Hartlaub: When the SF Seals’ mascot was a real sea lion

From Peter Hartlaub at the San Francisco Chronicle on January 13, 2018:

In the history of Bay Area professional sports mascots, there is no shortage of beloved icons (Stomper the A’s elephant and Lou Seal), notorious missteps (Crazy Crab) and mysteries that remain unsolved. Is it possible we just dreamed the Warriors’ full-body leotarded “Thunder” mascot?

But in terms of bold moves — for better or worse — nothing tops the 1950 San Francisco Seals, who let a live sea lion hang out in a pool at the entrance to the stadium.

The Chronicle loved this stunt, covering the animal more enthusiastically that year than any human player on the Pacific Coast League team, which included several former and future major leaguers.

“SEALS SIGN SEA LION; TERMS UNDISCLOSED,” The Chronicle headline read on March 17, 1950.

“In keeping with baseball policy, purchase price and salary were not divulged,” the story began. “The Chronicle learned exclusively, however, that the seal wanted a daily diet of three pounds, preferably of filet of sole, to be served in small enough quantities for easy digestion.”

Read the full article here: http://www.sfchronicle.com/oursf/article/Our-SF-San-Francisco-Seals-mascot-was-a-real-sea-12495051.php

Originally published: January 16, 2018. Last Updated: January 16, 2018.