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Travis Hafner trades his Tribe uniform for a Santa cap today to play Pronkta Claus at a breakfast buffet at Jacobs Field. “He loves to do anything for the kids,” says team spokesman Curtis Danfield.

Accompanied by mascot Slider, Hafner will sign autographs, pose for pictures, and hand out gifts. Kids can also have their faces painted while Hafner fields questions like What’s up with the nickname? For those who hadn't heard: “Pronk” was coined by a teammate after Hafner was traded to the Indians four seasons ago. “When he was with the Rangers, they called him "the Project," because he had a lot of raw talent,” says Danfield. “When he got here, people were joking that he looks like a donkey, because he’s so thick. One of our players said, ‘Can I just call you Pronk?’ And it stuck.”

The moniker is now etched onto Hafner’s bat and glove, and printed on banners at the Jake. Hafner even corrects anyone who calls him Travis. Get used to Pronkta, because his contract should keep him in Cleveland through the 2008 season. “We’re already talking about a breakfast next year,” says Danfield.
Sun., Dec. 10, 9:30-12:30 a.m.

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