The antics of a fan in a bear suit wowed the crowd at Dodger Stadium Monday night before the dance on top of the visiting St. Louis Cardinals' dugout was cut short by security guards who escorted the aspiring mascot from the stands.
The bear, dubbed #DodgerBear, ran from a seat in the eighth inning and hopped onto the Cardinals dugout. The inspiring rally dance -- leaps, splits, towel waving and clapping -- brought applause from fans and joy to the face of actor Dustin Hoffman, who was seated just two rows behind the dugout.
Several fans captured images and video of the dance before security personnel escorted the cooperative bear from the stands. Fans also captured images of the bear at other locations Monday in the stadium during Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.
The man behind the crowd pleasing bear mask is Mark Monninger (pictured, right), of Rancho Cucamonga. The team is one of the few major league sports franchises without a mascot, and Monninger said he feels good about Monday's audition.
"That time came, and I headed off," said Monninger. "I knew it was only going to be a few seconds before they asked me to leave, and that's what happened.
"If I was going to try out for a character like this, I'd just have to jump in and do it."
The 50-year-old office furniture store owner said he tried pitching the idea to the organization, but was told no. He also tried the stunt at a regular season game with the same result -- an ejection.
This time, Monninger said he was banned from Dodger property for six months, so it's unlikely he will be back at Game 4 Tuesday night.
"I wanted to try to get them going," Monninger said. "They really needed a win last night to keep the series going."
The Dodgers won Monday's game, 3-0, narrowing St. Louis' advantange in the series to 2-1.
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