- By HOWIE KUSSOY
- Last Updated: 4:46 AM, July 10, 2013
- Posted: 12:34 AM, July 10, 2013
Anthony J Causi
ONE SPECIAL BAT DOG: Trenton Thunder bat dog Chase died Monday after being diagnosed with cancer in February. On June 4, Chase was the first bat dog to be honored on the field at Yankee Stadium.
The Trenton Thunder lost a loyal companion on Monday when the team’s longtime bat dog, Chase, died at age 13.
Chase, who was diagnosed with cancer in February and also had been suffering from arthritis, was honored by the Yankees’ Double-A team just three days earlier, with a birthday and retirement party.
“Chase was such a tremendous part of the Trenton Thunder identity for more than 10 years,” Thunder general manager Will Smith said. “His presence at Arm & Hammer Park or in the community was the epitome of the wholesome family entertainment for which we strive. Our ballplayers, 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.”
“He was a good dog. I just saw him here last month,” said Robinson Cano, who played in Trenton in 2003-04. “He was always good with the bat. He never left teeth marks on your bat.’’
The beloved dog entertained fans since his debut it 2002, running back and forth between the dugout and field to retrieve bats. On June 4, Chase, a fixture in the Trenton community, became the first dog to be honored on the field at Yankee Stadium, following a special invitation from general manager Brian Cashman.
“He was really good at what he does,” Joba Chamberlain said. “It was so cool to see all the things he did, not only gets bats and balls, but just interacting with kids. Yes, he was the bat dog but just the smile he put on the kids faces was so special. He was more than the bat dog, he was family. You’d always walk in there into the clubhouse and Chase would be there and you’d say hi and he’d always be there. It relaxed you being around that dog.’’
Brett Gardner said, “Chase was a great dog. I have a Golden Retriever, so it really hits home. He was a smart dog, probably smarter than you and me.”
Chase’s son Derby, began helping his father retrieve bats in 2010 and will carry on the tradition with the Thunder, while Chase’s other son, Ollie, performs the same duties for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
The teams asks fans wishing to honor Chase to make a monetary donation in his name to Trenton Thunder Charities or a local animal shelter/pet rescue in their own community.