MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan is putting his offbeat sense of humor to work, encouraging fans to adopt pets from animal shelters in a new promotional campaign for PETA.
Morgan and Slick Willie, a playful gray cat he adopted from a shelter last year, posed for photographs and recorded a video on behalf of the animal rights advocacy group.
In a video message that is expected to be released on PETA's website Tuesday afternoon, Morgan acknowledges that he quickly developed what he calls a "catmance" with Slick Willie, who "kind of stole my heart."
"I always called myself the alpha-male silverback gorilla, but I have just a little soft side now," Morgan says in a preview version of the video that was provided to The Associated Press. "I didn't say that too loud -- don't let (anybody) know."
Morgan then lets out a cackle.
A print advertisement features Morgan and Slick Willie along with the slogan, "Let a Shelter Dog or Cat Steal Your Heart. Adopt, and Never Buy, Your (hash)1 Fan Today."
According to PETA spokeswoman Wendy Wegner, officials reached out to Morgan after learning on his Wikipedia page that he had adopted a cat from a shelter in Milwaukee.
The campaign is another avenue for one of baseball's more colorful characters to express himself.
Morgan has been prone to occasional emotional outbursts on the field during his career. But since he was traded to the Brewers before last season, he has won over Milwaukee fans with his trademark oddball remarks.
For several years, Morgan has referred to himself by the name of a self-created alter ego, "Tony Plush." He has since come up with several variations on the name, referring to himself as "Tony Hush" when he feels like it's best to keep to himself -- which isn't very often.
After delivering a 10th-inning RBI single to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 5 of the NL division series last year, Morgan did his postgame interview wearing a helmet and suggested that he might celebrate by taking a nice, relaxing bath.
Then he spent part of his offseason on ice. Morgan grew up playing hockey as his first love, and skated with the NHL's San Jose Sharks in February.
Now he's proclaiming the joy of adopting a shelter cat, even for someone who's "all-male" like himself.
"He's one of my best friends," Morgan says in the video. "We just like hanging out, toss the ball around a little and he chases it back and forth. He's a cool dude to have around."