Friday, April 13, 1990 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Make Way For The Mariner Moose -- From One Famous Moose To Another. .. Welcome To The Show



Controversy already is swirling around the new Seattle Mariners' mascot - Mariner Moose - even before its debut tonight in the club's home opener against Oakland in the Kingdome.

Digging into the issue, The Times learned that the Mariner management unanimously and unilaterally determined that the Mariner Moose will not speak.


But did anyone bother to ask the Moose?

Does this mean, then, that only dumb moosepeople need apply?

What if some child decides to pull on his antler? Silent screams, please.

And what if the Moose trips and tumbles down a Kingdome aisle? Apparently, no human sounds will be tolerated, justmoose moans.

The club's moose monger and director of marketing, Stuart Layne, said the Mariners want the Moose to entertain fans in an animated way.

``We want it to play with kids,'' he said. ``To get the crowd going by doing funny skits, playing with the players and umpires. Kids love animated characters, and we want to put a smile on their faces.''

How does one become this pantomiming moosician? Is there a University of Higher Moosology?

``They have to be experienced in entertaining,'' said Layne, describing the selection requirements. ``They have to have a reliability of schedule and an understanding of how to entertain kids.

``We figure that if they can't make it as a moose, they can be a sports writer, because you need to be a clown for both jobs.''

Cheap shot, Stuart.

Further investigative reporting revealed that the mooseperson cannot take a name, that it must adhere to a strict dress code and that it must walk upright.

Names have been suggested. Mickey Moose. Marvelous Marv Moose. Mukilteo Moose. Duwamoose. Edwin Moose. Monica Moose.

But Layne said its name is likely to be Mariner Moose to establish a national identity.

It has generated a national response. All the nation's sports periodicals have made reference to it. A crew from Major League Productions flew in today from New York for an interview.

Why a moose? For one reason, Ammon Spiller, 10, of Ferndale, suggested it during a name-the-mascot contest. It came down to a choice between the Moose and a blubbery sea monster.

The Mariner Moose, like the Phillie Phanatic and the San Diego Chicken, is intended to be distinctive in mascotdom.

Of Mariner Moose, this much we know: Its furry coat will be brown. Its antlers, spanning more than three feet, will be tan. It will wear a Mariner jersey, but the number still is uncertain. No. 35 already is claimed by minor-league catcher Bill ``Moose'' McGuire.

The selection of the mooseperson came down to five finalists, four bulls and a cow. Two were selected to carry the moosehead through 81 home games, a starting Moose and substitute Moose. Like the Lone Ranger, the Unknown Comic, and Deep Throat, the mooseperson's true identity is not to be revealed.

Layne has only one regret about Moosemania.

``When I send all the newspaper clippings and publicity stuff about the moose to my mother,'' he said, ``I know what she's going to say: `Why did I spend all that money to send you to communications school, when I could have just sent you to the circus?' ''



The Mariner Moose joins some distinguished company in the moose world. Here's a list of odds, ends, antlers and other things you may not know about Alces Americana.


The nickname ``Moose'' has adorned many an individual through the years. Here's just a few:

-- Moose Ortenzio: A minor-league baseball legend, played nine games for Kansas City back in 1973.

-- Moose Skowron: Former first basemoose who made his name with the Yankees.

-- Moose Haas: Former pitcher for Brewers.

-- Moose McGuire: A minor-league catcher in the Mariner farm system.

-- Moose Stubing: The California Angels third-base coach.

-- Moose Clausen: A senior accounts executive for the Mariners.

-- Bob Moose: Former pitcher for Pirates.

-- Edwin and Ursula Meese: A couple from the Reagan years.

-- Bullwinkle the Moose: Hey, Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!

-- Moose: A pal of Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica at Riverdale High. Had a girlfriend named Midge.

-- Fred Saskamoose: Played 11 games for Chicago Blackhawks in 1953-54. Only stat in NHL was six penalty minutes.

-- Mighty Moose: Known for a fearsome forest cry, ``Here I come to save the day.''

-- Mickey Moose and the Mooseketeers: ``Who's the leader of the herd that's made for you and me, M-i-c, K-e-y, M-o-o-s-e!''


Authors and philosophers have relied on the noble moose as fodder for their craft for years. Among the more famous titles and sayings:

-- ``Of Moose and Men.''

-- ``No Moose Is Good Moose.''

-- ``The Moose That Roared.''

-- ``The Little Moose at Christmas Time.''

-- ``Quiet as a moose.''

-- ``I hate meeses to pieces.''

-- ``Once in a blue moose.''

-- ``Hickory, dickory, dock, the moose ran up the clock.''


-- Definition of a moose: A large ruminant mammal (Alces Americana) of the deer family inhabiting forested parts of Canada and the northern United States.

-- Another definition of a Moose: A member of a major benevolent and fraternal order.

-- And one more definition of a moose: A cow designed by committee.


-- Moose Jaw: A small city in southern Saskatchewan. Home of the world's largest moose.

-- Mooscatel wine: A rare vintage quite popular in the North Woods.

-- Moosical instruments: Things played by a moosician to produce . . . what else? . . . moosic.



at a glance

-- Matchup: Seattle (1-2) vs. Oakland (2-1) in a three-game series, tonight (7:35), tomorrow (7:05) and Sunday (1:35).

-- Radio/TV: KIRO (710 AM) will do all three games; no local TV.

-- History: A crowd of 58,150, the first sellout in franchise history for a regular season game, is expected.

-- First pitch: Commissioner Faye Vincent will throw out the first pitch tonight. American League President Bobby Brown will also attend.

-- Getting there: Come early. Parking is expected to be at a premium and traffic around the Friday rush hour is expected to be bad news. Metro says it plans no shuttle service to the Kingdome.

-- Rotation: Tonight, Scott Bankhead vs. Scott Sanderson; tomorrow, Matt Young vs. Dave Stewart (1-0); Sunday, Brian Holman (1-0) vs. Bob Welch (1-0).

-- Notes: Mariner 3B Darnell Coles batted .327 , LF Greg Briley .306 and DH Alvin Davis hit .319 against the A's. . . . Coles still is nursing a sore hip but should play.

Copyright (c) 1990 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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