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Sunday, July 01, 2018

A look back at the ‘Grand Hatching’ of the San Diego Chicken

Embroiled in a legal battle with local rock station KGB over the rights to his creation, [Ted] Giannoulas put together one of the most publicized media stunts of the late 1970s. He called it the “Grand Hatching,” set for June 29, 1979, at a sold-out Jack Murphy Stadium to end his chicken persona’s brief absence from San Diego Padres games.

Giannoulas brokered a deal with the Major League Baseball team. The Padres paid him $1.50 a ticket above their average attendance, and by the end of the night he earned nearly $44,000—making him the highest-paid sports figure for a single game that year, according to Giannoulas.

Inside a giant Styrofoam egg, Giannoulas entered the stadium on top of an armored car escorted in by two California Highway Patrol motorcycles. The starting time between the Padres and the visiting Houston Astros was pushed back 30 minutes for the event.


QLE Posted: July 01, 2018 at 05:52 AM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mascots, origins, san diego chicken

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 01, 2018 at 12:03 PM (#5703047)
So Giannoulas is who we really have to blame for The Gobbledy Gooker.
   2. villageidiom Posted: July 02, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5703982)
This isn't a well-written article. If I'm gathering this correctly, the article can be summarized as follows.

I had dinner with Ted Giannoulas, who rose to prominence in the 1970s as the San Diego Chicken, and later The Famous Chicken, a popular baseball mascot. During the meal he reminisced about those days. I had no interest in researching this article further, so here are a few disjointed notions I gathered from that conversation.

I mean, from memory I know the title of the article is wrong. There was no "grand hatching" of the San Diego Chicken. There was the San Diego Chicken. Then there was the radio station lawsuit. And then there was the "grand hatching" of the Famous Chicken - different name, slightly different costume, and no conflict with the radio station's intellectual property. But even that aside, the article is all over the place. I'm not sure someone unfamiliar with this mascot would even get much of anything from the article.
   3. pthomas Posted: July 02, 2018 at 09:19 PM (#5704280)
San Diegans knew him as the "KGB Chicken". His Chicken outfit had "KGB" across the front. (You can find many images on the web of that outfit). Nobody in San Diego called him the "San Diego" Chicken at the time.

The KGB Chicken used to go to all the San Diego Mariner hockey games when the WHA moved into the Sports Arena. The Mariners papered the house with cheap or free tickets for Navy people, since crowds were sparse. We would go and sit behind the goals, and Giannoulas was just incredible to watch. He would sit and take breaks occasionally, and shoot the breeze. A couple of years later, when the Mariners were one of the best teams in the WHA and was drawing crowds, he always remembered us, shaking hands with the guys and proposing to one of the wives (his assistant carried a big fake diamond ring for the act.)

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