“Miss Babe Ruth” has the unique honor of being a young lady in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Not bad for a Labrador Retriever, eh?
As the “bat girl” for the Greensboro Grasshoppers minor league baseball team, she was a local legend in North Carolina before retiring last season. Only a handful of minor league teams in the country use dogs as bat and ball retrievers, and Miss Babe’s mark on the community was honored when the bucket she used to carry balls to the umpire went into the Hall of Fame.
Replacing Miss Babe was been problematic. General manager, Donald Moore, considered Babe’s younger brother, “Master Yogi Berra.” “He is smart,” said Moore, “but his whole focus is retrieving balls. He can’t fetch bats, he just wants to play catch,” The worst of it was that on a trial run a few seasons ago, he had an accident making Yogi the only player ejected from a game for relieving himself. The umpire threw him out for doing number two in center field.
Last February, “Miss Lou Lou Gehrig” was called up for training on how to retrieve foul balls, shuttling buckets of balls to the umpire, and picking up bats between innings. Lou Lou also had to learn all the bases by name, and when and how to take extra balls to the umpire. As for Yogi Berra – he became the designated ball boy and will carry a ball around his mouth like a cheekful of chaw.
Photo from the Greensboro Grasshoppers and the article on the dogs. From left: Master Yogi Berra, Miss Lou Lou Gehrig, and Miss Babe Ruth.