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1980s / Worst Sports Mascot - San Francisco Crab
The 1970s saw the beginning of the mascot craze in professional baseball. Before the 1984 season, the San Francisco Giants polled their fans about having a team mascot. The survey indicated that 65% of their fans preferred having no mascot whatsoever. Undeterred, the lowly Giants decided introduced a mascot--but with their own special twist: They created an 'anti-mascot.' The creature they unleashed was the infamous Crazy Crab (see photo below). The idea was to poke fun at traditional mascots. Local television commercials depicted manager Frank Robinson having to be restrained from attacking the crustacean. One critic said the mascot looked like "a wart with distemper." Giant fans were encouraged to boo and hiss the phony mascot, who was portrayed by actor Wayne Doba. The prodding worked all too well. With an awful 96-loss season soothing no souls, Crazy Crab became the object of hatred and abuse--an easy target for disgruntled fans. The crowd would hurl all sorts of things at the beast, both verbally and literally. Even the players got into the act, dumping drinks and other things into the suit. Broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper, both Giant players during the year of Crazy Crab, were asked if they ever had trouble with him. Their response: 'No, we used to drill him with the rosin bag daily, so he was scared of us.' The nightmare for the bug-eyed object of derision ended after just one season. The Giants would not attempt another mascot, 'anti' or real, until 1997. Nevertheless, as late as 2010 there was an unsuccessful Internet campaign to resurrect Crazy Crab.