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Oriole Bird officially inducted into National Mascot Hall of Fame in virtual ceremony

The National Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Indiana, officially inducted its 2020 class, including The Oriole Bird, on Sunday in a virtual ceremony.

In a live YouTube video, Hall of Fame mascot Reggy the Purple Party Dude introduced each member of the class, which also included the Indiana Pacers’ Boomer, the Montreal Canadiens’ Youppi! and the Indianapolis Colts’ Blue. The ceremony was originally scheduled to be held at the 25,000-square-foot museum near Chicago before the coronavirus pandemic forced the building to temporarily close in March.

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The Oriole Bird was presented with a Mascot Hall of Fame ring hidden inside the glove of the statue of Brooks Robinson outside Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

“After hatching from an egg back at Memorial Stadium in 1979, our next character has finally cracked into the Mascot Hall of Fame,” Reggy said during The Oriole Bird’s introduction. “One thing’s for sure, in Baltimore, Maryland, bird is definitely the word.”

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The Oriole Bird later held up a sign that said “Thank You, Birdland.”

Several other mascots joined in on the festivities, including the New York Mets’ Mr. Met, the Cleveland Indians’ Slider, the Philadelphia Phillies’ Phanatic and the Kansas City Royals’ Sluggerrr.

The Oriole Bird was hatched by the pitcher’s mound at Memorial Stadium on April 6, 1979. Previously, Mr. Oriole, created by Dick Armstrong, the team’s first public relations director, served as the team’s mascot, and was the first live mascot in Major League Baseball.

“I was looking for a jaunty but likable bird, one with plenty of personality,” said Armstrong, who sought the help of the public in designing the mascot in 1954. “One stood out above all the rest … submitted by Jim Hartzell, a cartoonist for the Baltimore Sun. We named our new mascot ‘Mr. Oriole’ and his perky bird face was quickly popularized.”

Orioles Beat Dodger Game 2 Jim Hartzell Baltimore Sun October 7 1966
Orioles Beat Dodger Game 2 Jim Hartzell Baltimore Sun October 7 1966 (Jim Hartzel / Baltimore Sun)

On the Mascot Hall of Fame website, The Oriole Bird is noted for appearing in the movie Head of State with Chris Rock and the Netflix show House of Cards, celebrating his 40th birthday during the 2019 season and appearing at thousands of charity events and hospital visits.

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