Heater the Mascot!

A little while ago we visited with our friend Ryan in, of all places, Bakersfield, CA.  Previous to this visit I didn’t know this place even had sports! In fact, there are a couple minor league franchise teams with ties to majors elsewhere in the country.  We went to Sam Lynn Park, home of the Bakersfield Blaze, an affiliate with the Seattle Mariners team for the 2015 season.

Being a small park in a small town, one might expect it to be difficult to get folks out to baseball games, especially in the heat of the summer.  One way is to have really exciting things happening besides the sport. And to the Bako Blaze, this means mascots! And lots of them! There are three at the ballpark, Heater, Panda D. Bear, and Torch (which I believe is a dragon, though he sort of looks like an alligator/sea horse).

Our friend Ryan has been the Bakersfield Blaze mascot for two years, traveling by bus from San Francisco to Bakersfield for home games to wear the coveted Heater costume.  He’s perfect for it, too. Outgoing, fun, and super into sports, even if he’s embarrassed by it. We caught up with him during the playoffs this year to talk about being vegan in a tiny town (he eats burritos on the road, shocking I know) and the divide between vegan activists and sports.  What we learned was, what we all knew already.  Its ok to be less than 100% serious all the time, and that includes enjoying things like local sports teams.

Thank you to Assistant General Manager Fillup Guiry for hosting our little film crew for the evening, and all the players on the Bako Blaze for putting up a good fight and allowing Heater some of the attention.

Let us know what you think, and who is your favorite mascot!? For Sasha, its Los Angeles Kings’ Bailey!!

Strongest Hearts Extra; Heater the Bakersfield Blaze Mascot from Strongest Hearts on Vimeo.