TRENTON, N.J. -- After nearly three weeks of fan input and voting, the Trenton Thunder's bat dog of the future has a name. The golden retriever puppy, who is the son of team bat dog Derby and grandson of original bat dog Chase, will be named Rookie.
Thunder fans submitted 1,164 different names during a 10-day submission period before thousands of fans voted for one of eight finalists during a week-long online vote.
The eight finalists are listed below in order of votes received:
- (Inside The) Parker
"With all the young players that pass through ARM & HAMMER Park each year, it's only fitting that we have a 'Rookie' here to fetch their bats," said Thunder General Manager Will Smith. "The interaction we had with the fans throughout the naming process was outstanding and there's no doubt that everyone is excited about Rookie becoming part of the Thunder experience."
Rookie will make many appearances at Thunder games during the 2014 season. He will be trained by Shelly's School for Dogs in Millstone, N.J. and should make his bat dog debut for Thunder fans during the 2015 season. Rookie, like his dad Derby, is sponsored by ARM & HAMMER.
The Thunder gained worldwide attention starting in 2002 when then two-year old "Chase That Golden Thunder" joined the team as an official bat dog, entertainer and mascot. In 2008, Chase fathered a litter of puppies. His son "Home Run Derby" followed in his father's pawsteps in Trenton while "Ollie" continued the family business with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Double-A, Toronto). Chase and Derby worked alongside each other at ARM & HAMMER Park from 2010 until Chase's passing last July.
Rookie was born on December 15 at Goldilocks Goldens of Levittown, Pa. Derby's mate Reba had a litter of two puppies, a boy and girl.
The Thunder will begin the 2014 season at ARM & HAMMER Park on Thursday, April 3. Season tickets, group outings, Pic-A-Plans, and Mini Plan renewals are on sale now. Single game tickets will go on sale on March 1, 2014. For more information about tickets, fans should call 609-394-3300 or visit trentonthunder.com.