Monday, March 07, 2016

In honor of National Cereal Day, we're running back a classic

Started by me sometime in May of 2007, Whitney took the nonsense I had in a draft and crafted this wonderful Cereal Mascot All-Star Roster. Won't you enjoy it again with me?

I think I promised this post to Rob a year ago, but with the sports world being a dead zone for the last few days, I finally got around to it (with some-- all the-- help from Whitney). After sifting through this, you all might agree I (Whit) should've kept it on the shelf for another year...

It's that time of year again. The dust has settled on another Major League Baseball All-Star Game, meaning the appropriate media outlets can swiftly turn their focus onto the next such endeavor. And year after year, that endeavor is this fan favorite. Get ready for . . .

G:TB's 2007 Cereal Mascot All-Star Roster


The Cookie Crook, Cookie Crisp, CF - Your light-hitting, speedy lead-off batter if there ever was one. The speed of Vince Coleman, but unfortunately the same degree of character as well. Much like we saw when Tyson lost Cus D'Amato, The Crook suffered greatly after the demise of Cookie Jarvis, but he's still a force to be reckoned with in centerfield. . . and anywhere near a bowl of cookies that somehow, beyond all comprehension, masquerades itself as cereal.

L.C. "Lucky" Leprechaun, Lucky Charms, RF - Not as legendary as the MLB version of "The Mick," Lucky's nonetheless a Cereal League force with the lumber and the amber, roaming right field and pub floors of Dorchester with equal frequency. (And it's rarely milk in that bowl.) He loves to play up the Irish thing with the fans, though insiders know his last name is actually Kowalczyk. From the Charms' 2007 Media Guide: "Turn-ons include green clovers and the hit-and run; turn-offs include the designated hitter and 'those f%#@ing brats who're always after me lucky charms'." Fast fact: Lucky's been ejected from three All-Star Games in his career.

Sugar Bear (a.k.a. Super Bear), Super Sugar Crisp (a.k.a. Golden Crisp), LF - The beefy slugger has long been accused of illegal supplements, and his oft-uttered motto "Can't get enough of that Super Sugar Crisp" may speak to his addiction to the stuff. Palling around with Starsky & Hutch's guy Huggy Bear and Fletch's buddy Gummy Bear doesn't help his image any. The power this All-Star brings to the table does impress, of course, but the Rock Raines-like name changes only serve to confuse and cast Sugar Bear in a shadier light. True Fact: "Sugar Bear has been voiced by Gerry Matthews since 1963." True Fact 2: "Last winter Gary Matthews Jr. was accused of ordering/using Human Growth Hormone." Coincidence?

Tony the Tiger, Frosted Flakes, 1B - The big-bat, fading glove Tony is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, make no mistake. Though his bellowing voice and rah-rah "gr-r-r-reat" attitude has earned him something of a reputation as a clubhouse blowhard over the years, he's still beloved by his legion of fans. He's a DH-in-training, but for now Tony's the cornerstone of the franchise and even the league. His club the Frosted Flakes (or as they're known in the UK, the Frosties) has fallen into mid-major status, but he'll be remembered long after they bury that red bandanna behind Kellogg's HQ.

Dig'em, Kellogg's Smacks (formerly Sugar Smacks, Honey Smacks, etc.), SS - What a great little guy. The heart and soul of any team he plays on, including the All-Star team. The Smacks' franchise (another, like the Anaheim/Los Angeles, California Angels ofAnaheim/Los Angeles, California, whose owners have felt the need to repeatedly change names with the times), was in turmoil for a very long time at this position. It's not unlike the New York Yankees of the 80's and 90's, who suffered through Opening Day shortstops Roy Smalley, Tim Foli, Bobby Meacham, Wayne Tolleson, Rafael Santana, Alvaro Espinoza, Randy Velarde, Spike Owen (Big Stein was so jealous of the '86 Series, he nabbed both batless shortstops), Mike Gallego, and Tony Fernandez to finally get to Derek Jeter. The Smacks club waded through the following dreck as mascots before Dig 'Em came on the scene in 1972: various clowns, including Cliffy the Clown; a seal named Smaxey dressed in a sailor suit; Quick Draw McGraw; The Smackin' Bandit, a half-mule, half-kangaroo who kissed everyone in sight; The Smackin' Brothers, two boys dressed in boxing shorts and boxing gloves; an American Indian Chief on a horse. Dig 'Em put them on the map with his power stroke, slick fielding, base-stealing, and enormous sneakers. He's the coolest of the mascots -- perhaps the anti-Tony -- and we dig 'im.

Cap'n Crunch, 3B - Ah, the old Cap'n. Came on the scene in 1963 and is still ranked the fans' #1 favorite. Horatio Magellan Crunch, Jr. (real name) has enjoyed a Ripken-like streak of consistency, not to be undone by his advanced age, that Crunchberry Beast sidetrack, or by kids scraping the roofs of their mouths with his unsogged cereal. If his bat has slowed, we can't tell. His is a storied career with many ups (World Series of Cereal rings, promoted to Admiral briefly) and a few downs (disappeared in 1985 & 1999; Crunch franchise held "Where's the Cap'n?" promo but actually couldn't find him -- he was in a closet on his ship). The Cap'n has a dedicated fan base, almost creepily so. But he's a cornerstone of this roster, to be sure. (Am I the only idiot who didn't realize the cereal is little treasure chests? I never got that.)

Toucan Sam, Fruit Loops, C - Sam's another All-Star stalwart, and he'll be manning the dish for the Cerealites this year in the Midbreakfast Classic. He can wing it, so baserunners will certainly be taking heed as they have all season. Meanwhile, his solid if unspectacular bat complements his veteran approach to the game, the "follow your nose" method. (Sam was also reputed to be in the Cocoa Puff crowd for such a slogan, but it was later dismissed as rumor.) Did You Know?: Toucan Sam originally had a much larger beak and a Carmen Miranda-esque fruit-hat. His subsequent beak-job and ditching of the hat were presumably to be so he could don the catcher's mask.

BuzzBee, Honey Nut Cheerios, 2B - A little younger than some of his peers on this All-Star roster, but he's become a star in his own right. Many "Cheerios Classic" fans were reluctant to adopt the little slap hitter and glove man, but Buzz somehow managed to bridge the gap between the sugared franchises with their animated mascots and the health cereals with beaming parents and grinning adolescents. Is he fun to party with? Hell, no. Does he belong on this team? You bet.


Sonny, Cocoa Puffs, SP - It's easy to sit back and marvel about what a career Sonny might've had if it weren't for his troubles with sugary substance abuse, but just as with Steve Howe, all that powder derailed a promising future. Such a fireballer being drafted by the "Coca Puffs" was the kiss of death, but Sonny has persevered tirelessly, as evidenced by his All-Star selection. Beloved by the fans, everyone wants to give him that 50th "second chance." Here's hoping he can hold it together and not go cuckoo this time.

Trix Rabbit, Trix, SP - The classic junk cereal pitcher in the style of Gaylord Perry, Eddie Harris, and Boo-Berry. Much like Cocoa Puff Sonny, Joaquin Andujar, and the Quik Bunny, the silly rabbit has had trouble keeping his composure on the field over the years, but his deceptive style leaves many swinging at air. Another in a long line of rabid animals who steal sugared cereals from children, the Trix rabbit franchised himself with arguably the catchiest of catch phrases, one quipped by dorky execs and pirated by Deadheads.

Count Chocula, RP - Every ballclub has one these days, the reliever from a foreign land with a wicked slider and a few cultural quirks. They just don't happen to have one as effective as the Count. He also has the heart-touching story: he passed up an opportunity back home for a solid career of achieving supernatural powers by sinking his fangs into the jugulars of his fellow citizens, consuming their blood, and turning them into similarly undead and horrific creatures, giving it all up to play baseball in the Cereal Leagues. He still gets teased for his accent and lumped in with those stiffs Boo-Berry and Yummy Mummy, but he presses on, having turned into a more-than-reliable closer. He still gets mocked by his peers back home for "going the breakfast route" when he's supposed to shy away from sunrises. And he still gets threatened by the religious right for his habit of pointing at the ground and thanking Satan every time he strikes out a batter, but he's just happy to be doing what he loves night in and night out. And playing baseball.


Snap, Crackle, & Pop, Rice Krispies, IF/OF - These jacks of all trades, masters of none, weren't voted in, they were selected by the manager. The fans have never truly responded to this trio, but their peers seem to have even less respect. "The Hanson Brothers they ain't," quipped one All-Star who asked to remain anonymous. Another added, "Snap has no arm and Pop has no power -- they should be called the Misnomers." A third chimed in: "And Crackle . . . I mean, who the hell is Crackle, anyway?" They remind a few onlookers of the 2007 New York Yankees bench, and the word "light" seems to go hand in hand with any mention of them. But . . . the manager wanted them on the club. Crackle just left rehab (again), so they'll be reunited again at General Mills Park for the All-Star Game. Get fired up.Manager:

Wendell, Cinnamon Toast Crunch - 
The skipper of Cereal Cup champs CTC, Wendell's kindly old man exterior belies an irascible curmudgeon in the clubhouse. A few ground rules when interviewing Wendell: 1.) Don't ask him about his penchant for the quick hook. 2.) Don't say anything even hinting at Cinnamon Toast Crunch being an "expansion franchise." 3.) And by God, do not ask him about including Snap, Crackle & Pop on this roster. There's a reason the other bakers don't speak in the commercials. Wendell's an old school manager on a new school club. You saw how well that worked in Tampa with Lou, right?

So there you have your 2007 Cereal Mascot All-Star Roster. Enjoy the festivities, all the hoop-la, and be content in the knowledge that world today is a better place than it was 20 or 30 years ago, if only for the fact that the rash of thievish, insane animals, badly-dressed, freakish creatures, and/or B-grade horror movie
 clich├ęs burglarizing our kitchens and stealing our children's breakfasts seems to have passed. Pleasant dreams, and a very happy tomorrow morning.


Danimal said...

this is pure gold. it predates my gtb involvement so it is my first exposure to the masterpiece. wow.

cap'n crunch was a top 5'r for me. i just learned about the cereal being a treasure chest.

rootsminer said...

Excellent. They don't write blogs like this anymore.

I always liked Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch, which is generally frowned upon.

zman said...

Erin Andrews got $55 million. I'm not sure if that's too much or too little.

TR said...

I think it's fair. Egregious disrespect of her privacy to allow a creep next to her.

Marriott should've settled this privately a long time ago. I did not know they were the hotel being sued until a month ago. Bad press for them. I wonder if they will be dumb enough to appeal.

I rescind all these opinions if the end result is a worse Starwood awards system after Marriott acquires them.

Danimal said...

Marriott the management company was not in the lawsuit.

Dave said...

finally! a piece about baseball where i recognize the players

Squeaky said...

Weird travel note: flying into Saskatoon today, flight attendant gets on the intercom and ask if anyone is going to Prince Albert, can joke ina there somewhere, and if they are willing to give a ride to nurse who does outreach 'work'. Man with a handlebar mustache and 2015 rodeo champion jacket raises his hand.


TR said...