Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day for some. For the Seattle Mariners, it is a glorious day.
The Mariner Moose popped up on the scene April 13, 1990 — a Friday the 13th — and the loveable mascot has done nothing but bring joy to millions over the past 26 years.
From riding his ATV around the field to playing Santa Claus at Christmas to visiting children in area hospitals, the Moose entertains the masses.
The Moose joined Kennewick native Shawn O’Malley, pitcher Dan Altavilla and broadcaster Rick Rizzs on Friday for the Mariners Caravan in the Tri-Cities.
While the fine people of Seattle may know the Moose on personal level, Tri-City fans do not.
For instance, many don’t know the Moose is Canadian, leaving the Yukon Territory in 1990 in search of work. In fact, on his Twitter page, the Moose considers himself Canada’s finest export.
Apparently, hockey players and beer play second fiddle to the Moose.
Speaking of Twitter, the Moose had 6,617 followers Friday, 11 more than he did Thursday. O’Malley followers? Well, you have to have a Twitter account to have followers.
The Moose granted me a few moments of his time Friday before he visited families at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.
This is my second exclusive with the Moose, but a lot has changed since 2012.
ANNIE FOWLER: Before you left Seattle, you had high hopes of driving the bus on this caravan. Where you able to make the wheels on the bus go round and round?
MARINER MOOSE: Shakes his head no. Turns outs he has no driver’s license.
AF: You are From Canada. Have you ever been to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan?
MM: Shakes his head no, but his eyes opened wide and you could see the wheels turning. Might be a great vacation spot this summer.
AF: You made your first appearance April 13, 1990. A Friday the 13th. Today is Friday the 13th. Has this always been a lucky day for you?
MM: A big nod yes! Then a high five.
AF: You worked in the Kingdome and now at Safeco Field. Which do you like better.
MM: He waves his hands to the past. Turns out he could ride his ATV on the artificial turf at the Kingdome. At Safeco, he’s limited to the warning track.
AF: I thought you might prefer Safeco with the natural grass. Looks pretty yummy.
MM: He takes both hands and pretends to scoop food in his mouth, then wipes his face clean. Guess he likes the grass, but he likes his ATV even more.
AF: You have quite the Twitter following. Do you do your own tweeting? Do you have a special keyboard?
MM: A shake of the head yes. Then his hands dance in the air, indicating he is quite the social media darling.
AF: You have been with the Mariners for 26 years. How old are you?
MM: He looks at me with his big eyes, hands on his hips. How dare I ask his age.
AF: Moving on. You got to hang out with Walla Walla Sweets mascot Sweet Lou on Thursday. Who was more popular at that event?
MM: Pats his chest with both hands. Apparently Sweet Lou isn’t as sweet as the Moose.
AF: When the Mariners were close to opening Safeco Field, they ran a commercial introducing a new mascot — Lenny the Latte — a symbol of the energy of the Pacific Northwest, they proclaimed. You had nightmares about that. Whatever happened to Lenny?
MM: Eyes wide and antlers proud, he pretends to drink, then tosses the imaginary cup aside with a big laugh. Enough said.