Miami Maniac

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Miami Maniac
University University of Miami
Conference ACC
Description Anthropomorphic with a head resembling the Phillie Phanatic. Orange and green colored.
First seen 1982

The Miami Maniac, often shortened to The Maniac, is the official mascot of the University of Miami Baseball program. Although Sebastian the Ibis is the official mascot of most University of Miami sports, the Maniac is the only mascot which performs at Hurricane baseball games. Created in 1982 by visionary College Baseball Hall of Fame head coach Ron Fraser in 1982 and originally performed by John Routh, the Miami Maniac has been a constant at Mark Light Field ever since. Some believe that the mascot idea was modeled after the original Orofino High School Maniacs, from the small town of Orofino, Idaho. The Maniac mascot was used there many decades prior, and has been the target of much scrutiny due to the high school's proximity adjacent to an Idaho State mental hospital. More recently, the mascot received national attention after Idaho State officials proposed adding the Maniac mascot to an Idaho vehicle license plate.

Although primarily associated with the Miami Hurricanes' baseball team, the Maniac has performed at other sporting events including minor league baseball games and the College World Series. In 1985, the Maniac was "married" in a wedding broadcast to a national television audience on ESPN. The maniac has an anthropomorphic body with a head which resembles the Phillie Phanatic. The Maniac sports orange fur on most of his body with patches of green on his head and nose. He usually wears a University of Miami baseball jersey with the number 1/2 on it.

History[edit]

The history of the Miami Maniac starts out at the University of South Carolina. An undergraduate student named John Routh had helped create the South Carolina Gamecocks' mascot Cocky. Routh's performance as Cocky at Gamecock baseball games had made such a favorable impression that he was invited to the 1981 College World Series to perform as the Series' official mascot. One of the coaches at the World Series that year was University of Miami head coach Ron Fraser.[1] Fraser was always looking for opportunities to promote Hurricane baseball and college baseball in general and decided to create a mascot specifically for Hurricane baseball.[2]

The following year, Fraser and a major University donor helped create the Miami Maniac, which was inspired in part by the Philly Phanatic.[3] Fraser decided to introduce the Maniac during the Miami-FSU series that year and invited Routh down from South Carolina to show students how to work a crowd. At the end of the season, which was the Hurricanes' first World Series Championship, Fraser offered Routh a permanent position as Assistant Director of Marketing which included performing as both the Miami Maniac and Sebastian the Ibis.[1] Routh had just graduated from South Carolina and accepted the position.[3] During his tenure at the University, Routh created many of the cheers now associated with University of Miami athletics- the "C-A-N-E-S... Canes!" cheer was originally one he developed in character as the Maniac which was eventually picked up on by fans at Miami Hurricane football games.[4]

Wedding[edit]

In March 1985, the Miami Maniac was "married" to Mrs. Maniac, who was performed by Nancy Vasquez, in a ceremony during a game between the Hurricanes and the Maine Black Bears.[5][6] The fourteen-minute ceremony was broadcast in its entirety live to a national audience on ESPN.[3][7] and was conducted by longtime Miami Hurricane baseball and football announcer Jay Rokeach.[3] Sebastian the Ibis, the mascot of other Miami Hurricane sporting events, was the Maniac's best man.[3] Others in attendance included the Budweiser Bud Man, McDonald's Grimace, and McGruff the Crime Dog.[3][6]

Other events[edit]

In addition to performing at Miami Hurricane baseball games and other university functions, the Maniac also performs at other sporting events and charity events. The Maniac has appeared at various minor league baseball games throughout Florida and has entertained in 49 states as well as Europe and Japan.[5][8]

From 1983 through 1991, the Maniac was the official mascot of the NCAA Division 1 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, although the character had to wear a neutral jersey during each series to avoid favoritism towards the 'Canes when they were a participant.[3][8]

Appearance[edit]

The Miami Maniac is anthropomorphic with a head resembling Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies mascot, the Philly Phanatic. The Maniac's fur is primarily orange with flashes of green, which are the Hurricanes' official colors. During most University of Miami games, the Maniac will wear a Hurricane baseball jersey, although he has been known to dress in other outfits for special occasions, such as during the 1988 Winter Olympics in which he "performed" a different winter sport each night.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "John Routh '82". My Carolina Alumni Association. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  2. ^ "Two mascots, one goal: Get fans pumped". TheMiamiHurricane.com. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Hurricane Spotlight: John Routh". Miami Hurricanes Athletics. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  4. ^ "Interview with John Routh". procanes.com. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  5. ^ a b "Former UM Baseball Coach Ron Fraser's Legacy Continues". The Atlantic Coast Conference. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  6. ^ a b "The Miami Maniac Gets Married 1985". UM Sports Hall of Fame Newsletter. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  7. ^ "Happy 25th Anniversary 1985 Miami Hurricanes". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  8. ^ a b "Funny Mascots Are Rare Breed". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-11-04.