Minor League mascot raids Texas Tech football game

November 19th, 2023
Courtesy Arkansas Travelers

If this is what playing possum looks like, it's not going to fool anybody.

Appearing very much alive, the mascot of the Minor League Arkansas Travelers -- a swamp possum who goes by the name Otey -- basked in the Saturday night lights of Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, as Texas Tech hosted UCF in college football action.

Otey, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy waving the Red Raiders' flag while cheering and dancing in front of an exuberant crowd, was following in the literal and figurative footsteps of a fellow possum who interrupted play during Texas' Tech's Nov. 3 game against TCU.

The Arkansas club represents the Mariners in the Double-A Texas League. Otey, acting on the spirit of the Travelers' moniker, made his way some 560 miles west-southwest from North Little Rock's Dickey-Stephens Park to carry on the Texas Tech marsupial tradition established three weeks ago.

Baseball fans -- especially Minor League fans -- know a little something about possum delays, with Brett Phillips' heroic behavior during not one, but two such unscheduled intermissions already part of MiLB lore.

Repeat appearances by furry, stout-bodied mammalia are, in fact, a well-documented phenomenon in the Minors. Just a couple months ago, the Harrisburg Senators (Double-A affiliate of the Nationals) and Bowie Baysox (Orioles) endured a skunk delay for the second time this season.

But unlike the Nov. 3 possum appearance in Lubbock or the skunk appearances in Pennsylvania, Otey's shenanigans on Saturday were relegated to the realm of sidelines entertainment.

Courtesy Arkansas Travelers

Named for Little Rock baseball legend R.C. Otey, the Travs' Otey no doubt respects the game -- both games, apparently -- too much to cause a delay in the action.