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Stingers unveil new mascot

Dan Hansen New Willmar Stingers mascot Barry poses with Stingers' co-owners Ryan Voz, left, and Marc Jerzak at a press conference Monday at Lake Region Bank in Willmar.

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Stingers introduced a new mascot for the 2012 season at a press conference Monday at Lake Region Bank.

The mascot, "Barry," is a tall, yellow bear who will debut with the Stingers on opening night on May 30.

According to his official Stingers' bio, Barry awoke early this spring due to the unseasonably warm temperatures and decided it was time to grow up and become a working member of society. He jumped right into interview mode and after 55 rounds of interviews, the Stingers offered the friendly bear an offer he couldn't refuse.

He had an impressive resume, complete with references from Ranger Rick and Twins mascot T.C. the Bear.

"He is thrilled to call The Beehive his new home," Stingers co-owner Marc Jerzak said. "Barry will be our right-hand man, er ... bear, for all home games and will be called on to make special appearances throughout the year."

The Stingers' 2012 promotional schedule was also released Monday.

The highlights include an appearance by former Kansas City Royals ace Bret Saberhagen on opening night, a bobblehead giveaway of Willmar native and ex-Stinger Jordan Smith on July 27, Jerseys off our Backs Night on August 2 and Trading Card Night on August 7.

The full schedule is available on