So, have you seen the video of the groundskeeper for the Texas Rangers who starts dancing on the field between innings of Game 4 of the World Series?
Almost 300,000 people have seen it on YouTube since it was posted earlier this week, and it has made its way to other websites and blogs and into some news broadcasts. It has sparked all sorts of online comments, from those who admired the groundskeeper’s dance moves to those who suggested he would be fired for causing a distraction while the Rangers were warming up in the field as the St. Louis Cardinals prepared to come to bat.
It turns out that the dancing groundskeeper is Tanner Leggett, an NC State alumnus who was Mr. Wuf for three years while he was a student majoring in chemistry. And Leggett is not a groundskeeper. He’s the mascot coordinator for the Texas Rangers, and he was asked by his bosses to perform the dance routine to entertain the fans between innnings.
“For me, with everything I do, it’s really about what the team has done this year and what we’re doing for our fans,” Leggett told us in a telephone interview. “The atmosphere was electric.”
It’s clear from the video that the crowd loved Leggett’s act, particularly when he broke out The Worm toward the end of his routine. Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler can be seen in the video, studiously ignoring Leggett as he tries a variety of dance moves. But Leggett said the players let him know they enjoyed it.
“The players thought it was funny, but they have to remain focused,” Leggett said.
Leggett was Mr. Wuf for three years at NC State, winning the national mascot championship in 2006. Leggett said he used some of his dance moves as Mr. Wuf, with the highlight being a halftime performance he once did with the NC State dance team.
“I’ve been dancing forever,” he said. “I’m self-taught, used to watch Usher videos. The worm move has always been something that I excel at.”
After graduating in 2006, Leggeett worked for the Durham Bulls. He was the mascot coordinator for the Bulls, and helped run community programs for the team. In January 2008, he landed a job with the Texas Rangers, where he also manages community programs for kids and other community efforts by the team.
Leggett has enjoyed his moment in the World Series spotlight, especially since his mother was there to see it. “She’s been telling me that she wished they would let me dance,” Leggett said. “It was really cool for her to see it.