Tremor, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes’ mascot, is considered one of the best entertainers in the minor leagues.
With apologies to Bumble, Shelly, Mr. Shucks and Hootz, I think Tremor is the best mascot in the Angels minor league system.
With most minor league operations, the mascot is usually a local young adult making a little over minimum wage to wander the stands and interact with children.
Tremor, though, is a living, breathing character in the tradition of the San Diego Chicken and the Phillie Phanatic.
I’ve posted a video of Tremor skits at The Epicenter on September 1, 2007. They’re pretty much representative of his act. You need Windows Media Player and a high-speed (cable modem, DSL) Internet connection to watch.
The character comes alive because he tells stories. They’re simple little stories, designed to keep the fans entertained for two minutes, but it’s obvious that planning went into developing the gag. Sometimes the gags run through several segments, and often involve the umpires. Not all umpires have the sense of humor to participate, but many do and look forward to visiting The Epicenter so they can interact with Tremor.
Who is Tremor?
That’s a closely guarded secret, like the formula for Coke.
But unlike many mascots, the man inside the suit has been the same performer for many years. And rumor has it he was once Hamlet, the dearly departed mascot at Lake Elsinore. Some of the long-timers in the Angels system remember him from Storm days.
Hamlet delivers a kick to Tremor at Lake Elsinore in April 2000. It was Hamlet’s birthday, so he can be forgiven.
If you watch the video, the little boy in the final segment with the water balloons is the son of Todd Takayoshi, currently the Angels’ roving hitting instructor and a catcher with Lake Elsinore in 1994-96.
If you saw Hamlet at Lake Elsinore in the late 1990s, he was a distinctly different personality from Tremor. There are some similarities, but Tremor has a lot more arrogance to his persona, while Hamlet was a bit more insecure and childlike. That’s a tribute to the performer that he took the time to develop different personalities for his characters and isn’t just running around inside a suit to make a few bucks.
Tremor’s sidekick, Aftershock, appears at some games. Even when he’s not there, he is, because he’ll be around performing various other roles. You’ll often see him in a Quakes uniform; he’s the player in the water balloon gag, and the one being doused by Tremor with the bucket of water in the above photo. He also helped drag the infield Saturday night. And on rare occasions, he’s Tremor when the regular performer isn’t available. (You can tell because Tremor suddenly seems shorter and baggy around the ankles.)
One day the performer will move on, and it may not be possible to keep the persona alive. When that happens, perhaps Tremor should go the way of the dinosaurs …