For the first time in modern history, the Chicago Cubs will have an official team mascot.
Clark, a “young, friendly Cub,” will make his rookie debut Monday night at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Pediatric Developmental Center alongside more than a dozen Cubs prospects.
“The Cubs are thrilled to welcome Clark as the team’s official mascot,” Cubs Senior Director of Marketing Alison Miller said in a statement. “Clark is a young, friendly Cub who can’t wait to interact with our other young Cubs fans.
Before and during games, Clark will greet fans as they enter Wrigley Field and stop by the Wrigley Field First Timers Booth to welcome new guests. On Family Sundays, he will help kids run the bases following the game. Most of the time, Clark will welcome fans to Clark’s Clubhouse at Wrigley Field, where families can make a special visit as they please.
"He’ll be a welcoming presence for families at Wrigley Field and an excellent ambassador for the team in the community," Miller said in a statement.
Weier has been playing the role of “Billy Cub”, a cuddly bear figure who strolls the sidewalks outside Wrigley Field, posing for photos and clowning with fans before and after Cub games, since 2007.
The team, however, said Weier’s character was not sanctioned by the company.
“The Billy Cub characters are not affiliated with the Chicago Cubs,” team spokesman Julian Green said in a statement. “We have received complaints from fans, mistakenly believing ‘Billy Cub’ to be associated with the Cubs.”
The league, citing allegations of trademark infringement, sent Weier a 100-plus page letter, ordering him to stop wearing the Billy Cub costume, and engaging in “unabated Mascot Activities.”
After consulting with a lawyer, Weier ignored the letter.
“Basically I told them if you can’t come to an agreement with what I can wear and continue to do this, then take me to court and sue me,” he said. “What I want from them is to be the official mascot, and what they want from me is to be gone and no one to remember I was ever there.”
Team officials said the decision for an official mascot came after “consistently hearing through survey feedback and fan interviews that the Cubs and Wrigley Field needed more family-friendly entertainment.”
“The appetite for more family-friendly initiatives became clear, and the concept of a mascot who interacts in the community, engages with young fans and is respectful of the game was widely supported,” according to a release from the team.