Otto the Orange, the official mascot of Syracuse University, and Slugger, the official mascot of the Portland Sea Dogs, are the latest inductees into the Mascot Hall of Fame.
This year's winners were announced at the Cue the Confetti Celebration and FUNdraiser on June 23 at the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting.
A committee selected 18 mascots for consideration into the Mascot Hall of Fame. Winners were then selected through “The Vote” campaign for induction. A little less than 95,000 votes during a two-week period decided the winners.
Otto the Orange started entertaining fans of the private university in Syracuse, New York, in the early 1980s. Since then, more than 100 team members have donned the bright orange costume. Otto shares his antics on social media, which has brought him much attention.
“The Mascot Hall of Fame is recognizing what Syracuse fans have known for years — Otto is one-of-a-kind and embodies what it means to be ‘orange,'” said Chancellor Kent Syverud in a press release. “Otto’s spirit and joy are infectious, and part of why Otto is beloved by Orange faithful everywhere. This honor gives us one more reason to be proud of one of the greatest mascots in sports.”
Otto makes community appearances, and even has been seen at a wedding.
Slugger became the Portland Sea Dogs' mascot on May 7, 1994. He is a gray harbor seal from Casco Bay. He has entertained more than 10. 5 million fans of the Minor League Baseball team. Slugger is the first minor league sports mascot to be inducted into the hall of fame. He also was on the ballot in 2019 and 2021.
“To be put on the same platform with this group of world-class mascots from the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, and NCAA is a testament to how powerful minor league entertainment can be,” Slugger said through a translation from his spokesperson.
Slugger also makes more than 200 appearances in the community every year.
The Mascot Hall of Fame will host an induction ceremony for Otto the Orange and Slugger on Aug. 12.
Caption: Otto the Orange, the official mascot of Syracuse University, and Slugger, the official mascot of the Portland Sea Dogs were chosen to become the 2023 inductees into the Mascot Hall of Fame. (Provided by the Mascot Hall of Fame)