Sox Nation. And on weekends, Wally can be seen out on Yawkey Way taking pictures with fans who visit the "street fair atmosphere" of Wally's World around the Third Inning of the ballgame.
Some of Wally's memorable moments of being the Red Sox Mascot have come away from Fenway. Whether it is traveling to Fort Myers, Florida and jetBlue Park for Red Sox spring training or visiting other cities for special events, Wally is a well traveled monster. For example, this last December Wally was invited to Washington, D.C. to perform with Smokey Robinson in a tribute to a Red Sox favorite, and Music Legend, Neil Diamond (Writer/Performer of "Sweet Caroline") at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. When he was told that President Obama, his family, Mr. Diamond and many other celebrities would be in attendance, Wally knew he could not do it alone. He made some calls and brought 100 members of Red Sox Nation to Washington to perform on stage alongside him. Wally also travels to the Major League Baseball All Star Game every year to meet up with his furry friends from all over Major League Baseball for various fan-fests, signings and gatherings.
Wally loves to meet new people and visit the various parts of Red Sox Nation. He can be rented by visiting the team's official website for various events.
Wally has an ongoing rivalry with Tampa Bay Rays' mascot Raymond. Before the Red Sox play a series in Tampa Bay, Raymond typically attacks or pranks either Wally or the visiting broadcast booth where the miniature Wally stays with Remy and Don Orsillo. Raymond's more publicized attacks have involved running Wally over with a four-wheeler and hanging over 40 miniature Raymond dolls in the visiting broadcasters' booth.
Another rivalry that Wally takes part in every year is the competition between himself and his Fort Myers Spring Training Counterpart, T.C. Bear of the Minnesota Twins for the All Star Game Mascot Home Run Derby Crown. T.C. Bear got the better of the competition for the first couple years, but Wally struck back in 2011 with a laser-show of his own to bring the crown back to Fenway.
Facts About Wally
- On Kid's Opening Day in 1997, Wally appeared on the field to greet younger fans at Fenway Park and threw the ceremonial first pitch.
- Wally plush toys, hats, baseballs, bats and pennants have been given out to young fans at home games.
- Dustin Pedroia "borrowed" the phrase "Laser-Show" from a prior conversation with Wally in the batting cage. Pedroia was off hitting "Cage Bombs" at the Spring Training facility in Ft Myers when Wally dropped the infamous "laser-show" line referring to Pedroia's hitting. Pedroia liked the phrase so much he later used it in a press conference with Boston media.
- Remy has discussed Wally's fictitious adventures during Red Sox broadcasts since 2002. During that time, Remy has had a miniature Wally doll sitting in a miniature white Adirondack chair in front of him in the booth, which has been known to sit upside down during rallies. Remy has written five books, all published by Mascot Books,Hello Wally, Coast to Coast with Wally the Green Monster, 'A Season with Wally the Green Monster, Wally the Green Monster and his World Tour, and Wally the Green Monster and His Journey Through Red Sox Nation! A Sixth Book was added to the Wally Collection in 2012 in honor of the Fenway 100 Celebration, Wally the Green Monster and His Journey Through Time written by current Red Sox Second Baseman, Dustin Pedroia.
- Wally makes appearances at many of the charities and organizations in which the Red Sox are involved, particularly the Jimmy Fund and the Boys and Girls Club of America.
- David "Big Papi" Ortiz came to Boston and had a break out year in 2003 with the Red Sox. Ron Jackson was credited with helping turn David into the slugger he is today, but it was actually Wally telling Ortiz about his secret for hitting homers. The Trademark Papi Spit Into the Batting Gloves was born.
- Wally's Build-A-Bear Workshop isn't at Fenway Park, but at the Build-A-Bear store in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Wally is the first mascot to have a year-round store.
- Wally over the years has had a regular cast of characters join him at Fenway Park: The Infamous "Lefty" and "Righty" - Retired, Momma Monster, Wally's Mother who appears on Mother's Day (much to Youk's delight) and Various Boston Pro/Collegiate Mascots from around the City.
- Wally has appeared in two of ESPN's "This is SportsCenter" commercials. In the first he was operating the TelePrompTer while ESPN anchors Scott Van Pelt and Rich Eisen struggled to read what he had typed. In the second, Red Sox player David Ortiz put on a New York Yankees hat to break it in for Jorge Posada when Wally, walking by, became visibly shocked into dropping his papers and dismissing Ortiz's attempts to explain.
- Wally is the ONLY Mascot to have a Dunkin Donuts Coolatta Drink named after him. Blue Raspberry and Orange Coolatta blended together makes the "Wally Coolatta." The combination creates a deep green color identical to Wally's well-known green hue.
- Wally once pitched in a Wiffleball Game against a bunch of Yankees fans. He tied Roger Clemens' strikeout record of 20 in a game using nothing but the Knuckleball Tim Wakefield taught him. The game was only 7 innings long and the last batter walked off the field in shame before he was able to be struck out to make it 21.
- Wally was the 2011 All Star Game Mascot Home Run Derby Champion, and looks to repeat despite T.C. Bear and Raymond's claims to having the 2012 title already in the bag.
- Wally is an exceptional baseball player, but a little-known fact is that Wally can actually Ice Skate also. Fans at Frozen Fenway 2012 got to see Wally on Ice for the First Time in front of a crowd.
- Wally was named #5 Mascot in ALL of Sports by The New York Post in April 2012.
- Wally wore a beard for the World Series victory parade on November 2, 2013. He rode on a flatbed truck with the Dropkick Murphys.
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