Where are they now? Mascot Edition: Souki
Baseball's history of colorful mascots dates back more than a century. Unfortunately, some of our most distinctive big-headed friends have seen their stories lost in the cracks of time. So let's fill in the blanks -- if the mascots could talk, here's what they (hypothetically) might say. This week: Souki, who briefly served as the Montreal Expos mascot in 1978.
Cut4: First off, Souki, we have to ask: What are you?
Souki: That’s a good question. Nobody has ever taken the time to find out who or what I am -- so thank you. I’m actually part of the famous Ballhead family. You’ve probably heard of Homer, Mr. Met and Mr. Redlegs? Mr. Met is my father, Red is my older brother and Homer is the baby of the family. I’m the middle child, hence, the zero success.
Cut4: Wow, so being a mascot is something that’s always run in your family?
Souki: Yes, we actually went through rigorous training exercises on our planet Headstrong. Dad got us all started early. We weren’t even allowed to play Little League. Instead, Dad had us dance around as mascots for our respective teams. We wore capes and goggles. Dad said it was a costume we wouldn’t need if we made it to the big leagues on Earth.
We’d entertain crowds of parents and perform in front of players (who were mostly our own classmates). Some of them would stick gum on the back of our heads and taunt us in school. It was embarrassing. I hated it – and not just because I wasn’t good at it! Dad just seemed to put more time in with Red and Homer. He never even watched me. He said he didn't have time …
Cut4: Ok, alright, let’s move on. So then you broke into Major League Baseball in 1978 with the Montreal Expos?
Souki: That’s correct. Neither Red nor Homer wanted to go to Montreal (and neither did I), but Dad said it would be “be good for you.” So, I went. I loved Canada. Olympic Stadium made me feel right at home. One big dome for another. Get it? Haha. Gosh, I’ll never be as funny as Red.
But the fans in Montreal were a different story. Again, I’m the middle child, so looks are not on my side. My head is too big for my hat and my neck looks like a golf tee. I'm a living nightmare.
Cut4: What was your relationship like with Youppi!?
Souki: Oh yes, Youppi! He came in after my year. Real cocky. I mean, the guy has an exclamation point in his name. What is that?
Really just too into the whole mascot thing if you ask me. Sure, he is one of three field performers in the Hall of Fame, but remember, he was also the first of us booted out of a ballgame back in '89.
Cut4: So why did your tenure as mascot end?
Souki: Well, as I said before, I’m scary-looking. During ’78, I made kids cry. Tons of them. By the end of the season, I was pretty down. I’d see Dad when his team came to town and he barely spoke to me. It was awful. So, during a game that fall, I was a on a real roll scaring kids – and just couldn’t stop doing it. I became addicted to it. I didn’t care anymore. I knew my time on Earth was coming to a close.
Later in the contest, a furious father got up and attacked me. He punched me in the face and pushed me over a row of seats. Luckily (I think?) my enormous head took most of the impact. Soon after, I was released from the Expos.
Now, I’m just living out my days on Headstrong. I have two boys of my own – who are currently on a Little League team. Oh, and they’re players, not mascots.
-- Interview conducted by Matt Monagan / MLB.com
Previously on Where are they now? Rootin' Tootin' Ranger