The Fresno Grizzlies have a history of celebrating famous Fresnans.
For several seasons the minor-league baseball team put together a March Madness-style bracket challenge to determine the most famous Fresnan. NBA center Robin Lopez won that inaugural contest. TV personality Kopi Sotiropulos won year two.
This season, the Triple-A team has forgone all the public voting and is putting on mascot foot races. The inaugural race happens Saturday during the Grizzlies’ game against the Albuquerque Isotopes and features bobbleheaded versions of author William Saroyan, sportscaster Heidi Hatney and Lopez (though it could be his twin brother, Brook).
According to the Grizzlies’ social media, Saroyan, Watney and Lopez (their mascot versions at least) will be at the stadium’s new left field social space for pictures and the like.
Watney took to Twitter to express the honor she feels at being represented at the race: “This is AMAZING! I love it! So honored!! #Fresnogrown #hometown #ValleyPride.”
Lopez, meanwhile — a guy who’s had run-ins with mascots before — had a bit of fun with his tweet:
“Incredible likeness. I spend a lot of time walking around in a jersey with “BASKETBALL” on the front complemented w/ flesh colored shirts (But not like Buffalo Bill) #ISwearImNotBuffaloBill #ImCertainlyNotTheBuffaloBills #IdRatherBeBuffaloBill #PleaseGodDontMakeMeTheBuffaloBills.”