For Pete's Sake

Royals announce that Rally Mantis Jr. has died

Rally Mantis Jr.
Rally Mantis Jr.

Until the very end, Rally Mantis Jr. had impeccable timing.

The Royals on Wednesday announced that the team’s former praying mantis mascot had died.

Royals vice president of publicity Toby Cook said the Rally Mantis had passed away on Tuesday, which was the one-year anniversary of the ending of last year’s World Series.

The Royals found Rally Mantis Jr. in their dugout in Detroit on Aug. 15, just days after the first Rally Mantis died in Minnesota. It came right on time. The Royals won 18 of 22 games during one stretch of the season with their mascots, and got back into the playoff race.

The insect became one of the more unusual story lines of the Royals’ 2016 season. The injuries, the trouble with the starting pitching and the Rally Mantis.

Fans took an instant liking to the insect mascot, as they wore masks to games, made signs and even bought beanbag toys.

Learning the lesson from the demise of the first Rally Mantis, some of the Royals players learned how to best support a praying mantis. Billy Burns served as the main caretaker.

When the victories didn’t continue and the magical run had ended, the Royals sent Rally Mantis Jr., to Lakeside Nature Center.

A praying mantis generally doesn’t live through the winter, so it had a normal lifespan. Still, Royals fans responded to the news of the death of the insect that many had come to love:

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff