Citizens to celebrate Baby Shark Day with or without Gerardo Para

Citizens to celebrate Baby Shark Day with or without Gerardo Para


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Bin Jeng couldn’t remember exactly when she learned that the “Baby Shark” singalong was a common thing at Nationals Park during the 2019 baseball season. Jeong is the CEO of the American subsidiary of Pinkfong, the South Korean company behind the popular nursery rhyme, and she’s not a sports fan. She figured it wasn’t until October, during the Nationals’ run to the World Series title, that she realized Gerardo’s para-induced cruciate ligament.

“I didn’t really watch the games,” Jeong said. But I saw all the YouTube videos of everyone singing and doing the ‘Baby Shark’ dance in the stadium, which was hilarious. This was something we never expected. … I think it was a magical moment where we just couldn’t quite set it up, and it just happened.”

A little magic happens again Sunday as the last-place Nationals celebrate Baby Shark Day in their series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals. Baby Shark mascots will be in attendance, an animated music video featuring Screech, the Nationals’ mascot and Baby Shark will play on the scoreboard and the first 8,000 fans 12 and under will receive a Nationals-branded Baby Shark Song Cube. Parra, who joined the Nationals’ front office as a special assistant after retiring in May, was not scheduled to attend.

How ‘Baby Shark’ Became the National Anthem of the 2019 Season and World Series Run

Depending on one’s perspective, the day’s festivities will provide a nostalgic respite from speculation about Juan Soto’s future ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, or a frustrating and overplayed soundtrack to a dismal season. (Is it the end doo doo doo doo doo doo doo?)

“Baby Shark” became the unlikely anthem of the 2019 Nationals after Parra began using it as his walkout song in June to celebrate his 2-year-old daughter. After Washington began its offseason, Parra and his teammates began celebrating celebrities by performing hand gestures from the “Baby Shark” music video, the most-viewed video in YouTube history since 2016, with more than 11 billion views.

When Jeong and her colleagues at Pinkfong USA headquarters in Los Angeles heard about the craze, in part through Para’s Instagram posts, they decided to show their support. Ahead of Game 3 of the 2019 National League Championship Series, Pinkfong’s toy partner, Wow, sent Para plush baby shark toys. Parra hung one of the rails off the rail for the remainder of the final in front of the Nationals’ dugout. The doll was certified and sent to the National Baseball Hall of Fame after the World Series.

“Before that, it was all organic,” Jeong said of the National Baby Shark relationship.

Pinkfong’s Baby Shark mascot visited DC and gave away toys before Game 3 of the World Series. Before Game 5, Parra invited Marina Li, chief content officer of PingFong USA, in a yellow suit, to visit the players’ family room at Nationals Park. The coronavirus pandemic contributed to a three-year delay in Pinkfong’s debut with a sports team.

Falling on hard times since the Nationals won the World Series, the Baby Sharks continue to grow; The character spawned a television series on Nickelodeon and has a movie in the works.

“Luckily, I’m not tired of it yet,” Jong said of the song, which she hears almost every day.

And the fans of the nation? Check back after Sunday.



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