Is there an official mascot for the 2023 World Baseball Classic? Do any teams have mascots?
The 2023 World Baseball Classic is chock-full of the sport’s superstars. What seems to be missing in the competition is the appearance of team mascots.
Mascots bring excitement and entertainment to sporting events, but it looks they won’t be making much of an appearance at the 2023 World Baseball Classic, if one were to judge by media hype, or the lack thereof. The Classic itself has not made announcement regarding a mascot that would represent the event, nor have the teams publicized if they will have a costumed character assigned to cheer for them.
The most recent sighting of a team mascot for the World Baseball Classic was in Panama, where a person wearing a cat costume dressed in the country’s colors of red, white, and blue posed for photos with fans at the WBC qualifier game against Brazil.
One of the best team mascots we have found so far is Fei Chai giving it all for the team from Taiwan.
Mensch on a Bench
The most famous Classic mascot appeared in the last edition of the tournament in 2017. He represented the underdog team Israel during their surprise 3-0 start in the competition. His name? Mensch on a Bench. The character is based on a picture book with the same name that was created to interest children in the story of Hanukkah.
The cuddly mascot may have helped lift the spirits of the team which was ranked 41st in the world at the time. Their performance in the first round was considered a Cinderella story as they proceeded to defeat all their opponents in the pool- upsetting No. 3 South Korea, No. 4 Chinese Taipei, and No. 9 Netherlands.
Here’s Mensch on a Bench posing with the Israeli team.
Team USA’s bird
Another mascot that made an appearance at the 2017 Classic was that of Team USA- a bald eagle. Not as cute as Israel’s representative, but maybe even more effective, as the country took home the championship trophy that year.
With the success that both these countries with mascots enjoyed in 2017, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have one cheering for the team in the 2023 World Baseball Classic