Wednesday, August 12, 2015

World Elephant Day

Today, August 12, is International World Elephant Day.  It was established three years for the dedication and preservation of the elephants worldwide.   Why am I writing about elephants on a baseball blog?  Well, if you pay close attention to the Oakland A's and their uniforms, you will find an elephant.  As you can see with this baseball card of pitcher Jarrod Parker:
2015 Topps Heritage

The elephant on the A's uniform dates back to the days when the franchise was in Philadelphia over 100 years ago.   Sporting goods manufacturer Benjamin Shibe and Connie Mack founded the A's franchise as a part of the newly formed American League in 1901.   The new ball club was trying establish themselves in a city where the National League's Phillies have been playing since the 1880s.  New York Giants manager John McGraw felt that that Shibe and Mack had a " white elephant " on their hands.

Mack ran with the jab and added the elephant as the team's mascot.  The A's quickly became a success and as fate would have it, competed against McGraw's Giants in the 1905 World Series.  Prior to the series, Mack presented McGraw with a toy elephant.

The elephant was eventually replaced by then owner Charles O. Finley in favor of a Missouri mule in 1963, but for the 1988 season the elephant was back with the franchise and has been ever since.

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