WATCH: Minor League Baseball Team’s Bat Dog Rushes onto Field Mid-Game, is a Very Good Boy

by Lauren Boisvert

In the best possible news, a dog runs onto the field during a Minor League game, runs around for a few seconds, and then goes back to the dugout. What makes it even better, is he’s the Trenton Thunder’s official bat dog.

In the most amazing turn of events, the Trenton Bat Dogs are an actual, official legacy. They started in 2002 with Chase, then with his son Derby in 2010, now his son Rookie who started in 2014. So, that big golden retriever interrupting the game? That’s Rookie!

History of the Trenton Bat Dogs

Chase was born in 2000 and made his debut as the Trenton Thunder’s first bat dog in 2002. He was a fan favorite and was frequently featured on local and national news. He retired in July 2013 and passed away soon after; his death was felt not only in Trenton, New Jersey but all over the country.

In 2008, the Thunder introduced Chase’s son Derby to the team when he was a puppy. He didn’t start taking over bat dog duties until 2010 when he shared them with his dad. When Chase passed, Derby took over; then, in 2013, Derby brought his own bundle of joy to the bat dog family. Rookie was introduced on Opening Day in 2014, and he joined Derby in his bat dog duties until Derby passed in 2018. Now, it’s up to Rookie to uphold the family legacy.

How Therapy Animals Are Helping First Responders

Just like Chase, Derby, and Rookie (except when he ran on the field all willy-nilly), therapy dogs take their jobs very seriously. The non-profit California company First Responder Therapy Dogs is helping firefighters and emergency officials feel a sense of normalcy and calm amidst devastating circumstances.

When the Caldor fire tore through California, many first responders needed the emotional support that a dog can bring. Enter Heidi Carman, who started her therapy project in 2020. With her animals, Carman provides emotional safety, security, and a sense of calm to the first responders who have to deal with destruction and devastation on a daily basis.

“It’s so simple. It’s just petting a dog,” Carman told the San Francisco Examiner. But, as those with dogs know, it’s much more than that. Emotionally, it’s the feeling of having a forever friend.

Scientifically, petting a dog for 15 minutes a day releases good hormones in our bodies. According to a 2002 study in the Western Journal of Nursing Research, the act releases serotonin and oxytocin in our brains, which in turn make us feel happy, loved, and gives us a sense of well-being.