Without a doubt, The Grand Hatching was a genuine thrill, everything it was cracked up to be.
Very few people on this planet have ever experienced such joy, warmth and affection from 47,000 people as I was lucky to have on one summer night. I vividly recall bursting out in cold sweats.
This ceremony was to debut my new Chicken feathers to San Diego fans after being fired from mascot work at KGB Radio. Our divorce was actually front page news but no one thought it would seize the town as it did.
Consider, I was to smash out of a hand carved, 10 foot styrofoam egg, brought onto the field by armored truck, escorted by California Highway Patrol motorcade. In front of the biggest crowd of the year, it all played out to the musical backdrop from the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The national media was on hand en masse. Moreover, local TV stations interrupted programming to cover the event live. (The Merv Griffin Show was in the midst of an interview with Zsa Zsa Gabor when KGTV cut away to reporter Jack White on the field!)
As I huddled inside that hot egg, the roaring din of the audience brought shivers and chills to my spine.
When I broke out of my shell, the fans’ 10 minute standing ovation was an avalanche of childlike glee. The adulation carried on throughout the whole evening’s performance.
To this day, baseball experts call it one of the greatest promotions of all time.