Are The New York Mets In Their Grimace Era?

By Heather Taylor, Editor-in-Chief, PopIcon

The New York Mets might just have a big, purple, good luck charm on their side for the 2024 season.

On June 13, Business Insider ran an article questioning whether fast food chain McDonald’s had remembered to celebrate their beloved McDonaldland character Grimace’s birthday this year. Grimace fans, new and existing alike, can likely vividly recall memories of Grimace’s 2023 birthday. Last year, McDonald’s went all out for Grimace with a themed birthday meal and purple Grimace shake, the latter of which was sold from June 12 through July 9 at McDonald’s locations nationwide.

While it wouldn’t be entirely surprising to hear McDonald’s had scaled back on Grimace festivities this year in favor of focusing on another piece of McDonaldland IP, they didn’t forget about Grimace. As it turns out, Grimace celebrated his birthday at a New York Mets game where he threw the first pitch.

Grimace Throws His First Pitch

Technically, Grimace isn’t the first McDonaldland mascot to throw the first pitch at a baseball game. Ronald McDonald previously held these honors in 2012 during a baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Chicago White Sox.

But! The first pitch he threw during the Mets game against the Miami Marlins was indeed a Grimace first. The mascot came dressed to play in a baseball cap and catcher’s glove.

His pitch wasn’t spectacular. ESPN described it as being wide of the home plate and arcing into the ground. The crowds, however, didn’t care. They went wild for Grimace.

Then something truly unusual happened. The MLB tweeted on June 16 that since Grimace threw his first pitch, the Mets were 5-0. Just a few days prior, the Mets were 2-0.

A streak started and all because of Grimace.

The question now is how many other McDonaldland mascots should start booking in guest appearances at upcoming Mets games. Should Ronald make a comeback? How about the Hamburgular? (That particular character, it seems, would probably be better suited as a catcher what with his nimble ability to grab tons of cheeseburgers all at once.)

Or should we start extending this invitation to other brand mascots? I can’t be the only person who remembers the brief, but powerful roles the Pillsbury Doughboy, Green Giant, and Sprout played in a truly iconic one-sheeter wishing the Minnesota Twins good luck during their 1983 season, can I?

About the Author

Heather Taylor is the senior writer and editor-in-chief of PopIcon, Advertising Week’s blog about brand mascots. Got a pitch on brand mascots or want to wax nostalgic about characters? Drop her a line at