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In the early years of the ABA, some misinformed basketball fans thought Joe and Mamie Gregory (above) owned the Kentucky Colonels franchise. They could not have been more wrong. The Gregory's dog "Ziggy" (also above) was the true owner of the team.
The Gregorys took Ziggy everywhere. He went to ABA owners' meetings. He had a special seat for home games (photo below). Colonels' season ticket holders who bought "The Ziggy Package" gained access to the "Ziggy Room," a hospitality suite. When the team flew by airplane to road games, the Gregorys always bought Ziggy a seat in first class. On one occasion, an usher in New York's Commack Arena refused to allow Ziggy to take a courtside seat, telling the Gregorys: "You can't bring that dog in here." Mrs. Gregory's response? "Young man, that dog owns this team."
The Colonels' game program put it best: "The Colonels had a mascot before they had ball players -- the Gregory's champion Brussels Griffon -- Ziggy. Ziggy will be in attendance at all of the Colonels' home games and most of the road games. He has 39 different uniforms for his home game appearances, including a tuxedo. Ziggy was shown in the first Kentucky Colonel logo chasing the Colonel dribbling the basketball. Ziggy's real name is Champion Gaystock Le Monsignor, but he doesn't answer to the latter appellation. In 1966 he was best of breed at the Madison Square Garden world championships. The same year he duplicated that feat at the Chicago International Show. Ziggy has won more than 150 best of breed titles in his career. The 7 year old was the top Griffon in both 1966 and 1967." (Colonels Publicity Photos)
Kentucky Colonels History Page