The Phillie Phanatic is a large green monster-like mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies. Zoologically, he seems derived from an anteater. One of the earlier major league mascots following the San Diego Chicken, the Phanatic made his furry, green debut on April 25, 1978. Bill Giles, chairman of the Phillies, was among the Phanatic's originators and he is owned and managed by the franchise. Early on, the Phillies did not hold the trademark to the Phanatic and as he gained in popularity, the Phillies were forced to pay a sizable amount to buy the rights to use his image. He replaced earlier mascots, Philadelphia Phil and Philadelphia Phyllis.
The Phanatic often performs skits prior to the game and between early innings. These may include audience participation or a plant on the field. There is also a female Phanatic that sometimes appears with the original.
In the late innings of the game, he will stand atop the Phillies dugout hexing opposing players, dancing with fans between innings, or dumping a giant tub of popcorn over opposing fans. His feud with Tommy Lasorda was legendary as the Phanatic used to ride over a dummy Lasorda with his ATV. He usually departs after the 8th inning.
The Phillie Phanatic was originally played by Dave Raymond and is now primarily played by Tom Burgoyne.