Diego Chicken - Feathery chicken mascot who pranced about the
baseball diamond during San Diego Padres baseball games in an attempt to get
laughs and bolster the moral of the home team and fans. The San Diego Chicken
was born when Ted Giannoulas, a 5-foot 3-inch college student majoring in
journalism in San Diego State took a job for a radio station in 1974 to dress up
as a chicken and deliver Easter eggs at the San Diego Zoo. He did such a good
job that the radio station asked him to appear in the same outfit at a San Diego
Padres game. The rest is history.
The success of Ted's antics on the field have spurred some other major leagues
to use mascots during their baseball games, for example, the "Phillie Phanatic"
(Dave Raymond), a green creature with a horn like snout; "The Bird" (Clayton
Goldstein/Chris Pfingsten), a feathered resident of the Baltimore Orioles; and
Fredbird and Redbird mascots for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.
With the success of the San Diego Chicken, Ted Giannoulas traveled about the
country and the globe performing his zany on-field antics to the rave reviews of
thousands of fans. He jokingly billed himself as the "biggest thing in poultry
since Colonel Sanders." (TV Guide 6/25/83).
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