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Vuvuzela makes baseball debut to players’ chagrin

Melissa Kaplan Jun 21, 2010

Looks like the vuvuzela isn’t set for world domination after all. The notorious World Cup horn made a weekend baseball cameo at a game between the Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays. The buzz around the game: Fans and players on both sides were pretty unhappy.

“They’re annoying,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon. “I mean, there’s cool things and there’s very non-cool things. Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla said the vuvuzela promo was “the worst handout or giveaway I’ve ever been a part of in baseball.”

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More: World Cup: Noise filter could help cancel out vuvuzela sound

The Marlins’ vuvuzela giveaway went to the first 15,000 fans at a game that drew 23,242. For this particular game, the horn replaced the cowbell, the Rays’ official noisemaking device and a large nuisance in its own right. Rays fans who brought cowbells to the game were told to turn around and leave them somewhere else. Which was probably a significant bummer for The Cowbell Kid, the unofficial mascot of the Rays, who is often seen donning large wigs, a Rays’ uniform and his namesake instrument.

The vuvuzela’s next baseball victim: the New York Mets. The horn strikes this Friday.

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