Updated: Oct 13, 2020
The Giants of the early 1980’s were a pitiful bunch. Losing seasons along with dwindling attendance ate away at the front office. They needed a solution to this problem but had yet to figure it out. The solution they came up with was an unusual one but it proved to work in the short-term.
The Giants introduced the Crazy Crab to the public during the 1984 season. It was manned by actor Wayne Doba. What made the Crazy Crab so unique from other mascots is that it was an anti-mascot. An anti-mascot is a mascot which invites fans to jeer and throw items at it in order to boost moral in the ballpark. It’s basically reverse psychology where the fans can unload all of their negative emotions on the entity while still supporting the team.
Fans were encouraged to boo the anti-mascot but some got carried away after a commercial advertising the entity. Fans constantly threw batteries and beer cans at the Crazy Crab and even members of both teams would abuse the anti-mascot.
The abuse became so destructive that the Crazy Crab was reinforced with a fiberglass shell for protection. The added protection did little to deter the daily abuse. Toward the end of the season the abuse went overboard. The Crazy Crab was attacked by two members of the San Diego Padres organization. The attack sidelined Doba for the final two games of the season. He sued the Padres and settled for $2,000 the following year.
The concept of the anti-mascot died after the 1984 season but the legend of the Crazy Crab lives on. Fans lobbied for its return in 2005, Crazy Crab Bobbleheads were handed out in 2008 and Crazy Crab scarves were handed out in 2018. Though the team has long moved on from the Crazy Crab and has embraced its’ beloved Lou Seal with all the love that Crazy Crab never experienced, the Crazy Crab will continue to hold a unique place in the hearts of Giants fans.