On the April 3, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:
Lucky mascots fit right in to the notoriously superstitious world of professional baseball. In the early days of mascots, if a player in a slump noticed a kid in the stands smiling at him before getting a base hit, he might give the kid tickets to the next game, just to have him there for luck. Anything (or anyone) that was around at the time of a team’s hot streak could be claimed as a mascot.
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