The Time the Phillie Phanatic Didn’t Show Up: Dave Raymond

The Time the Phillie Phanatic Didn’t Show Up: Dave Raymond

My guest for Episode #43 of “the My Favorite Mistake” podcast is Dave Raymond, author of the book The Power of Fun. So what does Dave know about fun? He's had an incredibly fun career. For one, he was a somewhat accidental pioneer as a sports mascot — he was the first person to perform as the Phillie Phanatic, doing so for 16 years, in 48 states and five countries. Here is a photo of the Phanatic in 1980:

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He started Raymond Entertainment Group 20 years ago, where he has designed and rehabilitated hundreds of character brands for Fortune 500 companies, sports teams, and colleges and universities — Including Victor E. Green, who I’ve seen at Dallas Stars games and Gritty, the new Philadelphia Flyers mascot. In 2005, he founded the Mascot Hall of Fame.  Davie is also a motivational speaker (doing a lot of virtual work now).

In the episode today, Dave shares his “favorite mistake” story which involved him and the Phanatic not showing up for an event — and how the Phillies team leadership helped him learn a valuable lesson. We'll also talk about how he became the Phanatic, as a marketing intern with the team, the reception that he got from the fans, and whether the animosity with the late Dodgers' manager Tommy Lasorda was real or not. Scroll down for a few videos of the Phanatic at work.

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We also talk about his recent work and why people should be having more fun in the workplace. Can you have a process for creating fun?

Scroll down to find:

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  • Quotes
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  • Full transcript

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Quotes:

"I was blessed to learn that lesson early, that I could make a mistake, frankly. I was encouraged to make mistakes, not like that, but encouraged to make mistakes, grow and develop the Phanatic's personality."

"A lot of our young generations don't get the benefit of learning something early that will pay them dividends throughout their entire life."

"The reason why I was able to create that was that the Phillies gave me very little direction. They said, go out and have fun."

"[Tommy LaSorda] was the best ambassador in baseball because he had that great personality. He was a showman, but he also understood what a beautiful game it was."

"You can be a serious business person and do all the hard preparation work at your job while still enjoying it through this playful spirit."

Videos of the Phillie Phanatic:


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Automated Transcript (Likely Contain Mistakes)


Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.