Good luck charms come in many forms, and for the Kansas City Royals, that form is currently a giant insect.
It all began on August 6, when a praying mantis made its way into the team’s dugout. At the time, the defending World Series champs weren’t doing so hot, and their hopes for another postseason run were fading fast. But that night, they beat Toronto and then won five of their next six games.
Sadly, the so-called “Rally Mantis” soon died (the bug was reportedly in rough shape upon arrival). The Royals lost that night, but it wasn’t the end of the magical praying mantis run. Another soon appeared when the team was playing in Detroit, and was scooped up by shortstop Alcides Escobar and pitcher Edinson Vólquez, along with the help of a fan. The appearance of Rally Mantis Jr. coincided with the team’s first three-game series sweep against the Tigers since 2008, and the uptick in wins has continued ever since. Fans have latched onto the surprising good luck charm, and are now dressing up like the Rally Mantis, and even getting tattoos. He's even being thanked for home runs.
Spare outfielder Billy Burns is Rally Mantis Jr.’s primary caretaker. "I think the only reason I'm taking care of him is I actually care about him not dying," he told the Associated Press. "So people are like, 'You can take care of him.' I spent one night researching how to take care of him, so hopefully we can keep him alive."
The insect now travels with the team and feeds on a diet of crickets, moths, and other bugs the players pick up. Regardless of what happens as the baseball season draws to a close, we can’t argue with a mantis as a charm and pseudo-mascot: They are truly terrifying and awesome creatures. Sorry, Sluggerrr.
[h/t Business Insider]
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