No, it's not a strange 'Air Bud' spinoff series.
The Trenton Thunder, the Yankees' AA affiliate, have long employed 'Bat Dogs' in the dugout, extremely intelligent canines whose job descriptions are exactly what you think they are. And the latest, Rookie, a third-generation bat retriever, will follow in the paws of his father and grandfather and debut as a team employee.
Rookie's father, Derby (pictured above), is still active and is in his sixth season retrieving bats. His grandfather, Chase, worked as a 'Bat Dog' for 10 years. He even has an uncle who does the job for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Here's a look at Rookie's vigorous off-season training methods.
We can't prove it, but we imagine his life is somewhat like this.
- Jeremy Woo