The New York Yankees have a talented Rookie in the system.
The Trenton Thunder — the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate — currently are training a new “bat dog” named Rookie for the 2015 season, according to The Times of Trenton. The adorable golden retriever is looking to carry on a family tradition that began when his grandfather, Chase That Golden Thunder, became the first dog to fetch bats exclusively for a minor league baseball team in 2002.
Rookie is a third-generation talent, in fact. Chase That Golden Thunder spent 11 years serving as Trenton’s bat dog before his death in 2013. Rookie’s father, Home Run Derby, joined the Thunder in 2008 and will help his son fetch bats in 2015.
Rookie’s training began with basic obedience skills and has since evolved into him fetching bats, according to The Times. The dog has undergone eight months of preparation.
“When we feel real comfortable all around here, then we take him to the stadium and start working with him,” dog trainer Shelly Liebowitz said. “Even if he does well in the stadium, the big step is when the stands are full with people clapping and screaming.”
At least the Thunder know someone will be able to handle the dog days of summer.
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