Whether dotted with band-aids after a particularly bruising match or smiling gloatingly after a blowout victory, the cartoon version of the Hopkins mascot is widely loved among lacrosse fans--which is why each graduating team member receives a personalized drawing of the Hopkins Blue Jay wearing a jersey with his own team number on it.
Neil Grauer '69 is the creator of the feckless feathered favorite, who debuted in 1966 as a comic strip character in the Hopkins News-Letter. Soon Grauer was drawing versions to accompany the sports editor's weekly column, "The Bird's Nest." Coach Bob Scott liked the cartoons so much that he started tacking them up in the team locker room.
"The original Blue Jay was a potbellied creature," recalls Grauer. "I've bulked him up in recent years--tried to give him some muscles." By now this beefier Blue Jay is emblazoned everywhere--on cups, caps, bumper stickers--even, it turns out, on body parts.
"I know of four or five players in the early '90s who got a Blue Jay tattoo," says Grauer. "Initially I was appalled, but later I began to think of it as a tribute." He laughs. "I suppose I'll be with those kids long after I'm gone."
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