Hey baseball fans!
Happy Monkey Day! Look it up, it's real. In honor of this "widely-celebrated" day, I'm going to talk about the rally monkey, the unofficial mascot of the LA Angels.
The rally monkey debuted on June 6, 2000 in Los Angeles' Edison International Field of Anaheim. LA was trailing the San Francisco Giants 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning, when two video board operators, Dean Fraulino and Jaysen Humes, hatched a comical yet helpful idea. On the scoreboard, the two put a clip from the 1994 movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective of a monkey jumping up and down. On the scoreboard, it read "RALLY MONKEY!!!" in huge letters. The Angels proceeded to score two more runs and thus, won the game.
Since then, the rally monkey, a white-haired capuchin monkey who is trained by the Angels organization, has been the staple for all Angels comebacks. In Game Six of the 2002 World Series (coincidentally against the Giants), LA trailed 5-0 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, but then, the rally monkey appeared on the scoreboard. Immediately, Edison International Field of Anaheim turned into a frenzy! The stadium was electric, the monkey was bouncing, and the Angels scored six unanswered runs that won them the game (here's the video link). The Angels went on to win the Series the very next day, but they would not have that championship, the franchise's only one, without the rally monkey.
Today, the rally monkey appears on the scoreboard every time the Angels are losing by a relatively close margin at home in the late innings. On the jumbotron, the monkey jumps around to the House of Pain song, "Jump Around," and even sometimes holds up a sign that says "RALLY TIME!"
Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Make sure to not only buy as many pieces of rally monkey merchandise as you can if you are an Angels fan, but also to check back here on Baseball with Matt very soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."