The bird is finally the word at the National Mascot Hall of Fame.
Last week, an announcement that, frankly, seems long overdue, revealed that The Oriole Bird is one of four mascots that will be inducted into the National Mascot Hall of Fame [MHOF] in 2020. Other honorees include the Montreal Canadiens’ Youppi, the Indiana Pacers’ Boomer, and the Indianapolis Colts’ Blue.
The process by which The Oriole Bird became a Hall of Famer is quite rigorous. The Bird was one of 19 nominees, and those 19 were whittled down to 10 finalists based on voting from more than 125,000 ballots coming from all 50 states and 58 countries. After two rounds of voting from the public, MHOF members, and the executive committee, The Oriole Bird earned its enshrinement.
The bird has long been a favorite in the Baltimore community, interacting with fans and spreading good cheer wherever it goes ever since it was hatched out of a giant egg in the middle of Memorial Stadium in 1979. Because of this, iIt’s no surprise that Baltimoreans would go to bat for their favorite bird.
“The Oriole Bird is one of the most recognizable figures in our team’s history,” says Jennifer Grondahl, the Orioles’ senior vice president of community development & communications. “We’re thrilled that The Bird is being recognized by the National Mascot Hall of Fame, which allows us to spread the magic of Orioles baseball on an even bigger stage.”
The Oriole Bird will be inducted at a ceremony from June 12-14 next year at The Mascot Hall of Fame, a 25,000 square-foot interactive children’s museum in Whiting, Indiana, dedicated to all things mascot. There are two floors of different exhibits dedicated to mascot history and terminology, games, and a Build-a-Bear workshop. The Bird and the other three inductees will mark a round number of 25 total honorees at the museum.
That same weekend, the Orioles are in Tampa to face off against the Rays. While their mascot Raymond, is treasured in his own right, he doesn’t carry our beloved bird’s distinction of being called a Hall of Famer.