The Phillies Phanatic is to sports mascots what Babe Ruth is to baseball, or Michael Jordan is to basketball. That is to say, one of the greatest of all time. In fact, the Phanatic is about as far from the worst team mascots as you can get. Even though the Phanatic has mostly avoided the plague of sports mascot injuries, its hot dog cannon gave a Phillies fan a pretty severe bruise.
The Phanatic fired a duct tape-wrapped hot dog from what can only be described as an air-powered hot dog cannon, and Philly fan Kathy McVay took the projectile to the face. Her glasses flew off, she went to the hospital to rule out a concussion, and she has bruises on her face.
According to ABC Philadelphia, McVay couldn’t lift her arms to protect herself since she’s awaiting shoulder surgery. She’s not planning any legal action, but if she did, she wouldn’t be the first person to sue the Phanatic. Philly’s beloved mascot is probably the most-sued mascot in all of sports.
Fan injuries from mascots happen sometimes, but sports mascot injuries occur all time. Just look:
Stanley C. Panther
Team: Florida Panthers
A lot of people aren’t great on ice skates. As it turns out, neither is Stanley C. Panther. Florida’s hockey mascot didn’t quite stick the landing when it tried jumping over a folding chair on skates. After some time on IR, Stanley made a full recovery.
Team: Toronto Raptors
Not all injuries happen at the stadium. Toronto’s mascot ruptured its Achilles doing a backflip at a school event before the 2013 season and went on injured reserve for the year.
Rocky the Mountain Lion
Team: Denver Nuggets
Where do you start with Rocky? The Nuggets mascot and Charles Barkley had plenty of run-ins when Barkley was still playing, but nothing compares to the time it descended from the rafters completely motionless. If not the worst, it’s one of the scariest sports mascot injuries we can remember.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Seattle’s baseball mascot suffered one of the worst sports mascot injuries of all time. While wearing rollerblades and being towed behind an ATV going full speed, the Moose lost its balance and crashed into the outfield wall. The result? A compound ankle fracture, a stint on the DL, and probably the worst of the sports mascot injuries.
Team: Cleveland Indians
The same season that the Mariner Moose suffered his ankle injury, Cleveland’s baseball mascot also took a tumble. Slider fell from the top of right field wall in Cleveland and tore two knee ligaments because of it.
Team: Utah Jazz
Sleds are supposed to be used outside in the snow, but no one told Jazz Bear. While attempting to sled down an aisle in the stadium, Utah’s mascot makes it about halfway down, loses control, flips over, and tumbles the rest of the way down without the sled.
Team: Baltimore Orioles
One of the three men who dress as the Baltimore Orioles’ mascot broke one ankle and suffered bone chips in the other when a fan pushed him off an outfield wall, and he fell to the field.
Team: Anaheim Ducks
In a classic case of fire and ice not mixing, Anaheim’s hockey mascot didn’t quite make it when it tried to skate up to and jump over a flaming obstacle on the ice. The duck caught fire, but luckily nothing was hurt except its pride.
Unbelievably, McVay’s hot dog missile injury in Philadelphia isn’t even the first time something like that happened. Kansas City Royals mascot Sluggerrr hit a fan in the eye with a thrown hot dog during a 2009 game. The fan suffered a detached retina and sued, but a jury decided that Sluggerrr and the Royals weren’t responsible for the injury.