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posted: 5/21/2011 1:00 AM

Behind the Scenes: Ozzie the Kane County Cougars mascot

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  • Ozzie Cougar high fives kids near his fast pitch area in park, while at the same time has his whiskers pulled. The whiskers seemed unresistable to kids of all ages who couldn't resist the urge to pull on them.

       Ozzie Cougar high fives kids near his fast pitch area in park, while at the same time has his whiskers pulled. The whiskers seemed unresistable to kids of all ages who couldn't resist the urge to pull on them.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Ozzie Cougar touches the Kane County Cougars symbol, and later the KC Royals symbol, as he makes his way down to the dugout via an indoor corridor.

       Ozzie Cougar touches the Kane County Cougars symbol, and later the KC Royals symbol, as he makes his way down to the dugout via an indoor corridor.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Mike Forrest, who portrays Ozzie Cougar, choses a white jersey for game night.

       Mike Forrest, who portrays Ozzie Cougar, choses a white jersey for game night.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Kids from Ozzie's Reading Club swarm Ozzie after their parade around the ball field prior to the start of a game.

       Kids from Ozzie's Reading Club swarm Ozzie after their parade around the ball field prior to the start of a game.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Ozzie Cougar's wardrobe of jerseys, as well as extra fur costumes, hang in Ozzie's dressing room.

       Ozzie Cougar's wardrobe of jerseys, as well as extra fur costumes, hang in Ozzie's dressing room.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Ozzie Cougar high fives a fan in the upper deck during a ball game in May.

       Ozzie Cougar high fives a fan in the upper deck during a ball game in May.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Forrest takes a break and gets a breather from the hot mascot head. Forrest, a West Chicago resident, has been portraying Ozzie for the past 16 years.

       Forrest takes a break and gets a breather from the hot mascot head. Forrest, a West Chicago resident, has been portraying Ozzie for the past 16 years.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Ozzie pretends to munch on the head of McGreevy Paul, 5, of St. Charles after he ran the bases with Ozzie during a game.

       Ozzie pretends to munch on the head of McGreevy Paul, 5, of St. Charles after he ran the bases with Ozzie during a game.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Ozzie signs autographs for fans after the Ozzie's Reading Club parade around the ballpark before a game.

       Ozzie signs autographs for fans after the Ozzie's Reading Club parade around the ballpark before a game.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Drenched in sweat, Forrest removes his Ozzie Cougar head between innings so he can change his clothes underneath. Mike is constantly on the go, greeting and interacting with fans, so working up a sweat in the costume is easy, even on a cool early May evening.

       Drenched in sweat, Forrest removes his Ozzie Cougar head between innings so he can change his clothes underneath. Mike is constantly on the go, greeting and interacting with fans, so working up a sweat in the costume is easy, even on a cool early May evening.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Ozzie Cougar hands off an autographed ball to McGreevy Paul, 5, of St. Charles after he was chosen to participate in running around the bases between innings at a game.

       Ozzie Cougar hands off an autographed ball to McGreevy Paul, 5, of St. Charles after he was chosen to participate in running around the bases between innings at a game.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 

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