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Posted 6/4/12 at 9:34 PM

The primate, the myth, the legend: Rise of the Rally Monkey

Now an Angel Stadium institution, the Rally Monkey's rise to stardom was hardly planned in advance.

Way back on June 6, 2000, during a game against the Giants, video board operators Dean Fraulino and Jaysen Humes played a clip of a monkey jumping up and down from “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective." Another Angels employee, Peter Bull, was roaming the crowd to monitor reaction and told Fraulino that many fans seemed to enjoy the clip.

They played the video again, to more fanfare, then tried something different in the bottom of the ninth inning. With the Angels trailing, Fraulino superimposed the words “Rally Monkey” over the clip. The Angels rallied to win the game, and a star was born.

Outfielder Torii Hunter saw the power of the Rally Monkey while playing for the Twins, especially when the Angels beat Minnesota in the 2002 ALCS. When Hunter signed with the Angels in 2008 he pulled out a Rally Monkey from underneath the table during his introductory press conference and said, “If you can’t beat him, you join him.”

Opponents aren't so keen on the simian. “I don’t like the Rally Monkey,” Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp said in February. “You’re out there in the outfield and the monkey just pops up on the screen. That’s kind of scary.”

-- Joe Haakenson

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