Follow Friday: Wally the Green Monster
Follow Friday, at a Glance
Connect with Wally the Green Monster on social media:
Wally the Green Monster, the Red Sox’s mascot, has been given a life many Bostonians dream of having: it’s his job to live and breathe the Boston Red Sox. Wally is not only the mascot of the legendary team, but also a pioneer among MLB mascots—he was the first mascot to join social media. With 30.6K followers on Twitter, the Boston obsessed mascot has become a social media connoisseur in his own right, developing friendships along the way and interacting with his fans from the stands at Fenway Park and beyond.
Here, we chat with Wally about friends, foes, and why he’s not Twitter verified.
Can you share how a mascot began venturing into social media? What inspired you to create all these accounts?
I mean, I don’t get to talk to many of my fans all the time, so [social media] is a different way for me to give my fans what they want. You get to see what goes on in my life besides when I’m in the ballpark, instantly, and you get to see what goes on behind the scenes. You can catch what I’m up to through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, whatever.
How do you manage your various social media accounts?
Every social media platform is different, so it’s important for me to get on every platform and make sure I’m using it. I run it from my giant phone and I always retweet photos that fans tag me in!
In three words, describe the voice and tone of your social media.
I was just talking about this the other day. I’d say fun, interesting, and edgy. It’s important for me to tie all three of them in, too. I want to be edgy in a fun way, not in a bad way, but I also like to keep it interesting. I wouldn’t want to be edgy without being fun, you know?
What’s your favorite part about engaging with Sox fans through your accounts?
You know, my favorite part about it is that I’m able to be myself and talk to my fans. It’s my favorite way to show my personality, as well. We started doing social media and then everyone started doing it. I was the first MLB Twitter account! That just tells you how fun it is for all of us.
Being that you have tons of followers, what is your process for tweeting? Do you carefully consider what’s worthy of tweeting or do you impulse tweet?
A lot of it doesn’t even have anything to do with baseball. It’s my opinion on the Oscars or the Grammys, anything that anyone finds funny or interesting. A lot of it is impulse tweeting, actually. You know what?
Twitter will not verify mascot accounts. They haven’t given us a reason. They’ll verify baseball teams, but their one rule is that they won’t verify mascot accounts. We contacted them about it but they won’t do it. There’s only one mascot out there who has a verified account and that’s the Colt’s mascot, Blue, and he has the handle @blue… How did someone not have that handle already?
But Blue has less followers than you. He has 22.9K.
[Sighs] I know. If you ever find out why he’s verified, please let me know.
As of March 2, you have 30.6K followers and Bailey from the L.A. Kings has 39K followers. How does it feel to be one of the most followed mascots in America?
Bailey is good…like really, reeeally good on social media. But I do have a lot of followers too, and I think that speaks to the power of Red Sox nation. It’s just our fan base. Our fans are the best in sports—we all know that! To have a mascot account that’s so followed just shows how dedicated our fans are.
Speaking of fans, have you had any memorable social media encounters with another MLB team fan or from anyone on another team?
One happened recently where Wally made a bet with the Seattle Mariners mascot and the loser had to wear the other team’s jersey and take a picture. It’s funny because Mariner Moose wore Tom Brady’s jersey, took a photo with the jersey on, and flew a Patriots flag in front of Safeco Field, which happens to be right across the street from where the Seahawks play. The Patriots tweeted about it and it kind of became a big thing.
— Mariner Moose (@MarinerMoose) February 20, 2015
What’s the weirdest, most surprising, or most outspoken feedback you’ve gotten via social media?
Nothing weird or outspoken has really happened because everyone who has an opinion has an opinion for a reason. I never want to call out someone.
As a mascot, what’s something social media allows you to do that you couldn’t do before? Besides physically post, of course.
During a game, I can now communicate with Red Sox fans. I communicate with them through my Twitter feed, Facebook has more photos, and Instagram obviously has more photos. There are fans that will be like, “Hey! We’re sitting at section 32. Can you come visit us?” If the time allows, I’ll go visit them! It’s mainly through Twitter—it’s instantaneous and that’s what makes Twitter so fun. Before we had these accounts, I’d try to find them on my own, but now I’ll interact with fans, so that’s great if you’re at Fenway Park.
I know you have a rivalry with Raymond the Tampa Bays mascot. Can you tell me a bit about that?
Uh, yeah, especially when our teams are playing each other. It becomes a really fun thing. I’d say it’s a friendly rivalry. I seem to be able to one up him a bit though. Just check out the number of social media followers.
Besides being the Sox mascot and handling social media, what’s your next greatest interest?
Nope, that’s it. Those are my greatest interests.
So what are you doing when you’re not at a game or with the guys?
I’m always hanging around the community. I help out with the Jimmy Fund, go to lots of fundraisers, weddings, and birthday parties. You name it, I’m there. It’s almost like when a baseball game is not going on, I’m busier.
Do you have any best furry friends? Any good memories with them?
[Writer’s note: T.C. is indeed a good friend. When we tweeted Wally after this interview, T.C. was quick to reply.]
Which social media account is the strongest channel? If you had to pick, which one is the “must-follow”?
Twitter, definitely. Twitter to me is more immediate. If you want to find out where I am, what I’m up to, then Twitter is the main account to follow.
What are you most looking forward to this season? How do you think it’ll be different?
I’m looking forward to seeing all the fans at Fenway again! We have a really good team with a great lineup!