The third generation of Thunder bat dogs, Rookie, will make his debut on Opening Night at ARM & HAMMER Park on Thursday, April 16 when the Thunder host the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Rookie, who has been in training throughout the offseason at Shelly’s School For Dogs in Millstone, NJ, will follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Chase and father Derby and perform bat dog duties in the bottom of the first inning on Opening Night. Derby will perform his normal bat dog duties in the bottom of the second inning, his sixth season retrieving bats.
Get a sneak peek of Rookie’s training, thanks to Fox 29’s InFocus.
Derby and Rookie follow the original Thunder bat dog, “Chase That Golden Thunder.” Chase spent ten seasons bringing smiles to the faces of fans and retrieving bats for the Thunder. He has been featured worldwide on CNN and Japanese Television, nationally on ESPN, FOX and the YES Network and regionally on FOX-29, KYW-3, UPN-9, News 12 NJ, Today in New York on WNBC-4 plus his picture has appeared in Sports Illustrated and newspapers all over the country. On June 4, 2013 Chase was honored on the field at Yankee Stadium following a special invitation by Yankees GM Brian Cashman.
Chase’s son “Home Run” Derby was introduced to Thunder fans as a puppy in 2008. From 2010 to 2012, Derby shared bat dog duties with his dad. Now in 2015, he will have the chance to share his bat dog duties with his son, Rookie. Derby continues to work out with the players in the bullpen and the outfield during pre-game warm-ups, pose for pictures with fans during and after games and brings water out to the umpires during the game.
Derby & Rookie are not the only ones who followed Chase into the family business, Derby’s brother, Ollie, is the bat dog for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Baseball Club.
Derby & Rookie are presented by ARM & HAMMER Pet Products. Their health & wellness is taken care of by the staff at Newtown Veterinary Hospital in Newtown, PA. Derby’s training is provided by Shelly’s School for Dogs at the Green Leaf Pet Resort and Hotel in Millstone, NJ.
Fans will have two chances this season to enjoy baseball at ARM & HAMMER Park with their dogs. On Wednesday July 1 fans can enjoy Bat Dog day when the first 1,500 fans, age 18 and up, will receive dog dental treats courtesy of Fetch 4 Pets. On August 16, it’s the annual Bark at the Park presented by Dogs & Cats Rule.
The first home game at ARM & HAMMER Park is on Thursday, April 16. To purchase tickets call 609-394-3300 or visit trentonthunder.com.