Back in 1986, NASA invited Caroll Spinney to be the first civilian in space. The plan for him was to ride into space on the doomed Challenger flight that took the lives of six astronauts and teacher Christa McAuliffe — the civilian who took Spinney’s place.
The reason Spinney wasn’t able to take part in the mission was because they didn’t want him to go as himself, but as the beloved children’s character he played: Big Bird.
Fortunately for him, the costume was too big to fit in the space craft, and the plan was scrapped. Fortunately for us, Big Bird wasn’t there to compound the tragedy of what in its own right was a profoundly traumatic event for the young kids the space program was marketing to (holy shit, but can you imagine if they were???).
Fortunately for us, Big Bird was still around in 1992, and able to introduce Game Six (and perhaps other games) of the American League Championship Series for CBS. And doubly fortunate for us, it’s on YouTube! A fact we were alerted to this afternoon by @bluejaysbatboy (and, if I were to guess, though I certainly don’t remember, I’d bet also years ago by the Blue Jay Hunter)…
Great highlights! Great anthropomorphic giant bird! Great… uh… muppeting?