Baseball Beagle

The professional baseball team based in the New York City borough of Queens is the New York Mets, one of two major league clubs based in the City, the other being the the New York Yankees. The Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York’s departed NL teams, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants, and from 1964 to 2008, they played home games at the famous Shea Stadium; before Shea, “home” was the Polo Grounds.

In their inaugural year, the Mets were somewhat miserable, having posted an abysmal 40-120-1 record. The one bright spot was their mascot, a Beagle named ‘Homer,” and some say that the fact that the Mets still manage to attract over 900,000 fans was due to Homer.

Homer had been trained by the famed Rudd Weatherwax, the same trainer who worked with several Lassies. He lived at the Waldorf-Astoria, was sponsored by Rheingold Beer,  and had his own spot behind home plate at the Polo Grounds. Unfortunately, Mets manager, Casey Stengel, hated the dog and refused to let the Beagle sit on the bench with the team. Homer was supposed to celebrate a Mets home run by running the bases at the Polo Grounds, and while Homer did well in rehearsals, in his first real test, the hound touched first base and then second base, but then took a detour and raced to center field. He was fired after he had to be corralled by three fielders, two ushers and his handler.

As we see it, Homer was only “singing the song of his people.” Picking up the scent of hot dogs somewhere between first and second base, Homer did what scent hounds do: he followed his nose and took a meandering path.

Needless to say, a dog was not included in the team’s move to Shea Stadium.

We didn’t have consent to share photos of Homer, so we hope you clicked on the links to see him.

Image: Beagle by © Dimarik16 |

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