The prodigal son – err, moose – returned home to Ferndale on Tuesday.
The Mariner Moose, the beloved mascot of the Seattle Mariners, visited the Ferndale Boys & Girls Club as part of the team’s preseason caravan around the region to get fans excited for the Major League Baseball season.
While the moose’s scheduled travel partners – pitchers James Paxton and Cody Martin, infielder Dan Vogelbach and broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith – surely got their share of attention Tuesday, it was the one covered in fur that actually has ties to Whatcom County.
It was right across Cherry Street from the Boys & Girls Club at Central Elementary School where the idea of the Moose was hatched.
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Twenty-seven years ago, the Mariners invited children under the age of 14 to submit ideas for the franchise’s first mascot. It was the idea of then-Central fifth-grader Ammon Spiller to make the mascot a moose that was selected the winner out of more than 2,500 entries, according the Mariner Moose’s bio on the team’s website.
“I chose the Moose because they are funny, neat and friendly,” Spiller is quoted in the bio. “The Moose would show that the Mariners enjoy playing, and that they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. It shows they’re having fun no matter what the situation.”
On April 13, 1990, the Moose made his debut at the Mariners’ home opener at the Kingdome, and it has been cheering on its team and entertaining Seattle fans since.
Mariners pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training Feb. 14. The team will open the regular season April 3 at Houston before hosting the Astros in its April 10 home opener.