Phanatic not letting foul ball keep him down

Phanatic not letting foul ball keep him down

ST. LOUIS -- They don't call him the Philly Phanatic for nothing. Not even a foul ball to the neck can keep the Phillies' mascot from his ballpark duties.

The Phanatic was hit square in the neck by a foul ball on Wednesday during Triple-A Lehigh Valley's 10-5 loss to Indianapolis. The Phanatic playfully fell into the laps of several spectators after being struck, and then left the game and headed to the hospital.

Tom Burgoyne, who has played the Philly Phanatic since 1993, was treated and released with minor injuries. Although the ball hit the mascot in the neck, it struck right were Burgoyne's head is actually located.

Despite the freak injury, the Philly Phanatic will be at Citizens Bank Park on Friday for the series opener against Oakland.

"The Phanatic is fine," Burgoyne wrote on his Facebook page. "I felt his pain and have a nice golf-ball sized knot just above my eye. Bring on the A's this weekend -- the Phanatic will be ready!"

It's not the first injury for the Phanatic. Burgoyne suffered a broken nose and eye socket in 2009 after being hit with a ball thrown by an Atlanta Braves player.