Fresno Beehive

Always wanted a photo with Heidi Watney? The Fresno Grizzlies can make it happen. Sort of

The Fresno Grizzlies will host its first ever Fresno Famous mascot race, May 11, 2019 during its game against the Albuquerque Isotopes. The race will include mascot version of Fresno celebrities like sportscaster Heidi Watney.
The Fresno Grizzlies will host its first ever Fresno Famous mascot race, May 11, 2019 during its game against the Albuquerque Isotopes. The race will include mascot version of Fresno celebrities like sportscaster Heidi Watney. @instagrizz_fg

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.

Totally, #fomo.

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.”

Improvements by the baseball team's owners group include Fresno Social, a new walk-up bar and lounge, a splash park and renovations to the second floor club space. The changes modernize the park for fans to have a more social experience, owners say.

Watch the Fresno Grizzlies opening night extravaganza including drone video, as fans and players catch the excitement of a new season.

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