June 30, 2010 |
THE PHILLIE PHANATIC may soon find himself in court - and not just over a stolen base. The Phanatic has been sued in Philadelphia Civil Court by a 75-year-old woman who claims that he injured her knees when he climbed through the stands at a 2008 Reading Phillies minor league game. Even the woman's attorney, John Speicher, of Wyomissing, said that people around him have said that "this is like suing Santa Claus. " "I'm expecting him to come to a deposition, stick his stomach and his tongue out at me and not say anything," Speicher said.
February 10, 2004 |
It's true. It's been confirmed. It's gone. The Phillies' mascot has lost his head. Or somebody has taken it. Nobody seems to know. The Phillie Phanatic's head disappeared Friday from the Wachovia Center some time during the team's "Final Pieces" charity sale and auction of mementos from Veterans Stadium. Tom Burgoyne, the man behind the mask, took off his costume during a break, then realized that his head - well, the Phanatic's head - was gone when he returned to his unlocked dressing room.
July 7, 1999 |
As record heat steamed Philadelphia yesterday, the Phillies mascot - the one in the heat-trapping, 35-pound suit of green fur and rubber lining - tried to avoid weather predictions and convince himself it wasn't really that hot. "Everyone always tells me it's going to be a hot day," grimaces Tom Burgoyne, the 11-year veteran of the Phillie Phanatic costume, who spends each game jumping, flipping, clapping and shouting to rally fan support behind...
August 1, 1997 |
Ah, for the good old days when Tommy Lasorda gave him the time of day, children came looking for hugs and sidesplitting laughter rewarded his most juvenile schtick. Always eager to please, he's smashed opponents' batting helmets, picked water fights - and even resorted to catapulting hot dogs to beef up his gauche little repertoire. Now, the Phillie Phanatic is lucky if he can evoke a chuckle as he lumbers around the bases on his aging scooter, irking fans with 20-year-old routines regarded by many as pathetic.
August 10, 1995 |
Here's exactly how badly things are going for the Phillies these days: Centerfielder Andy Van Slyke found himself in the middle of a controversy after being involved in an incident . . . With Bert from "Sesame Street. " Here's what happened: As part of pregame ceremonies Tuesday, characters representing Ernie and Bert from Sesame Place in Langhorne cavorted on the field. Van Slyke was signing autographs when Bert approached. What happened next depends on whom you listen to. Van Slyke said he thought Tom Burgoyne, the Phillie Phanatic, was inside the costume.
April 13, 1994 |
The challenge came early, in the second inning. A bunch of wise guys in Section 348 began to chant: "We want Dave. We want Dave. " Dave Raymond, the old, original Phillie Phanatic, had retired in November, after 16 seasons. Tom Burgoyne, the new Phanatic, was making his debut. And Burgoyne was ready. He emptied a can of Super String on the head heckler, Robert Mecoli, 36, of South Philadelphia, on Monday afternoon as the entire section erupted in laughter. Mecoli spent the rest of the inning removing green goop from his hair.
April 4, 1994 |
Great howls of laughter erupted as the Phillie Phanatic whirled into the dining room at the McAuley Convent in Merion while the Sisters of Mercy ate dessert. Stopping at each of the tables to dazzle the delighted audience with a sample of his unique showmanship, this green, utterly incorrigible creature blessed himself with the sign of the cross and . . . Hey! Come back here with that piece of cake! "Look," one of the nuns said excitedly. "He wants something to eat. Oh, goodness.
March 1, 1994 |
It's 20 degrees and dropping and a northeast wind is blowing off hats and bending trees. A rough coat of ice grips the ground beneath three inches of new snow. It's a dark winter night in Reading. Tom Burgoyne, age 28, a 1988 Drexel graduate, is undressing in the back of a van outside the Sheridan-Berskhire hotel. He strips to his shorts and T- shirt, slips into a green, $15,000, six-piece, 35-pound costume, then bursts out the door onto the parking lot and waddles quickly to the hotel entrance - a clever, mischievous furry green creature that has become one of the best-loved mascots in all the sports world.
April 12, 1993 |
"Pinch-hitting for Dave Raymond . . . Tom Burgoyne. " You won't hear this announcement at Veteran's Stadium, because Raymond - a/ k/a the Phillie Phanatic - is on the lineup card for all 81 home games. But the Phanatic is so popular that Raymond alone can't fulfill his Iron Man schedule, which calls for an additional 300 appearances a year outside the Vet. Enter Tom Burgoyne, backup Phanatic. "Any function where you want the Phanatic, that's where I go," says the cheerful Burgoyne, 27, a Mount Airy resident who works in the Phillies' marketing office.
August 6, 1992 |
After going through high school with the nickname "Chickenhead," Bill Keffer said it figured that he would wind up with a job as pinch-hitter for the Phillie Phanatic. Actually, he is the pinch-hitter for the pinch-hitter for the Phanatic. The 25-year-old Episcopal Academy graduate and Ardmore resident, who claims it pays well to act like an idiot, serves as the No. 3 Phanatic behind Dave Raymond and Tom Burgoyne, the full-time members of the Phillies promotion department. Raymond is the original person behind the hairy green suit of the team's highly popular mascot.