The boys of summer aren’t quite back in Missoula, but their unique mascot has returned.
“It’s always a sign that baseball season is right around the corner. They make that flight up from the south and we know that it’s almost baseball season,” said stadium operations manager Taylor Rush.
The osprey are back in town and have taken their rightful place in the stadium, meaning that no geese have taken over as they did in 2013.
“We had what I like to call ‘Geesegate’ and the osprey couple were a little bit later than normal, maybe." Rush said. "Start of May and a couple weeks before a pair of geese took roost in there and we were afraid that the osprey were never going to come back,."
But, thankfully, they are back to provide the city of Missoula with more awesome stories like this.
“They’re showmen. They know when people are here and he had caught a fish and flew over the top," Rush said. "He couldn’t have been over the backstop netting, he was right above. It looked like you could touch him and did a double pass over and the crowd started going crazy, and one of our batters had actually just struck out and there’s a big cheer and everyone is cheering and he’s looking up at that crowd wondering, ‘Why are you guys cheering? I just struck out!’”
Two shows for the price of one keeps the fans and the Osprey organization happy.
“You know we love our claim to fame that we are the only professional sports franchise with an animal that lives in its natural habitat at the stadium, and its really cool to have that symbol at the park fly around," Rush said. "Really enhance the experience of fans whether they’re local or they come to visit they say ‘Oh were watching the Osprey’ and all of sudden and osprey with a fish flies over 20 feet above them, it’s a really cool experience.”