(TRENTON, NJ) - They say that "every dog has his day" and Friday, July 5, when the Trenton Thunder face Reading (Philadelphia Phillies), will belong to the team's Golden Retriever Chase. The "bat dog" will celebrate his 13th birthday and the team announced today that the game will also serve as Chase's Retirement Party.
Chase has passed the Thunder bat dog duties on to his son Derby and has not retreived a bat this season. As part of his retirement party, he's scheduled to head onto the field to fetch one more bat during the first inning.
Friday, July 5th will see the the Thunder continue its tradition of allowing fans to bring their own dogs to the park to help Chase celebrate. All dog owners are invited to bring their well-behaved dogs into the stadium for free with the purchase of a regularly priced ticket for themselves. Dogs are free if they sit on a person's lap (or at their feet) during the game but if they require more space, a child priced seat may be purchased. Leashes are required on the dogs at all times and the Thunder reserve the right to remove a dog from the stadium if it is not well behaved. Also, a grassed area will be roped off outside of the first base gates for dogs to do their business.
In addition, ARM & HAMMER, Chase's official sponsor, will provide Chase Bobbleheads to the first 2,000 fans ages 14 & over.
"Chase has been the furry face of the franchise for more than 10 years," said Thunder General Manager Will Smith. "Now, unlike most who make their careers on professional baseball fields, he's going out on his own terms."
Chase has been entertaining fans at Trenton Thunder games since 2002 and still can be seen on the field before the game, visiting fans in the stands and greeting them outside ARM & HAMMER PARK after the game. Over the past ten seasons, Chase 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 invititation by Yankees GM Brian Cashman.
Chase's son "Home Run" Derby was introduced to Thunder fans as a puppy in 2008. Since 2010, Derby has been sharing bat dog duties with his dad. Now in 2013 he not only is the bat dog in the bottom of the first inning, but he brings water out to the umpires during the game. Derby continues to work out with the players in the bullpen and the outfield during pre-game warm-ups and pose for pictures with the fans during and after games.
If Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning are considered the first family of quarterbacks, then Chase's family would hold the same distinction as bat dogs. In addition to Derby with the Thunder, Chase has another son, Ollie, who is following in his father's paw steps with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Baseball Club.
Chase & Derby are presented by ARM & HAMMER Pet Products. Their health & wellness is taken care of by the staff at Newtown Veterinary Hospital. Derby's training is provided by Shelly's School for Dogs at the Green Leaf Pet Resort and Hotel.
All Trenton Thunder tickets are all on sale now at trentonthunder.com and by calling 609-394-3300.