The Corunna Giants U11 River League team has been lighting up the ball diamond this summer, but it was a black lab that stole the spotlight this week.
Rocky ‘The Bat Dog’ was a special guest at the game, Monday night, showing off his talents to players, coaches and spectators gathered at the Cameron St. ball park.
“The kids and the crowd thought he was amazing,” said parent Crystal Dunn, whose sister Meg Hackett is Rocky’s owner, and has trained the three-year-old lab to fetch bats during baseball games.
In fact, Rocky is the official ‘bat dog’ for the Johnson City Doughboys, a summer collegiate team of the Appalachian League in Johnson City Tennessee, where the Hackett family lives.
He’s making headlines there as a welcome addition to the team, wearing a special team vest and fetching bats at home games held at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.
“They’re home visiting this week and wanted to watch my son play,” said Dunn, adding that the family wanted to surprise her son, Terrance — the game’s starting pitcher — and put Rocky on the roster.
That required a little more training — Rocky is used to wooden, not aluminum bats — she explained. So they practiced before the game, and he was good to go.
The game was a success, as the Giants notched another win, a 13-10 score over the Dutton Royals.
Rocky, who has also competed in dock diving competitions across the U.S., fit right in on the Giants bench.
“He got lots of cheers and ‘good boy’s’” said Dunn. “And earned himself plenty of praise and treats.”