The year was 1928. Babe Ruth led the Yankees to another World Series title. Louis Armstrong was topping the charts and Greta Garbo and Charlie Chaplin were among the country’s biggest movie stars, even though the first Oscars had yet to take place. On Nov. 18 of that year, a new star was born, one that would later become among the most recognizable characters around the world.
That day’s release of the movie Steamboat Willie at New York’s Colony Theater marked the theatrical debut of the one-and-only Mickey Mouse. Since that time, Mickey has become an iconic cultural figure and the face of The Walt Disney Company (Editor’s Note: Since Disney’s acquisition of ABC, Inc., in 1996, ESPN, Inc., has been an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company).
The sports world, including ESPN, continues to have consistent encounters with Mickey Mouse. From college teams traveling overseas to the courtside experiences of NBA team owners to curse-breaking championship celebrations, Mickey Mouse seems to be quite the sports fan. Of course, there is also the annual post-Super Bowl parade.
Additionally, various ESPN personnel have spent some time with Mickey Mouse over the years (see mosaic above). As he celebrates a birthday today with the debut of a new music video, there appears to be no slowing down for Mickey Mouse. While he is not quite on the doorstep of the century mark, he does have a few years on a couple of famous sports stars who share the Nov. 18th birthday: an MLB All-Star 47 years younger than Mickey and a NASCAR superstar born 52 years after Mickey.