MIAMI, April 2 -- Billy the Marlin has lost his head, or at least one of them, and the headhunters are out looking. As part of the pregame ceremonies at the Florida Marlins' opening day game against the Chicago Cubs, a Navy SEAL dressed as the team's long- billed mascot parachuted toward Pro Player Stadium.
The parachutist kept the head of the costume attached to him by a harness rather than put it on his head to cut down wind resistance. He had planned to put it on halfway through the descent, but a gust of wind tore it loose first, sending it spiraling to the earth somewhere in north Dade County. Nobody had reported finding Billy's head by Wednesday, and people were still looking. One radio station has offered a reward. Meanwhile the SEAL didn't want to terrify Marlins fans by parachuting into the stadium as a dismembered mascot and altered his flight, steering his parachute to a safe area well away from the stadium. Meanwhile, the real Billy the Marlin, a.k.a John Routh, was wearing another costume. He dashed onto the field with a ball for the ceremonial first pitch, and the fans had no idea anything had gone wrong. ---
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