LAKE ELSINORE, CALIF. - July 6, 2017- When The Freeze came onto the scene for the first time in 2017, grabbing national headlines for what baseball considered to be an interesting and 'unique' promotion, San Diego Padres and Lake Elsinore Storm fans were left scratching their heads.
Baseball fans could catch Ace, The Fastest Squirrel in the World, race one lucky loser from the right field foul pole to the left field corner at any Thursday through Sunday home game for the last six years, all while giving the unfortunate contestant a generous lead, similar to what the Atlanta Braves have mimicked.
After close to 400 career races, Ace, the former two-time All-American and 1600m Relay National Champion while at SUNY-Oneonta will close the books on his career of racing at The Diamond this August 19th, when he will be recognized with his own bobbletail giveaway sponsored by the Lake Elsinore Casino. Before he hangs up the racing spikes, though, he would like a shot at ballpark racing newcomer The Freeze.
"It would be a great way to close out my last season and highlight his first," said Ace. "I can see the Padres and Storm fans really getting behind it. The challenge could only bring great exposure to both clubs and would really show sports fans how much fun a ballpark atmosphere can be."
Ace created a lot of buzz around the Southern California baseball community when he began racing in 2012. The race generated so much popularity the San Diego Padres, the Storm parent club, had Ace race at PETCO Park on April 27th, 2013. The squirrel's fan base expanded so much after the race that he appeared in a Sportscenter commercial in January 2014.
The promotion has been sponsored by the Lake Elsinore Casino for five years now, and has grown to where the contestant could win $500 cash if he or she can beat Ace. Only two speedy contestants have defeated Ace to win the money.
Before official retirement, Ace, The Fastest Squirrel in the World, only has one request. He would like to officially challenge The Freeze to a race at the location of The Freeze's choosing on a date of The Freeze's choice (other than August 19th).