5 San Francisco Mascots We Cheer for (Plus a Horrendous One)

San Franciscans have always embraced their stadiums and arenas, but team mascots are often a different story. Below are the five best mascots in San Francisco history. We’ve also included a pick for the worst. Read more about our beloved stadiums and arenas: http://sfchron.cl/1QqcBaH (via Peter Hartlaub)
  1. Crazy Crab (Giants)
    Invented with ironic intent in 1984, the mascot everyone was supposed to hate turned out to be the greatest in San Francisco history. The Giants wisely keep the fans wanting more; Crazy Crab is in a closet under the stadium most of the time, but shows up for special occasions.
  2. Major (Seals)
    This could never work in 2015, for obvious reasons. But we have to respect the moxie of the 1950 San Francisco Seals management, who kept a live sea lion (above) near the entrance of the ballpark for several seasons. Named Major by the fans, the sea lion always seemed to be surrounded by children. Until PETA invents a time machine, this is our second-favorite mascot in S.F. history.
  3. Lou Seal (Giants)
    Not as cool as a live seal. And frankly, we’d like Lou Seal to take it easy on the Red Bull and blend into the scenery a little more. But a mascot is for the kids, not cranky adults. And kids love this San Francisco Giants mainstay.
  4. Clementine (49ers)
    He or she was a mule wearing a red blanket who attended 49ers games at Kezar Stadium for a brief time in the 1950s and ’60s. We forgot this mascot existed until Chronicle librarian Bill Van Niekerken unearthed a photo years ago.
  5. Don (University of San Francisco)
    The USF Dons don’t have much to work with — most outsiders don’t know that a Don is a Spanish nobleman. So they gave their mascot a high-energy Errol Flynn vibe, with a mask and thin moustache, and it works. The Don is the most underrated S.F. mascot.
  6. ... and the worst: Sourdough Sam (49ers)
    The best part about the 49ers’ moving to Santa Clara was knowing that Sourdough Sam would be two area codes to the south. We’re sympathetic to current 49ers management, who have a nearly impossible mascot situation. (Not many choices with the prospector theme. A gold nugget? An anthropomorphic pickax?) But at his best in multiple incarnations over the years, the 49ers mascot looked like an escapee from the set of “Hee Haw.” Bring back Clementine!