Team mascots across the nation are heaving exaggerated sighs of relief this morning.
The front-page news in Milwaukee is that "Guido, the Klement's racing Italian sausage costume last seen a couple weeks ago adorning a bar hopper in Cedarburg, was returned Wednesday night."
According to the Journal Sentinel:
"Two men — one wearing a hoodie pulled tight over his face — lugged the larger-than-life link into [TJ Ryan's] bar just before 8 p.m. Wednesday, plopped him on a bar stool and warned staff, 'You did not see anything,' said bartender Jen Mohney.
" 'Like I didn't just see two guys plop a sausage on a bar stool,' Mohney said."
Guido — all 7 feet of him — hadn't been seen since Feb. 16, when he attended a fundraiser at the Milwaukee Curling Club's facility in Cedarburg.
The case of the missing link had local police mustarding their resources to ketchup with the criminals. Authorities were steamed. It looks as if the prospect of being grilled or stuck under some hot lights convinced the crooks to bring Guido back.
Or, perhaps they just decided Guido was too hot to handle.
Regardless, it appears the Milwaukee Brewers' sausage — one of five who race during the baseball team's games — will be ready for the upcoming season.
If, that is, he manages to stay out of bars between now and then. And speaking of sausages and bars, feel free to complete this line: "A sausage walks into a bar ..."
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Baseball fans in Wisconsin can sleep a little easier tonight. As of late yesterday, Guido, the seven-foot Italian sausage, is safely back in the hands of his owners.
You see, Guido is a racing sausage. Yes, I said racing. He's part of a line-up for the Milwaukee Brewers, one of five costumed figures who run around the field during games.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for the world famous Klement's incredible, edible racing sausages.
CORNISH: There's the Bratwurst, the Polish, the Hot Dog, the Chorizo and the last member of the quintet...
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Wearing Number Three, the Klement's Italian sausage. Number Three, Italian.
CORNISH: Fans just call him Guido. For the past two weeks, Guido has been AWOL. The $3,000 Italian sausage outfit vanished from the backroom of the Milwaukee Curling Club earlier this month. Witnesses have spotted the missing costume in various drinking establishments around the area in the past two weeks.
This theft, however playful, was especially painful for Guido's fans, says Tyler Barnes. He's the vice president of communications for the Brewers.
TYLER BARNES: Obviously the news was a little distressing when you have your most successful sausage from the previous year go missing.
CORNISH: And Guido's stats were impressive. He led the 2012 season with the most wins after years of losing.
Well, according a bartender in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, last night, two men walked into her bar in with Guido in tow. The pair left the sausage costume on a stool and told the staff: You did not see anything, and promptly left.
According to a spokesman for the Cedarburg Police, the case of the missing Italian sausage remains open, meaning no one yet can claim the two rewards: A year's supply of sauerkraut and a year's supply of mustard.
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CORNISH: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.