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Get ready to road trip: The Mascot Hall of Fame will finally be a real place in 2017

Yes, you.

Congratulations are in order for the Phillie Phanatic, Mr. Met and Slider: They're getting a new vacation home on the shore of Lake Michigan. After spending their days hard at work at their respective MLB ballparks, the three beloved mascots can retire to their well-earned places in the Mascot Hall of Fame -- which, yes, is getting a real, physical location.

As Danny Ecker reports for Crain's Chicago Business, the Hall is planned to open in 2017: 

"The city of Whiting, Ind., which two years ago announced plans to build a $20 million, 25,000-square-foot facility along Lake Michigan, now says it will break ground on the venue this fall with the goal of opening late next year. … Organizers have released renderings of the kid-friendly hall of fame's design and predicted that it will draw at least 50,000 visitors a year."

If exhibits include Animals Dressed Like The Phanatic, though, we can imagine it'll draw well more than 50,000 a year. I mean: 

phanatic.gif

According to concept art for the Hall, the facility will include a "Department of Furry Arts" and an interactive "Phuzzical Education" department. Check out more concept art here.

The Phanatic, Mr. Met and Slider are the only current MLB mascots in the Hall, which has been virtual since its inception in 2005.  But it also includes the San Diego Chicken, as well as a dozen or so other professional/collegiate mascots. Once open, it certainly seems worth a pilgrimage. Just as long as it never includes this terrifying Phanatic imposter.