Bailey, 18, is one of two regulars who strap on the oversized Celery costume, along with shamrock green shorts, official Blue Rocks stirrups over his socks and giant, silly green shoes.

During the game, he sits and waits on a broken plastic chair just feet from the gate that opens to the field. Just behind him, on a bench, is the lifeless Mr. Celery costume.

The immediate area around Bailey is a busy spot, with a blur of players and interns running back and forth throughout the game.

Bailey sits in the center of the dimly lit pathway for good reason; now several seasons into his gig, Bailey knows exactly where a spilled beer will leak down from the stands.

On this night, the baby-faced Bailey is the calm eye in this hurricane of activity. The Blue Rocks have not scored and it’s the eighth inning. The Lynchburg Hillcats have already put four runs on the scoreboard.

But that doesn’t mean Bailey hasn’t been on top of things. Any time a Blue Rock makes it to second base, Bailey scurries to fetch the giant fabric celery stalk – one of the most bizarre sports mascots in America and one of the most memorable characters to ever come out of Wilmington. He slips one arm into the costume, waiting for a hit, with Mr. Celery’s body draped over his knees as if he’s going to give him a spanking.

It’s “Muppet Show” night, and he watches as the Blue Rocks’ official mascot, Rocky Bluewinkle, rushes on and off the field along with “Muppet” favorites like Beaker, and interns fling prizes into the stands.

Bailey can only watch as they return to Frawley Stadium’s underbelly with smiles on their faces, recounting their latest thrill in front of nearly 4,500 fans. He passes the time picking at Mr. Celery’s face, checking text messages from friends and scarfing down chicken fingers and french fries for dinner.

more at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.