The Portland Pickles need your help finding their stolen mascot, Dillon T. Pickle
We don't relish telling you this, but it's kind of a big dill: The Portland Pickles baseball team says their beloved mascot, Dillon T. Pickle, has been stolen, and are seeking the public's help in bringing him home safe.It all started in the Dominican Republic, where Dillon was making an appearance at a Caribbean baseball series. He was due to return to Oregon via New York City on Jan. 31. A week later, the team tweeted out some jarring news: An alert messagefrom Delta showing that the bag he was traveling in had been lost somewhere at John F. Kennedy International Airport."You win one championship this century and think you're too good for storage on an airplane," the collegiate summer league team tweeted to its 29,000 followers. As the days passed, the team put out multiple APBs (which we assume stands for "all-pickles bulletin"), sharing missing posters and calls for help across social media. For example:The team stressed multiple times that the whole thing wasn't just a prank gone sour, because, as member station OPB reports, "Dillon the Pickle has a reputation for high jinx."Still, team officials are assuring the public that they're not gherkin anyone's chain."We're definitely known for being funny and joking around a lot of social media. So we understand the kind of 'boy who cried wolf' scenario," assistant general manager Parker Huffman told OPB. "But this is definitely not a joke."Dillon's story took a turn on Thursday when the team shared that Delta had found the mascot and delivered him to their office — but after hours and without any notification. Instead of being welcomed back with open arms, Dillon was snatched from the front porch around 5 a.m. local time and carried away into the unknown.Ring doorbell footage shows a man wearing a jacket, hat, over-ear headphones and backpack, grabbing the canvas bag and walking down the building's steps. (The team also shared a map of the scene, in response to skeptics' questions about why an office building would have a porch and front fence.)"This is turned from a mistake by Delta into to a crime," the Pickles tweeted.They are calling on the people of Portland to aid in Dillon's safe return, offering a reward for information and a "no questions asked" return.Huffman also filed a police report, the Portland Police Bureau confirmed to OPB. He told the station that Dillon is "priceless," and estimated it would cost $1,000 or more to replace the costume.Local journalists, sports fans, elected officials, concerned bystanders and even other anthropomorphic mascots are amplifying the search and sharing messages of support on social media, as the team continues its plea for help."Seriously, he is going to tell someone that he stole a pickle mascot, that cannot be kept a secret," it tweeted. "Do the right thing."Meanwhile, the team laments its fermented loss and continues its pleas for help.
This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog. Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.