When Princeton used to have a real tiger cub and Harvard always brought along "The Orange Man" as a stand-in for Puritan John Harvard, a mascot finally came to Yale in 1889 in the custody of football tackle Andrew B. Graves, who, as an undergraduate, had seen a bulldog sitting in front of a shop and purchased him from a New Haven blacksmith for five dollars.
The students dubbed him "Handsome Dan" and he was always led across the field just before football and baseball games would begin. "In personal appearance, he seemed like a cross between an alligator and a horned frog, and he was called handsome by the metaphysicians under the law of compensation," eulogized the Hartford Courant. "The title came to him, he never sought it. He was always taken to games on a leash, and the Harvard football team for years owed its continued existence to the fact that the rope held."