Explaining how the Garfoose got started is, well...interesting. He seems like one of those ideas that pops into your head when it’s late, you’re bored, and you’ve had too much sugar (or something stronger
than sugar). Actually, that's only part of it. The major impetus for the Garfoose's creation was my wife
The amazing Mrs. Hayhurst works with special needs kids for a living, and her selfless dedication has always been close to my heart. I wanted to support her in her quest to help special needs children understand that special isn't a bad term, but a fantastic one that we can all be proud of. In leu of the more common athletic charity appeals, my support happened to come out in the form of a fire breathing, magically empowered, indestructible, wifi enabled, half giraffe half moose... like I said, way stronger
My intent was to create an animal as special and unique and wondrous as kids with special needs. I loved the idea and so did my wife, and I had every intention of writing a kids book staring this majestic creature, but then I made the mistake (or maybe genius move) of making the Garfoose known to the baseball world.
In the baseball world, it's survival of the fittest. To keep up (and not get made fun of in the locker room), the Garfoose had to get a little tougher, a little faster, and a little more...uh... flammable. That's how he got his fire breathing. In fact, he got a whole list of predatory upgrades (laser vision?). The Garfoose of today is ready and able to take the on Sith Lords, robot ninja armies, the undead, Chuck Norris, and yet still excited to read at school functions and play kickball.
The rest, as they say, was history. Go figure, an eccentric reliever with an imaginary animal for a friend would become popular with baseball fans. Before I knew it, the Garfoose was synonymous with me. It didn't help that I was doodling Garfooses, sculpting them, referring to them in stories, and signing them on baseballs. In fact, The Garfoose currently accompanies my signature on books, baseballs, cards and all manner of things. Hey, I may not get to write CY Young next to my name, but Cy Young never got to draw a fire breathing giraffe with antlers next to his. Point, Hayhurst.