If you’ve been following this series (and shout-out to those of you who have, or even those of you who just drop in on occasion—and especially thanks to those of you who have sent along an encouraging note, because that kind of support is invaluable when embarking on a project like this), you know that every Saturday is “examine a weird piece of Edgar memorabilia” day. There are a few special treasures I have saved up for the end of the series, like an Easter egg you find in the garden in July. And speaking of the end of the series, it comes about at the end of this month, so it’s time to start emptying out my stash.
The Mariners official press release will tell you the Edgar Duck was handed out on a sultry July night in 2003. However, those of us who honed our aesthetic sensibilities at the foot of such 90s cartoon nightmare carnivals as TMNT, Toxic Crusaders, and the annoyingly-punctuated Aaahh! Real Monsters know that this thing was spawned when a harmless rubber duck fell into a barrel of toxic waste (I’m literally lifting that origin story right from Toxic Crusaders, a mind-meltingly awful cartoon that I was fascinated with for some reason. The show is essentially a grungy, roided-up Captain Planet, and apparently creating this magnum opus left the showrunners so drained creatively they didn’t have any time left for cohesive plots or meaningful villains or character development. I mean, the main character’s name is Toxie. And he had a magic mop. Named Mop. God, the ‘90s were wild.)
Where was I? Oh, right. The duck:
LOOK UPON MY WORKS, YE MIGHTY, AND DESPAIR.
It’s like Edgar is a round little plutocrat, resting his hands on his ample belly and looking out at his legion of serfs tilling the dirt farm. But whence your legs, little sir? Where art thou legs? Why did so many of these ballpark giveaways conspire to make Edgar look like he shared an anatomical structure with a boxwood hedge?
The face here isn’t truly awful. I feel it’s an unnecessary bit of verisimilitude to add the creases at the edge of duck-Edgar’s eyes, although the eyes are—and here is where I admit that I own one of these and have held it in my own two hands—startlingly realistic. The nose isn’t too bad, either. The lips are too pink by half and are almost the exact color of lip gloss I am wearing in my late-90s softly studio-lit senior portrait, because certainly a teenager, fresh as a dewdrop, needs all the softening and blurring tools and pastel makeup kits. WE STILL HAVE BEEF, OLAN MILLS. But the eyebrows. Woe betide them. I have dozens of Edgar Martinez baseball cards and I assure you in none of them would he ever show up looking like he fell asleep at a frat party and the brothers decided to give him the full Vanilla Ice.
Why would Edgar consent to this, considering he was not thrilled about the promotion? (“That duck!” he said, in a 2004 interview with Larry LaRue) As always, he was being a good guy. Edgar Duck Night was sponsored by Children’s Hospital, and featured a silent auction in which you could win an oversized Edgar Duck—no pictures exist of this, but I assume something akin to a cross between a Macy’s Parade balloon and the Trojan Horse—and a “Wishing Well” fundraising drive for Children’s (did you know that if you throw coins into the fountain in CF, they are collected and donated to Children’s? I did not!). Edgar came through on the field, as well, starting off the game with a three-run home run en route to the Mariners thrashing the Tigers, 11-5. Just another day at the office for Edgar.