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The making of a fake mascot

By Melinda Mawdsley

Spending a day as Mr. JUCO’s sidekick opened my eyes. Now, I know what it feels like to be the youngest child always trying to measure up to an older sibling.

I was smaller than Mr. JUCO. I wasn’t recognized – at all. Everyone flocked to Mr. JUCO’s smiling big head, while I stood there with my face painted like a baseball wishing a small child would hug me.

Sure, I was a fake mascot that Rachel and I made up so I could spend the day with her while she was dutifully fulfilling the role of Mr. JUCO, but I thought for sure it’d be a little cooler to be the sidekick — a word I put on my jersey for the night game May 30 —because I had no rules. I could talk. I wouldn’t have to wear five layers of clothing and dance, and I could drink water if necessary.

Turns out, Mr. JUCO is a rock star. I was just a short person wearing tight, white baseball pants. I probably looked creepy.

Sure, it was fun to smile, hand out Mr. JUCO baseball cards, and spend hours outside, but mostly I felt like I was watching an older sibling — in this case Rachel — shine in the spotlight.

I appreciate the JUCO Committee for letting me be a fake mascot so we could experience this together, even if rules prohibited us from talking about our experiences because Mr. JUCO couldn't talk.

(FYI, Rachel did an amazing job being muted. When I asked her questions, she responded with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. She wouldn’t talk to me. Like, we didn’t talk for hours. It was super annoying.)

I encourage everyone to read about Rachel’s experience as Mr. JUCO in the Sunday, June 2, Lifestyle section or online under the “Lifestyle” tab off the home page.


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Hope so that Mr. JUCO would have made your day very enjoyable and also memorable.

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We did something similar for a children’s orphanage a couple of years ago. We went there and let them shop for youth bedroom furniture at paying with money from the sponsors we got and then, took them out in the yard, and helped them create a fake mascot for their baseball team! they were all so happy!

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