History of the Boston College Eagles Mascot

From Margo to Baldwin, we take a flight through time to discover the history of the Boston College Eagles mascot and much more!

From Charlie O’Rourke to Doug Flutie and Luke Kuechly, the Boston College Hall of Fame features some of the greatest players to play the game of college football. But, what do you know about a character that has been ever-present on the sidelines since 1966 — the Boston College Eagles mascot? Come, take a flight through time with us as we discover the history of the Eagles’ mascot!

What Is the Boston College Eagles Mascot?

Baldwin the Eagle is the official mascot of the Boston College Eagles. The furry face of the program has been patrolling the sidelines of athletics events since 1966, when the eagle became an endangered species, and Boston College decided to no longer use a live mascot (more on that shortly).

Where did Baldwin get his name? Is he named after some famous Baldwin with an affinity for, or link to, the Boston area? No. The Eagles mascot gained his name from a combination of Bald — in deference to the Bald Eagle — and win — in deference to something that it could be suggested the football team needs to do more of in the upcoming 2023 college football season.

Although Baldwin has been Boston College’s mascot since 1966 — powered by an anonymous team of students who have to audition to don the suit — he doesn’t look quite the same now as he did originally. With a redesign of the Boston College logos in 2000, Baldwin got a well-deserved facelift that he maintains to this day.

The distinctive Eagles mascot has a number of feathered friends to keep him company. Baldwin Jr. — a 9.5-foot inflatable eagle — is also a feature at games. Meanwhile, a gilded bronze statue that originated in Japan has been a feature at Boston College since 1954.

Why Is Boston College the Eagles?

If it wasn’t for Rev. Edward McLaughlin’s intervention in 1920, the Boston College mascot might have been a different beast entirely. Without a mascot at that time, a local newspaper cartoonist depicted the university as a frolicking feline after a track victory. Disgusted with this, McLaughlin suggested an alternative.

“It is important that we adopt a mascot to preside at our pow-wows and triumphant feats,” wrote McLaughlin in the college newspaper. “And why not the Eagle, symbolic of majesty, power, and freedom? Its natural habitat is the high places. Surely the Heights is made to order for such a selection.

“Proud would the B.C. man feel to see the B.C. Eagle snatching the trophy of victory from old opponents, their tattered banner clutched in his talons as he flies aloft.”

From that day forth, the athletics programs from the school have been known as the Boston College Eagles, with the accompanying mascot going through several iterations, including Herpy — a stuffed and mounted golden eagle — and several live mascots.

Does Boston College Have a Live Eagle Mascot?

With Baldwin and Baldwin Jr., the Boston College mascot no longer takes the form of a live eagle. However, between 1920 and 1966, there have been multiple live Eagles mascots, while in 2013, athletic director Brad Bates tried to rekindle the tradition.

The first live Eagles mascot was gifted to the school in the early 1920s. In fact, there were two — one from Texas and another from New Mexico. However, one escaped, and the other got injured attempting to flee Chestnut Hill. Neither was replaced until 1961.

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In August 1961, Margo became the latest Boston College mascot. Named after a combination of the school’s distinctive maroon and gold colors, the two-month-old attended every home game and even made the trip on some road games, before succumbing to a virus in 1966.

The live Boston College mascot made a brief comeback between 2013 and 2014. The bird was named “Welles” in honor of Welles Crowther, a Boston College lacrosse player who became known as the “Man in the Red Bandana” after his heroics in saving the lives of others following the Sept. 11 attacks.