The TCU Rally Snake has retired.
The good-luck charm that helped the Horned Frogs win four of five postseason baseball games has slithered back into the right-field ivy at Lupton Stadium where he was first discovered during TCU’s 22-inning NCAA regional win in the early morning on June 1.
“He had a great run,” said Ken Schaefer, who discovered the 7-inch Texas earth snake when he slithered between Schaefer’s feet in the right-field party deck in the 17th inning. His spirit helped TCU claim the win at nearly 2:30 in the morning. After that, he attended four of the five TCU games, including TCU’s first two College World Series games at TD Ameritrade Park. The lone game he missed, the Frogs lost to Pepperdine in the NCAA Super Regional.
Rally was 4-0 before the Frogs lost in 15 innings late Tuesday night. TCU plays Mississippi at 7 p.m. Thursday in an elimination game. But Rally is back in the friendly confines of Lupton Stadium.
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Schaefer, who owns Schaefer Advertising in Fort Worth, said Rally may have retired, but that doesn’t mean the Frogs can’t still win their first CWS title.
“As he slithered off I could’ve sworn he turned and looked back, as if to say the Horned Frogs can still win this thing,” Schaefer said. “We aren’t giving up. TCU can still win this.”
Schaefer flew in with 29 other TCU fans on a chartered flight for Tuesday’s game against Virginia. With the guidance from the Fort Worth Zoo, Schaefer and two snake minders, who brought the snake up for the CWS opener, kept Rally fed with earth and grub worms. He arrived at the stadium in a plastic container and made appearances only when the Frogs needed him.
Incidentally, Rally’s genus and species is Virginia striatula so his power to produce TCU runs may have hit a wall against the Cavaliers Tuesday night.