It seems like every year, one team on the way to a deep postseason run adopts a rally item that inspires their fanbase. One example that immediately springs to mind is the Rally Monkey featured by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This year, the St. Louis Cardinals have found their postseason inspiration in the form of a Rally Squirrel.
The legend of the squirrel came into being during the Cardinals' National League Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. A squirrel interrupted play on several occasions by running on the field and even distracting Roy Oswalt during a pitch. Fans immediately embraced the curious creature and Rally Squirrel merchandise started popping up as the team progressed through the playoffs and into the World Series.
Even if the Rally Squirrel doesn't make another on-field appearance, thousands will be in the stands on t-shirts, towels and even clip-on squirrel tails. Eric Fisher of the SportsBusiness Journal reported that the team sold 11,000 Rally Squirrel items during the second game of the World Series. Clearly, this has turned into a big business opportunity.
Further increasing the availability of merchandise for sale is the fact that the squirrel is not copyrighted. As reported by the STL Today, retailers are taking advantage of the current trend without legal ramifications. However, the Cardinals logo, mascot, and the term "World Series," cannot be included on any of the unofficial items.
The Rally Squirrel is not the first squirrel to get the attention of collectors. 2007 Topps Updates and Highlights Baseball featured a short-printed gimmick card of Yankee Stadium denizen Poley Walnuts. Initially, the card was selling for big money. Today, those that do sell usually go for less than $20.
The famed St. Louis squirrel even has a Twitter account that now totals more than 28,000 followers. It was also recently featured in a MLB postseason commercial (posted below). The momentum will continue to build for the Rally Squirrel as the World Series approaches its finish line. If St. Louis can pull out the World Championship, the small animal's short-term infamy could turn into the thing of legend.