In the world of sports, it's not uncommon for teams to have unique and quirky mascots. For one North Side softball team, their unlikely mascot is gaining attention nationwide.
Don De Grazia, the team's manager and pitcher, proudly introduced the team's official logo and mascot last year - an imprint of a rat found on a sidewalk in Roscoe Village, Chicago. The rat imprint has been a symbol for the team for about six years, but it gained national recognition recently when it caught the eye of a local artist and went viral on social media.
The team affectionately named the rat Li'l Stucky and embraced its presence as a symbol of their spirit and perseverance. For them, the rat imprint represents their journey in the softball world - always coming close to victory but narrowly missing out.
The story behind Li'l Stucky's imprint is a whimsical one. According to a "investigation" conducted by the team's internal newsletter, Li'l Stucky attempted a heroic flight to become a flying squirrel in the summer of 1992 but missed the branch and fell into wet cement. The city cement roller then sealed his fate.
Now, the rat imprint has become not only a mascot for The Lee Elia Experience, but also a tourist attraction in Roscoe Village. The local Chamber of Commerce is even hosting a naming competition, with "Li'l Stucky" as one of the top five contenders.
Despite the newfound attention and fame, Don De Grazia and his team remain grounded and grateful for the symbolism that Li'l Stucky represents. The rat imprint holds a special place in their hearts, and they continue to bring a rat skeleton to their games in memory of their beloved mascot.
So, next time you're in Roscoe Village, keep an eye out for the famous "rat hole" and maybe even catch a game of The Lee Elia Experience, where you can witness the power of a small creature leaving a lasting impression on a team's spirit.