One of the most famous recent gimmicks in sports has been Rally Monkey, which first appeared on the scoreboard at an Angels game more than 10 years ago. The Rally Monkey achieved prominence during the Angels run to the 2002 World Series title, was sold in plush form at games and eventually even starred in a “This Is SportsCenter” commercial, in which the Rally Monkey lost his fictional job at ESPN.
Ironically, just a few months before that commercial ran, in the 2007 offseason, Robert Castillo, the Angels production manager and creator of the Rally Monkey, was let go from the team. Saying he's been out of work since, Castillo is now selling his World Series ring through ring dealer Tim Robins. The asking price is $19,000.
“Having been out of work for nearly three years and unable to find work has left me in debt and on the brink of total financial ruin,” Castillo told CNBC. “The World Series ring is the only item I own of value.”
The ring is made of 10-Karat gold with diamonds and rubies and comes in its original wood presentation box. The ring weighs 46 grams and is a size 12.
Castillo said the Rally Monkey idea was born one day when he was watching a film clip of a monkey jumping up and down. His colleague, Lou Costanza, looked over to Castillo and said, “Monkeys are funny.”
A couple years later, in June 2000, when the Angels needed a rally to beat the San Francisco Giants, the monkey made its debut on the scoreboard and the Angels completed the comeback.
"When people walk into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and see a stuffed Rally Monkey doll in the case honoring the Angels championship, they will see that I truly left my mark in this world."
“Needless to say, a monkey jumping up and down on the scoreboard with the text reading ‘Rally Monkey’ is hardly creative,” Castillo said. “Nonetheless, with baseball comes superstition and the very next night we had the crowd calling for it.”
Castillo, who worked 14 years for the Angels, and the production staff eventually put the monkey into movie scenes, TV episodes and music videos.
“It’s been a long time now since I felt the goose bumps and from a deafening crowd at the Big –A,” Castillo said. “I’m just another statistic now. But when people walk into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and see a stuffed Rally Monkey doll in the case honoring the Angels championship, they will see that I truly left my mark in this world.”
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