Lonnie Smith Injured Phillie Phanatic?

Regardless of whether you love it or hate it, David Raymond has authored baseball history.

From 1978-1993, Raymond performed as the first Phillie Phanatic. These days, he’s the visionary behind Raymond Entertainment Group. Does your team’s mascot need a makeover? How about more character depth and backstory? What about spinoff characters?

I asked Raymond to look back at his years on the diamond. His responses:

1. My favorite players over the years were Willie Stargell, Tug McGraw, Tony Pena and, of course, Tommy Lasorda!

2. I was very, very lucky over my 25 years of performing. My worst injury was a tiwsted ankle and knee when Lonnie Smith tackled me when he played for the Cardinals.

3. The Mascot Hall of Fame was one of our greatest decisions at Raymond Entertainment. We have received over 10 million media impressions over the years and countless numbers of fans now recognize that mascots are skilled performers, not just ‘kids in suits.’!

“Best wishes,
The Phillie Phanatic

David Raymond”

Here’s the official bio of the Phanatic from the Phillies. See what the Mascot Hall of Fame offers as the Phanatic’s tribute. Discover who jokingly called Raymond a “green transvestite!”

Not All Heroes Are on Scorecards


How do I choose the personalities to write to as I collect baseball memories? I don’t limit myself to 25-man rosters or official entries in any encyclopedia. If someone has a life and career that speaks to me as a fan, I want more of their story.

As I maintain my goal of sending a letter a day, here’s the people my next sheet of FOREVER stamps are reserved for…

RANDY WEHOFER (pictured above): Iowa Cubs team announcer who played a, yes, team announcer, in the movie Sugar.

NANCY FAUST: White Sox team organist retiring in 2010, her 41st season. She got crowds to sing —

“Na, na, na, na. Na, na, na, na. Hey, hey, hey. Goodbye”

MIKE VEECK: Minor league baseball visionary, son of Hall of Fame team owner Bill Veeck.

SISTER MARY ASSUMPTA: Cleveland Indians super-fan who has baked cookies to give to her “boys” for 25 years. Featured on a 1997 Upper Deck promo card.

KADIR NELSON: Gifted illustrator and creator of the stunning book We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.

DAVE RAYMOND: The first Phillies Phanatic.

DENNIS RIMA: One of the “Ghost Players” who’ve performed at Iowa’s Field of Dreams and around the world.

Stay tuned!

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