You can’t accuse the baseball world of being afraid to try out new things. The wild card: an unqualified success (right?). The designated hitter: well, it seems to suit the American League just fine. But the Tampa Bay Rays have surely gone further than any team has gone before … by transforming a scoreboard gimmick into an actual mascot.
In case “DJ Kitty” hasn’t been a part of your regular conversation, let us fill in the gaps. A few weeks before the Rays took on the Texas Rangers in last year’s ALDS, some of the staff dreamt up “DJ Kitty,” who was essentially a hybrid between the Rally Monkey (don’t ask) and Keyboard Cat. Basically, they somehow managed to convince the powers that be in the front office to dress up a cat in a baseball jersey and rapper clothing, and get the animal to “spin” a turntable.
(PHOTOS: Cat Championships)
Sadly for the Rays, not even the might of “DJ Kitty” could inspire the charges to win the series but that hasn’t deterred this frisky feline from getting (or rather using up) a second life. The video went viral on YouTube, and the original version featuring a Gucci Mane song (which was removed from YouTube) welcomed a series of parodies. And now, an actual “DJ Kitty” mascot (spoiler alert, kids: there’s a human inside the costume) will be attending this weekend’s Rays Fan Fest and, in all likelihood, games during the forthcoming season.
And any Rays fans suddenly concerned for the well-being of primary mascot, Raymond Ray (actual information from his biography: Position: Upright and locked. Throws: Fun around the ballpark. Catches: Colds. Bats: Scare him), fear not, because he ain’t going anywhere. Indeed, this one-two mascot punch down in Tampa might be just what the organization needs to overcome the might of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in the always competitive AL East.