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I’m not much of a sports fan, but even I know that ferocious animals are popular mascots for a team, be it Bulls, Bears, or Eagles. So imagine my surprise when I first learned about the mascot for the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)–the decidedly un-ferocious banana slug! UCSC folks lovingly know him as Sammy the Slug.

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Sammy came about as a birthday present for my friend Beverly, a proud UCSC alumna. She has regaled me with many stories of her undergrad days in Santa Cruz, so I simply knew that I would have to add a banana slug to my knitting repertoire at some point. However, I wasn’t exactly sure where to start. Luckily, I came across Hansi Singh’s lovely book, Amigurumi Knits, and used her sea snail pattern as a starting point (i.e. the antennae and the face) before going off on my own meandering direction.

Here he is making his birthday party debut:

20150124_215743 I’m happy to say that Sammy is doing well with his adoptive momma. A pair of glasses and a mortar board for this cutie on are my to do list so he can better match his famous “Fiat Slug” portrait here:

fiat sammy

If you are as curious as I was when I first heard about this unusual school mascot, you can read up on Sammy’s interesting history here!

Go Banana Slugs!