The Wilson Times

Tuesday, April 02, 2013 8:36 AM

Slugger practices dance routines

By Lee Jennings

Slugger the tobacco worm was having a dream of transforming into the most handsome mascot that anyone had ever seen. The Tobs Baseball season was quickly approaching, and Slugger was going to be ready on May 28th for his new reveal at the season opener. In his dream, he could hear fans saying that he was the most fit and handsome tobacco worm they had ever encountered. He could hear cheers and whistles and the roar of applause.

Slugger rubbed his eyes as he woke up to the morning sunlight peeping through the window blinds. What a great dream he had enjoyed! He stretched and smiled and then realized that he should get a move on. There was a lot to do that day.

Slugger showered and brushed his teeth. Then he went to his closet to find something to wear. He found a baseball shirt and slipped his head through the hole, but when he got it over his head, it felt funny. Slugger went to the mirror and looked at himself. The shirt was too baggy in the stomach and too tight around his muscles in his arms. All of his working out and eating right had reshaped his physique.

Slugger then remembered a new baseball shirt in a different size and tried it on. It fit perfectly. He was then out the door with a granola bar and a bottle of water. He was feeling especially good about himself.

He ate his breakfast on the way to historic Fleming Stadium where he would be practicing his dance moves today for the upcoming season. He wanted the fans to be thrilled with his new look and moves. He headed up to the sound booth to play some music in the stadium.

He had grown accustomed to going up and down the stadium steps as he worked out. He didn’t even get out of breath as he jolted up the steps and then back down again. As he came back down the steps, he could hear the music start playing. He started swishing his body this way and that way to the music. But much to his surprise, he got off balance because of his tail and started falling into the chairs. He knew he must look ridiculous with his mouth wide open and his legs sticking up in the air. He hoped that nobody saw him.

He began to feel rather bad but then started laughing so hard that he got the hiccups. He thought about what a good beat his hiccups made. And then he got up and started back down the steps without swishing so much this time.

He was going to have to work on his balance with his new physique with his smaller waist, his bigger muscles, and his tail. The song "Cotton Eyed Jo” was playing over the loud speakers. Slugger began to swish around again, this time on the field. He turned to the right, and he turned to the left. He was getting pretty good now. He could feel the adrenaline start pumping as he danced and thought about opening night.

He danced until he was worn out and ready for lunch. He had worked up an appetite. Now, where did he want to go today for his salad? He decided to head to McDonald’s for their southwest grilled chicken salad. Slipping a "Ballpark Digest” and the day’s "Wilson Times” under his arm he headed out to have lunch. He liked to be informed of the latest in news, community, and of course baseball.

Slugger read while he ate his salad at a table by a window. When he finished, he decided he would head over to New Hope Primary Care to see how much he weighed and say hi to the nice people there. They had given him his physical before he started exercising, and he had grown to love going there for his evaluations and encouragement.

He found out that he had gained some weight, but that was alright with him because it was muscle weight gain. He was so excited that he started dancing again, but this time, he didn’t fall over. Practice was paying off.

He was also getting excited because of all the fun things coming up when the baseball season started. Not only were there the actual games, but there would also be the Slugger’s Kids Club nights with its fun kids at the games, the 7th Inning Stretch Steak Giveaway from the Beef Mastor, the Read around the Bases event, the School’s Out Celebration, the Stuff the Bus Home Run for Hunger event, Faith and Family nights, and so much more that he could hardly contain his energy! He was already thinking about all of the fans smiling while he was part of these great events getting them involved.

Slugger was also looking forward to appearing at some birthday parties. He loved kids and hoped that more would invite him to entertain at their parties. He knew that their parents could call the Tobs front office at (252)291-8627 for prices and availability. Besides that, he had been so good at not eating sweets; he was ready for a taste of some cake.

Before going back to Fleming Stadium, Slugger decided to stop in and visit the Jeff Price Agency with Farm Bureau and see how they were doing. He had purchased a policy with them and had grown to really appreciate them. He had a great visit with them and then stopped by Thomas & Farris, PA where he had gained some advice.

The friends at both places were very complimentary on Slugger’s appearance. He was proud of himself for his efforts at becoming healthier. And he enjoyed being out and about in the community. He encouraged his friends to come to the Tobs games and let them know that the 2013 game schedule was on the website at There was a lot of good information on the website.

On the way back to Fleming Stadium after his lunch break; Slugger realized that he might need to hurry along to get in more practice at dancing without getting off balance. He raced along back to work and turned on the sound system again. As he was coming down the steps going out to the field, he started swishing from side to side again. This time, his tail got too swishy, and he got it caught around a seat.

There he went again, down on the floor with his feet sticking up in the air. He began to laugh again, glad that he wasn’t hurt, and made it down the steps again without falling. He went up and down the steps several times, swishing to the rhythm. He was getting the hang of it now. His new physique, his tail, his rhythm to the music was all coming together.

Just a little more practice, and he would be ready for May 28th’s opening game! He wondered who all would be there. And he would not be surprised if he were to have one more adventure before the first game!

You can follow Slugger's adventures in spring training by visiting his page at We'll share a new story in this space the first Tuesday of each month.

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