How it was kept from me, until a couple of months ago, that the Las Vegas 51’s Triple-A Minor League Baseball Team have as their mascot a desaturated Jar Jar Binks named Cosmo??? It honestly blew my mind for a good two days after I initially stumbled across him on Google image search. I’ve never had a lapse in my Star Wars fandom that would’ve prevented me from hearing about Cosmo, and before and during the Prequel Era, I visited theforce.net multiple times a day…and yet, there was a story on TFN from April 26, 2001 announcing Cosmo’s existence. How did I miss it??
The Las Vegas 51’s, then the Triple-A farm team for the LA Dodgers (and now Toronto’s AAA ball club), adopted Cosmo as their mascot in 2001…2 years after JJB lit the world on fire in The Phantom Menace. Nobody in their right mind, save for the most obtuse Las Vegas defense lawyer or curdled fanboy, would look at Cosmo and claim that he wasn’t primarily modelled on Jar Jar. Look for yourself:
Whosa are YOUSA?!? (pics from http://www.facebook.com/51sBaseball)
The 51’s own website lays out his origin:
Cosmo, a fan favorite of all ages, returns to Earth for his ninth season as the Mascot for the Las Vegas 51s (2001- present). Cosmo is a survivor of a spaceship crash who spent time at “Area 51” and was a baseball phenom on his home planet of Koufaxia.
Cosmo makes numerous appearances at elementary schools, businesses and charity functions. For more information regarding Cosmo, call the 51s office at (702) ***-****.
PERSONAL: Cosmo loves hot dogs, Cracker Jack and popcorn. His favorite music includes Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust,” Styx’s “Mr. Roboto,” and the Space Jazz Trio. His favorite movies and TV shows include Men in Black (I , II & III), all episodes of the Star Wars saga, Lost in Space and Star Trek.
Maybe I’m just projecting, but I love that they specify “ALL EPISODES” of the Star Wars saga…sorry, half-fans and hateboys—Cosmo loves ‘em all!
friend to animals and children, just like The Grand Gungan himself…
Check out those Gungan-esque ears! It’s pretty amazing that Cosmo has lasted 11 years for a number of different reasons: LFL didn’t sue him out of existence, societal JJB-hate hasn’t eradicated him yet, and stunt-crazy Minor League Baseball owners haven’t scrapped him in favor of something novel. To me, that speaks to how great Jar Jar’s design was, and it’s why I liked the character from the first time I saw him in 1998.
Even when they stick a backwards ballcap on him, Cosmo still retains his Binks-ness:
Since the first picture I ever saw of Cosmo was a bobblehead in his likeness, I knew that just like his progenitor, there was merchandise to be had of him—and I couldn’t have a Cosmo-sized hole in my JJB collection. If only I could make it to Cosmo Bobblehead Night at the 51’s game on July 21st!
The Gungan Savage Opress and Darth Maul???
Kids’ Books Binks Art ?