If you’re looking for the most harmonious partnership between dogs and baseball, you don’t need to go any farther than Trenton, New Jersey. The Trenton Thunder, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, employ a bat dog named Rookie. His job? To fetch bats when players are done using them, of course!
On Tuesday night, Rookie got a temporary “promotion” and was visiting the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. And maybe it was dog nerves, or maybe it’s that Rookie is, in fact, a dog, but for just a second he forgot that his job is to grab the bats.
Rookie the Bat Dog doesn't grab the bat, still does something awesome. pic.twitter.com/UIJt236O2C
— Conor Foley (@RailRidersTT) July 19, 2017
He didn’t even run toward the bat, which was on the first base side. He made a beeline for the pitcher, who didn’t hesitate before giving Rookie the baseball in his hand. Rookie started trotting away, but then the umpire threw the pitcher a new ball, and Rookie saw it and wanted that one, too. Rookie then ran off the field, leaving the bat boy to grab the abandoned bat on the field.
It was all so adorable! And you can’t fault Rookie for acting like the puppy he is. He just wanted to play fetch with the pitcher, which is something that dogs love to do. It held up the game for a minute, but who would mind a minuscule delay for a chance to see a dog and a pitcher play a short round of unplanned fetch in the middle of a baseball game?
Rookie is the third generation of this dog family to work as a bat dog. His dad, Derby, works as the main bat dog for the Thunder, and he was also at Tuesday night’s game. They are both descended from Chase, the original bat dog, who served for 11 years until he died in 2013. And I’m sure Chase would agree that every bat dog makes mistakes sometimes, even if the mistake is just acting like a puppy seeing something he wants to play with.
Plus, Rookie is still learning. According to the Trenton Thunder’s website, he works only in the first inning as he’s still “perfecting his craft.” Perfecting or not, Rookie is still a very, very good dog.
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