(WHTM) — There are halls of fame for baseball, football, rock and roll, and even toys. But did you know there’s also one for mascots?
The National Mascot Hall of Fame is based in Whiting, Indiana and the organization inducts new members every year.
Like any hall of fame, there are strict qualifications for induction.
Eligible mascots must meet the following criteria as outlined on the Hall of Fame’s website:
a. A mascot must have been active as a performing character in one of the groups described below . . .
i. The major and minor league sports of baseball (MLB, MiLB, etc), basketball (NBA, WNBA, etc), football (NFL, CFL, etc), hockey (NHL, AHL, ECHL, etc), and soccer (MLS, NWSL, USL, NASL, etc) as recognized in the United States.
ii. College Divisions of NCAA Divisions I, II, III, NAIA
iii. Independently performing character
b. A mascot must have been active as a performing character for their team, school, or organization for the previous 10 years prior to the year being elected and be prepared to show documented proof.National Mascot Hall of Fame Rules for Induction
After nominations are received, eligible mascots are evaluated by a Hall of Fame screening committee, and a ballot is assembled.
Inductees are then selected every year through an online election process. Electors include members of the Hall of Fame, executive committee members, and the public.
Both voting and the release of final results take place each May.
So how many of Pennsylvania’s beloved mascots have achieved Hall of Fame status? Only two.
Pennsylvania’s Hall of Famers:
The first Pennsylvania inductee was the Phillie Phanatic of the Philadelphia Phillies. This mascot was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame’s class of 2005. According to the Hall of Fame’s website, the Phillie Phanatic’s birthday is July 4, 1978.
Pennsylvania’s only other National Mascot Hall of Famer is Penn State University’s Nittany Lion. The Nittany Lion was inducted into the class of 2017. The Nittany Lion’s birthday, according to the Hall of Fame’s website, is January 1, 2004.
Fans can follow the Nittany Lion on X, formerly Twitter, at @NittanyLion
Previous Pennsylvania nominees:
While there are only two Pennsylvania inductees in the Hall of Fame, several others have been nominated for induction over the years.