The man who donned a bear costume for a frantic dance atop the St. Louis Cardinals dugout Monday night in Game 3 of the National League championship series says he’s been banned from Dodger Stadium for six months.
The 50-year-old man behind “Rally Bear,” Mark Monninger of Rancho Cucamonga, said he pulled the stunt to promote the idea of the Dodgers’ getting a mascot.
The moment came as the Dodgers fought their way to a 3-0 win Monday over the St. Louis Cardinals. In the bottom of the eighth inning, during a pitching change, Monninger jumped out of his seat dressed in a bear costume and rushed on top of the Cardinals’ dugout.
He then waved his hands wildly, clapping to get the crowd hyped up and tried to do a jump into splits -- twice -- before being pulled away by security personnel.
Monninger called it “a gonzo, guerrilla-thing where you just go for it.”
“Not bad for a white guy.... Trust me, it can get way better,” Monninger said of his late-game performance. “I can tear up a rug if I have to.”
[Updated 2:30 p.m. PDT Oct. 15: A spokesman for the Dodgers on Tuesday said the ban included six months’ worth of games at Dodger Stadium.]
The owner of an office-furniture store, Monninger said he was trying to drive home the point that the Dodgers need a mascot.
“I’m not trying to promote any organization or cause.... I just want to show fans, this is what is out there, this is someone that can entertain you,” he said.
He decided on a bear costume because “bears are cuddly, they look good.”
Monninger had tried a similar move once before, he said, at the Dodgers’ last regular-season home game, when he dressed up in the bear costume and ran through the stands trying to get fans pumped up.
But this time, he said, “the key was I had to be on the dugout.”
Monninger said that as he was taken away in a squad car out of the stadium, fans saw him in the back seat and chanted “Free the bear! Free the bear!”
A spokesman for the Dodgers could not address the incident involving Monninger but said that running out onto the field or climbing atop dugouts are against stadium policy.
Monninger said that even though he wasn’t arrested, that could change if he violates the six-month ban.
“It’s in their hands now,” Monninger said. “I got my point across.”