Zizzy alongside FanGraphs’ own Matt Klaassen (last known photograph)
You went to a baseball game. After all, it was a fine day, you were visiting for spring training. Why not go to a baseball game, you thought? You couldn’t think of why not. And because of that, Zizzy, The Cincinnati Spring Training Mascot, is going to find you and murder you.
As you entered the ballpark and purchased a souvenir plastic cup of soda for five dollars, Zizzy saw you. Zizzy saw you, and he smiled, because he always smiles. But he was also pleased. After all, it was ninety degrees out, and the refills on the souvenir cups were only a dollar. That’s a good value. Zizzy admires a keen sense of finance.
But then as you reached the concourse you saw George Foster. George Foster was signing autographs for ten dollars under a tent, sitting alone. You saw him and made a joke about George Foster. What was the joke? You don’t remember. Something offhanded, something small. But Zizzy saw you. He was there and he took note of it.
You watched a couple of innings, saw Justin Masterson get roughed up. Then you went back for a refill. You got to the hot dog stand an ordered a hot dog called the “Cleveland Dog” because it had a slice of bacon, and you’re a simple man. From the crowd, Zizzy watched you order. He read your lips.
And as the sun beat down on Zizzy’s synthetic polyester baseball-skin, Zizzy began to question certain things. He began to wonder what was a Zizzy. Was it the joint-shaped automaton that children saw? Was it the man inside? What if there were no man inside anymore, what if the sun had melted him away, and all that was left was a mascot that, when opened, would reveal nothing but darkness inside, and Zizzy was still smiling because Zizzy can’t stop smiling no matter how he feels and the children point and laugh with Zizzy and at Zizzy and beyond Zizzy and that the baseball game was long since over and the stadium were empty and this was Zizzy’s purgatory to be Zizzy forever even when there is no longer such a things as a Zizzy and and
And that was when Zizzy saw you say the word “Cleveland”. And Zizzy remembered George Foster. And Zizzy remembered you.
You weaved through the crowds back to your seat. You thought to yourself that you hadn’t seen Zizzy in a while. You can’t possibly see him because he is behind you, butcher knife raised, smiling.
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