Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Mascot Week: Chicago Bandits Swiper

Mascot Week celebrates the fuzzy, fun creatures we all know and love (or at least I do).

Today I feature Swiper, a defunct (or maybe just homeless) mascot. Swiper was the mascot for the National Pro Fastpitch Chicago Bandits. Unfortunately, after COVID caused the 2020 and '21 seasons to be cancelled, the league ceased operations. What does that mean for Swiper?
This makes me recall the time I was almost Swiper. I was at the ballpark early doing interviews with the Bandits, when word got out that the guy playing Swiper was running late an might not make it by game time. Never missing a possibly fun opportunity, I jumped at the chance to volunteer to be Swiper until he arrived.
I donned the costume, surprised at how heavy the head was. Unfortunately, insurance worries prevented the team from allowing me to go out into the stands. I offered to sign any waiver, but I think the concern was for any fan, too. It wouldn't have mattered though, as the guy showed up just in time to get Swiper out there pre-game to entertain all.
I am disappointed I didn't get a chance to be Swiper, if even only for a few minutes. I am even more disappointed I did not get a picture as Swiper. I suppose I could take any picture of Swiper and claim it's me. Who would really know? I would never do that, though. I think it would violate a sacred code among mascots.
With the team folding, I wonder if that mascot costume is available. I'd love to get my hands on it.
Swiper and me in Rosemont, IL-July 2018.

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