The A's are bringing back Harvey the Rabbit, one of the wackiest ballpark quirks of all-time
In the two decades that he owned the Athletics, Charlie Finley never met a promotional stunt he didn't like. He gave the team a live mascot, a mule named Charlie-O. He put a flock of sheep, decorated in that now-iconic Kelly Green and gold, in a pasture beyond the outfield wall. He once even bought an old bus just so that he could set it on fire, a warning that the team's days as a "farm system" for the Yankees were over.
But quite possibly the zaniest of all of Finley's many zany ideas was Harvey: a mechanical rabbit with bright green eyes who rose from the grass next to the home-plate umpire and provided him with a cage full of new baseballs. To prove that this is a real thing that happened in an actual Major League game, we submit the following (catch Harvey at the :26 mark):
Harvey actually stuck around for most of the 1960s, until an unknown player took a bat to him and broke him for good (legend has it that he's still buried beyond the Coliseum's outfield wall). And now, as part of the team's celebration of their 50th season in Oakland, he's making a comeback: A's president Dave Kaval told the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday that Harvey will deliver baseballs to home plate at the start of each home game this year. There's even a Harvey backpack giveaway, in case you'd like to frighten all your friends.
Rather than having him pop out of the ground, Harvey 2.0 will be battery-powered -- and apparently, he can really move.
"We said, 'Let's make it mobile, like a remote-controlled car that can go anywhere and do anything we want it to do -- mid-inning, before games, on the road,'" Kaval said. "He can get up there in speed, no joke."
Now, who can we speak to about bringing back the Pennant Porch?