Before we get into the life and times of Chase That Golden Thunder, you might be thinking, what the heck is a bat dog?
Doesn’t that make you want to go to a baseball game?
In fact, Chase probably made a lot of people want to go to a baseball game, as he was with the minor-league Trenton Thunder, a team within the New York Yankees’ farm system, for 11 years. He became a star during that time, appearing on TV and in newspapers across the country, visiting schools, and even landing in the bible (Sports Illustrated). And last month, he was honored on the honored on the field at Yankee Stadium.
Not bad for a bat dog.
“Chase was such a tremendous part of the Trenton Thunder identity for more than 10 years,” said Thunder General Manager Will Smith. “Our ball players, staff, season ticket holders, and all the men, women and children who he entertained and interacted with over the past decade will miss him dearly.”
On July 5, his adoring public got a chance to praise Chase’s fetching prowess on the field and say goodbye, at his retirement-slash-birthday party. It took place on the field during a game, of course. Chase was diagnosed with cancer in February, and was weak during the celebration, but he was surrounded by his sons and grandsons. One of them, Chief, wore a “Happy Birthday Grandpa” bandana.
Dogs were invited, naturally.
“He’s just a one-of-a-kind dog,” Eric Lipsman, Trenton Thunder senior vice president of corporate sales, told NJ.com. “That’s all I can say. He lived for this. He just absolutely loved to be out there on the field.”
At the game, the first 2,000 fans got Chase bobblehead dolls. If anyone is looking to unload one for a reasonable yet still quite impressive price, send us an email.
Chase left his team in good hands. Derby, his son, has taking over for his father with the Thunder. Another son, Ollie, fetches bats for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Here’s to you, Chase.
Via NJ.com; photos via the Trenton Thunder’s Facebook page