|When it Comes to Mascots, the Judge Rules as Baylor
BAYLOR: JUDGE VIRGINIA CRUMP (GINNY) & BRUISER
When it comes to finding live mascots, many schools received theirs through donations from alumni and
fans. However, the Baylor Bear joined his new unit when his former one, the 107th engineers, a unit of the
32nd Infantry Division moved on without their mascot in the 1920s.
Instead of transferring to the Navy, Ted the bear joined the Baylor ranks and saw his first action at the
Baylor-Texas A&M game. Since then, Baylor fans have enjoyed seeing their live mascot 'bear' down on
their competitors at a variety of athletic events.
Through the years it became a tradition to name each bear Judge, along with another name. Besides
supporting the school at games, Judge Virginia Crump who is nicknamed Ginny, enjoys other aspects of
"About three or four times a week we take her for a walk on campus," said bear trainer Josh Pittman. "She
loves to scrounge around for acorns and pecans that have fallen from trees. We lead her on a chain and
sometimes go for a run or go into buildings and explore. It's great for her to get out because the freedom
helps her maintain her main instincts."
Pittman has a committee of 17 members that help him take care of Ginny and Judge Bill Boyd who stays
at the Bear Pit on campus. He says that when Ginny goes for her walks, she draws much attention.
"It's an eye-opening experience for them and they usually have to do a double take because they don't
believe what they're seeing at first," Pittman said chuckling. "They sometimes think it’s a big dog until they
refocus and realize it’s a real bear.”
Perhaps they mistake the bear cub for a dog because of her favorite food. Dog food is a main staple of
Ginny's diet along with tons of nuts, fruits and vegetables. Though they mix in an occasional cookie and
ice cream serving, the bears receive much more nutrition that in years past.
"The bear’s diet used to consist of Oreo cookies and Dr. Pepper," Pittman said.
"It used to be a tradition to watch the bears hold a bottle of Dr. Pepper and drink it. Ginny is the first bear in
decades that hasn't had the opportunity to drink Dr. Pepper. It's just so bad for them."
Ginny gets to travel to schools and serves as an educational tool to the Texas children she encounters. Of
course Ginny's most important interaction is at Baylor football games.
"The crowd really feeds off her enthusiasm and demeanor," said Pittman as he watched Ginny enjoy an
ice-cream treat during the 1998 Kansas game. "She'll fire up the crowd and their response will fire her
up. She'll get real active and take off at a full sprint within a heartbeat."
As with any live mascot, there is always the possibility that rival schools might attempt to play pranks.
However, Pittman recalls hearing of one incident involving a Baylor bear that resulted in a tragedy.
"Over the past 70 years there has been two or three kidnapping attempts," Pittman recalled. I know of one
that led to the death of the bear. They (rival fans) tied the bear to a tree and then the bear climbed the tree
and wound up hanging itself. We have tightened security and nothing’s happened in the last 10 to 20
A two-footed bear also stalks the Baylor sidelines. Bruiser prefers to wear a bear costume and helps the
cheerleading effort while mingling with fans.
|Wisconsin Game Day Traditions, the 5th QuarterBaylor Bears Game Day Traditions,
Mascots, Nicknames & More
Baylor Gameday Traditions: "Sic'Em Bears" and "Bear Claw"
Have you ever found yourself slightly curving all five fmgers on your hand and wondering why? It might be
that you're secretly a Baylor fan because that's the hand signal called the "Bear-Claw" that the school's fans
proudly display at ball games. They also combine the hand signal tradition that's common with Texas
schools with the "Sic 'Em Bears" yell to add excitement to the Baylor game day experience.
The two symbols of school spirit were sparingly used in the 1960s when some frowned upon their use.
However, when Grant Teafftook over the football program in 1972 he generated success and the spirit
building "Bear Claw" and "Sic 'Em Bears" reached new heights.
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
The Baylor football squad isn't the only university team to take the field of Floyd Casey Stadium during Bear
games. The Sigma Chi Bear Bell Teams suits up on football Saturdays to help ring in a victory.
"The bell is sponsored by our fraternity and we bring it out to all the football games and other events where
we can promote spirit," said team member Shane Jacobus. "We started the tradition in 1978 when our frat
arrived on campus. The kids love it and want to run onto the field and ring it all the time."
Baylor touchdowns prompt a bell ringing experience coupled with a blow of an air horn that's attached.
When the bell is off duty, Sigma Chi members keep close watch over it.
"We keep it under lock and key," said Jacobus. "It stays at various frat members houses so that no one runs
off with it."
Two Bears Win Glory and "Honor" off the Field
Baylor officials believe that their university is the only one in America to have produced two athletes that
went on to be decorated with the Congressional Medal of Honor. The award is the highest military honor
that can be achieved.
following a year of professional football. They sent lummus to Iwo Jima where he served as a platoon
leader. While leading a charge against the enemy, Lummus stepped on a land mine and suffered serious
injuries. Despite the heavy bleeding that resulted, the former Bear led his troops in knocking out several
Japanese positions. However, Lummus died shortly after the battle.
John "Killer" Kane played football and basketball for Baylor in the late 1920s. Kane became an integral
force in the Army Air Corps by earning the reputation for being the best pilot and the toughest commander.
Kane was singled out for leading a dangerous low-level bombing raid on one of Hitler's oil refming
complexes in Romania. The battle that took place in August of 1943 was the deadliest air battle in history
at the time.
|Baylor University has had a live Bear
mascot since 1915.