Springtime is finally here...sort of. That means longer days, warmer weather, and the start of baseball season.

America's pastime has been delighting the masses for nearly 200 years. Local favorites like the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs will soon be entertaining us with big hits and amazing plays, while the aroma of hotdogs and popcorn fill the air. What a wonderful time of year.

It also means its fine for all of the "best of" lists to hit the internet. Best players, best stadiums, best fans, and best food are just a little taste of what is being discussed out there. But none of those stand up to the most important list there is: the best mascot.

USA Today recently published a reader poll that had the 10 most popular minor league baseball mascot. The iconic paper allowed readers to vote on their favorite, and sure enough, there was a very popular local character who made the list.

Slugger the Sea Dog via Facebook
Slugger the Sea Dog via Facebook

Congratulations to Maine's own Slugger the Sea Dog. The legendary Portland Sea Dogs mascot was chosen as the 7th best in the land by USA Today's readers. Here is what the paper had to say about Portland's finest.

While his base race record might be lacking (0-1784), Slugger the Sea Dog continues to hang out at Hadlock Field to cheer on the Portland Sea Dogs. During games, he shows off his dance moves, poses for pictures, and entertains fans young and old.

I mean, it is true, Slugger is terrible on the basepaths. Seriously, what dog should ever lose to a kid in a running race?

Slugger the Sea Dog via Facebook
Slugger the Sea Dog via Facebook

It's great to see Slugger get this recognition. Ever since the team's inception in 1994, Slugger has been the fun face of the franchise. The mascot has brought incredible joy and entertainment to countless fans, and will hopefully continue to do so forever.

Slugger has had quite a run as of late. Apart from being named one of the best minor league mascots, he was also inducted into the Mascot Hall-of-Fame in 2023. Slugger still remains the only minor league mascot that has been inducted. Talk about some bragging rights.

Sluggar and the rest of the Sea Dogs are getting ready for the 2024 season, which kicks off April 5 with a series against the Hartford Yard Goats. Here's to another great season of Sea Dogs baseball and fun times with Slugger.

25 Greater Portland, Maine, Restaurants That Have Been Featured on National Television Shows

Here's a list of 20 prominent Greater Portland, Maine restaurants that have been featured on national television shows. This is a great representation of the region's incredible food scene.

Data was researched from tvfoodmaps.com

Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka

LOOK: Do you see faces in these photos?

Pareidolia refers to the ability to see recognizable shapes, often faces, in random objects. Take a look at the photos below and see if you can identify any faces or shapes. Some are easy to spot, while others might be more challenging.

Gallery Credit: Stephen Lenz

More From Q97.9