Who doesn’t love going to a baseball game? The atmosphere, the food, the drinks, the game and now – the dogs! That’s right, baseball has gone to the dogs.
Bat boys are a staple at baseball games – but one minor league team took it to another level and enlisted their very own bat dogs.
Bat dogs were first introduced in the 1990’s by the Trenton Thunder in hopes of increasing attendance. Their first contender? Jake the Diamond Dog – a bat dog traveling act. Jake’s popularity inspired the Thunder to get their very own official bat dog in 2003.
Their choice? Chase the Golden Retriever, the Thunder’s first official bat dog.
Chase trained with Jake and his trainer and began his first season in 2003. But when Jake started aging in 2009, the Thunder decided to bring on a new understudy: Derby.
Keeping up with tradition, Derby learned the ropes and trained with Chase. After Chase passed away in 2013, it was Derby’s turn to be the official bat dog of the Trenton Thunder.
But then Derby’s son, Rookie, was born.
Now, the duo works together as bat dogs for the Thunder. Because what’s better than one bat dog? Two bat dogs – a father-son duo, at that.
Chase and Derby don’t just get to retrieve bats for the minors, they’ve retrieved bats from Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Hideki Matsui, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeria, and A-Rod.
And while the pups take their job seriously, the Thunder is adamant they are not overworked. They only work the first two innings until a two-legged bat boy takes over. And for away games, the pups get to stay home for a well-deserved rest.
The duo gets tons of attention from fans and players alike – and who can blame them? Just watch Derby and Rookie in action:
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