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Totally unofficial ranking of best mascots in Las Vegas history

Chance the Gila Monster is the best-known sports mascot in the current Las Vegas sports landscape, mostly because the Golden Knights are such a high-profile organization.

But where does he rank on the all-time list of mascots who have roamed the sidelines and entertained fans in local arenas over the years?

It might be a surprising answer because there is some stiff competition.

While many of the teams that have called the city home over the years may be long forgotten, some of their mascots have truly stood the test of time and continue to elicit joyful memories among long-time residents of southern Nevada.

Others are fairly new to the area and have made a quick impact. There’s even one who hasn’t yet arrived.

So let’s take a look at the top five sports mascots that have, or will, call the area home:

5. Pit Boss (Las Vegas Motor Speedway)

It’s difficult to be in a bad mood anytime you see the ever-present smile plastered on the face of Pit Boss, whose head is a giant red die that matches his gloves and boots.

He also wears a fire suit, so he can be very functional should an emergency ever arise in his presence.

4. Stomper (Oakland/Las Vegas Athletics)

While the product on the field may be abysmal this season, the few fans that do show up at A’s games at the Coliseum are treated to a few hours with Stomper.

The adorable elephant is a nod to the early days of the franchise when Giants manager John McGraw said the new owners of the Athletics had purchased a “white elephant.”

A’s manager and eventual owner Connie Mack embraced the slight and made the elephant a team symbol.

Stomper is also very responsible as he has appeared in Public Service Announcements against the use of tobacco.

He will be a welcome addition to the Las Vegas sports landscape.

3. Cosmo/Elvee (51s/Las Vegas Stars)

Spruce Goose and The Aviator do a great job at Las Vegas Ballpark these days, but the old-school mascots under the franchise’s previous names did all the heavy lifting at Cashman Field to help get the Aviators to their shiny new digs.

Cosmo was an alien with big bulging eyes who loved ballpark foods and was billed as a former baseball phenom on his home planet. He was always full of hijinks and particularly enjoyed food-based pranks.

Elvee was a true legend, sporting an Elvis wig and some sick shaves. He truly went down when he was ejected from a 1999 game for making gestures toward home plate umpire Tim Pasch following a called third strike.

2. The Shark (UNLV)

Try telling people who were around for the glory days of UNLV basketball that the costumed shark roaming the arena and hyping up the crowd wasn’t the official mascot. It was as much or more a part of the atmosphere than the now-retired Hey Reb.

The ode to coach Jerry Tarkanian still holds a special place in the heart of many longtime supporters of the school and program.

1. Boom Boom (Las Vegas Thunder)

A skating polar bear in the desert? How could any other mascot even come close?

While the six seasons the IHL team called the Thomas & Mack Center home in the 1990s are a distant memory, a generation of hockey fans fell in love with the sport through Boom Boom before turning their allegiances to the Knights.

One valley resident with fond memories of the era described Boom Boom as “energetic, fun, sarcastic, devilish, slightly inappropriate and great with the ladies.”

A true Las Vegas legend.

The only slight flaw was that Boom Boom, as well as Elvee and Cosmo, violated one of what should be the unwritten rules of mascot attire.

Those three all wore shirts or jerseys, but no pants. Mascots don’t need clothes, but once they have a shirt the pants should also be included.

Boom Boom was cool enough to overcome even this violation.

Honorable Mention

Sure, throw Chance in there. The Gila Monster is beloved, but much of that is just based on team success. Lucky, the Silver Knights mascot, may actually be the better overall character.

Hey Reb was also iconic before he got canceled.

Cash The Soccer Rocker of the Las Vegas Lights nearly made the list. He’s a bit of a nod to Elvee, which is appropriate since the Lights play at Cashman Field. Cash is described as a Harley Davidson-riding, dancing caricature of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.

The WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces have Bucket$, a rabbit who may put on the best in-arena show. Perhaps the best gimmick of any of these mascots is when Bucket$ gets on a trampoline and blocks shot attempts from fans.

A special shoutout also goes to Mojave Max, who reminds kids and adults alike to treat the desert ecosystem with respect.

He has little to do with sports, but is another legend.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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