Philadelphia Phillies Mascot the “Phanatic” has been launching free hot dogs high into the stands for as long as Phillies fans can remember. The dogs are launched using a custom turret style launcher mounted on the back of a John Deer, which makes for quite the spectacle. The Phanatic has fed the fans for years with no issues or hot dog related injuries. This all changed this past Monday, June 18th.
Longtime Philadelphia resident and Phillies fan Kathy McVay was seated behind home plate for the Phillies-Cardinals game at Citizens Bank Park. McVay, like most Phillies fans was familiar with the hot dog launch and was excited when the Phanatic started shooting the dogs during Monday’s game. However, her excitement quickly turned to pain.
McVay was struck in the face by one of the hot dogs, which are wrapped in duct tape, after the Phanatic shot one in her direction. The hot dog hit McVay in the face, causing bruising, facial pain, and a small hematoma in her eye. There was no way for McVay to catch or deflect the incoming hot dog due to a preexisting shoulder injury that will require surgery in the coming weeks. She thankfully did not have a concussion after going to the emergency room for a CAT scan. McVay described the impact by saying, “Bam! It hit me like a ton of bricks, my glasses flew!”
Luckily for the Phillies and the Phanatic, McVay has no plans to sue and admits it is quite the funny story. She said, “It gives people a good laugh, and if that makes somebody chuckle, then that’s fine.” McVay did caution other Major League Baseball fans to be aware of any flying object while at the games, not just balls and flying bats.
The Phillies have apologized to McVay and offered the longtime fan free tickets when she is healed. The Phanatic has yet to respond or comment but the team did say he feels terrible about the incident.