All hail the Rally Squirrel!
In this tale of two squirrels, one in St. Louis giveth to a hospital, and one in South Carolina taketh away.
Outliers would like to get the bad news out of the way first. According to the Independent Mail of Anderson, S.C., a squirrel caused a disruption at a Duke Energy substation in Anderson on Nov. 14 that cut off power to 17 customers, mostly businesses, including Anmed Health Medical Center. Power was disrupted for more than 90 minutes and, while the hospital’s backup generators were slow to kick in, battery backups for equipment kept things humming until they did, a hospital spokeswoman told the Anderson paper. The squirrel did not survive.
Our rodent saga next takes us to St. Louis, where baseball fans found a talisman in the squirrel or squirrels that appeared on the field at Busch Stadium during consecutive games in the Cardinals’ playoff series against Philadelphia last month. (No one ever established whether it was the same squirrel in both games.) The Cardinals beat the Phillies in that first-round series and went on to win the World Series as a Rally Squirrel wave washed over the city. Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation rode that wave to raise $470,000 for the city’s SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center by selling Rally Squirrel apparel since Oct. 11, according to a spokeswoman. More than 30,000 T-shirts were sold. The funds will cover the cost of building a playground above the Bob Costas Cancer Center, named after the longtime announcer from St. Louis.
The larger-than-life incarnation of the Rally Squirrel, Outliers is happy to report, is still very much alive and was able to participate in a news conference, pictured above, this month.
Cardinal fans made the Rally Squirrel a star—and a charity dynamo.