It’s a bird; it’s a plane, its Roofman!! With imaginary superpowers rivaling Batman, Superman and Spiderman, Roofman has no superpowers other than sporting green and white leotards that no self respecting man in his right mind would ever consider wearing, let alone under the guise of a mascot. What we have here is a dude that gets his jollies running on rooftops. Marked as a mascot, getting paid minimum wage and loitering around Fifth Third Field, Dayton Dragon baseball fans find themselves amused, disgusted and sometimes disturbed by Roofman’s presence. While the Dayton Dragons enjoy record attendance each season selling out for all their games, a record in the Midwest League, Roofman gets no credit for this.

As the legend goes, Roofman lives on the roof at Fifth Third Field, home of the Dayton Dragons, a Cincinnati Reds affiliate. He collects foul balls that land on the roof and uses his “special magic powers” to turn them into “softee balls,” which he autographs and tosses down to the crowd. Intended for the kids at the games, the softee balls have sometimes generated a scramble among adults fighting for the balls and Roofman’s autograph. Roofman is normally introduced with a musical introduction that let’s you know he is present and ready for battle.

After an exhausting evening of fetching balls, what does Roofman do to calm his nerves and relax after maybe getting 5 or 6 foul balls? Word is he orders up a Cassano’s pizza, picks up another bag of Mike Sells potato chips, and hits a local drive-thru for an eight pack of Little Kings seven ounce bottles of ale, a local favorite. Once a promising Ohio State University (OSU) graduate and punter for the Buckeyes, he has maximized his financial potential as a Roofman.

What do Roofman and Governor Kasich of Ohio have in common? They are both sons of US Postal Service employees; both have political science degrees from OSU and both like running, one for President and one for foul balls. Unlike Kasich who is known for being straight, optimistic and energetic, Roofman is known for questionable behavior, living in his Grandma’s basement in East Dayton and enjoying an occasional night at Katie’s Place, an entertainment establishment. He used to hang out at Clancy’s Tavern, but he got the permanent boot from this fine establishment for fighting with some Derelicts.

Sometimes late at night after several beverages at Katie’s Place, Roofman would tell stories about being an heir to the Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, famous for inventing the airplane. A rival of Roofman’s known as the Dayton Flyer took great offense at this claim and sued him over fraudulent proclamations. Roofman submitted to DNA testing in 2013 and surprisingly it was proven to be true. Roofman, properly known as Rudolf, is in fact a Wright Brother descendant on his Great Grandmother’s side of the family. However, it appears the intellectual gene pool of intelligence and accomplishment ended with Wilbur and Orville. After all Roofman chases foul balls on rooftops and looks for applause to satisfy his quest for some sense of accomplishment. Roofman might not be flying at Kittyhawk but he can be found on the rooftop of Fifth Third Field on many summer nights!

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3 thoughts on “Roofman”

  1. Roofman is a Rorschach Test for all of us. To some citizens of Dayton he is one of the aliens from hangar 18 at wright field, reanimated in a secret government project gone terribly awry. Certainly Smoking Man is involved. To certain North Carolinians he is a body condom wearing pervy minstrel not to be trusted at the next urinal. To those in Detroit he represents the boogey man of foreign competition; Toyota, Fiat, Daimler and Daiwoo – all running amok and throwing cheap knockoffs from the balcony to waiting consumers. To the citizens of Wisconsin – well as seen through their bleary squinted and over served eyes, he’s simply another beer vendor: ‘hey we need 6 bud lites and a bag of nuts, super trooper!’ I must say here that asking RM for that bag may be risky. The denizens of the metro DC area see Roofman as an existential threat to the American way of life. A seemingly harmless character who may be sowing seeds of socialism by giving away more free stuff in the form of softee balls (!) and even encouraging depravity by running around in that get up; a true derelict one might say. In Missouri RM is seen as a possible talisman to be used to ward off the terrorists from attacking Fifth Third Field. Surely those looking for heavenly deliverance through Jihad ain’t gonna cavort with a guy in white tights and swimming goggles. They will move on to Xenia or Greenville seeking softer targets. One thing we must reckon with. Roofman is the very price we pay for living in a free society. There are those that will always live on the fringes. The preppers. The Flat Earthers. BLM. Soros. Megyn Kelly. Red Sox fans. White Castle. Bob Kostas. The View. Villanova. Dulles Airport. Man buns. And on and on it goes. A free society allows excellence and individual achievement. It also allows a crazy underemployed n’ere do well with an Art History degree from OSU to run around causing a ruckus at Dragons games. So here’s what I say. When you here that fateful tune begin to play at Fifth Third, ‘Oh Yeah’ by Yello, as featured in Ferris Beuller, sit back, take a sip of your beverage of choice, and toast our beloved freedom while it lasts. Somewhere, Smoking Man is smiling.

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