Do dogs love baseball? Let’s see … guys running around in the grass, sliding in the dirt and chasing a ball? Score! So it should come as no surprise that Major League Baseball’s “Bark in the Park” promotions have been a big success. Dogs are (finally!) allowed to join their people at the actual game — live and in person, with the sweet smell of hot dogs wafting through the air. What’s more, these fantastic events are often tied to adoption and rescue efforts in the team’s home city. Home run!
My DoggieNames.com site has compiled the latest themed top 10 list saluting this new tradition, based on the names and nicknames related to Major League fields and their teams. By the way, naming your dog after a special place — like your hometown or a memorable destination for you and your family — is a great way to keep it alive in your hearts and homes every day.
One of the most historic parks in all of baseball, Wrigley Field just celebrated its 100th birthday. “The Friendly Confines” are famed for their ivy-covered walls and friendly bleachers, and since the Cubs are most often the underdogs, it’s appropriate that Wrigley is sits atop the “Bark in the Park” list. It’s a great Chicago dog name and works for a boy or a girl.
Other related names: Cub or Cubbie (duh), Harry Carey (after the longtime broadcaster), Ernie (for beloved player and Hall of Famer Ernie Banks), Addie (for the stadium’s Addison Street address), Ivy (for the aforementioned outfield walls) and Comiskey (in case you’re a southsider who prefers the White Sox).
Historic team owner John Taylor built the stadium, said to be named either after the Fenway neighborhood or his family’s business, Fenway Realty. Either way, it’s also a great male/female name for any Red Sox fan or Boston pup. Of course, the team’s nickname, the BoSox, also fits the bill for a cute name, as does Monster (for the left field wall, known as the Green Monster), Yawkey (a former owner/the street address), Yaz (Carl Yastrzemski, whose number is retired there) and Pesky (Pesky’s Pole, the park’s right-field foul pole, named after their longtime infielder/coach Johnny Pesky).
The Cleveland Indians’ park used to be named Jacobs Field, after owners Richard and David Jacobs, and came to be known as “The Jake.” Now it’s called Progressive Field. Unfortunately, Prog just doesn’t make it as a dog’s name. But Jake is a true classic. You also can’t go wrong with Larry or Doby (the first African-American player in the American League), Wahoo (the Indian chief from their logo) or their mascot Slider.
Home of the New York Mets from 1964 to 2008, Shea Stadium was named after lawyer William A. Shea, who helped bring the National League back to New York and was the site of many a historic Mets moment. In fact, you could also name your dog after the leader of the 1969 Miracle Mets, Gil Hodges. Both Gil and Hodges are great monikers, as are the other Mets players’ retired numbers that held a place of honor at Shea: (Casey) Stengel and (Tom) Seaver. There’s also Apple for a girl, named after the Big Apple that pops out of a hat after every home team home run, and the mascot name Mr. Met, which would also work great for a distinguished New York pooch.
— Crosley Field played host to the Cincinnati Reds from 1912 to 1970, and is a much better dog name than the current stadium: the Great American Ballpark. But, if you want to be a stickler about it, the new stadium’s nickname is G.A.B. or Gabby, which is a fine pet moniker. Reds fans have several other awesome names to choose from, like Nuxy (after longtime broadcaster Joe Nuxhall), Rosie (after Pete Rose), Griff or Griffey (for Ken Sr. and Jr.) and of course, Schottzie, the much beloved Saint Bernard that accompanied his person/lookalike Marge Schott to home games.
The Atlanta Braves’ Turner Field, known as “The Ted,” gets its moniker from former owner and prominent Atlanta businessman Ted Turner, but you could also honor your favorite team by naming your dog after great players like Hank (Aaron), Chipper (Jones) or the team’s long line of great pitchers — Knucksie (for knuckleballer Phil Niekro), Smoltzie (for all-time saves leader John Smoltz), and new Hall of Famers Glav (Tom Glavine) and Greg “Maddog” Maddox. There’s also Tomahawk or Chopper (for the fans’ trademark cheer), Homer the mascot, or Bravo, for the team nickname.
Home of the Baltimore Orioles, Camden Yards is built on the site of the former Camden rail station. But O’s fans could also name their pups Bird, to represent the team nickname or Eutaw, the stadium’s team address. We’ve always loved the names Eddie and Murray for a pooch, and you could do worse than honoring the Hall of Fame first baseman. Then, of course, there’s always Cal Ripken, the legendary Oriole who holds the consecutive games played record at 2,632 and whose number eight is retired at Camden Yards.
Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers’ home field, has several things going for it in terms of canine appeal. First, there’s the famous sausage race. ‘Nuff said. Secondly, there’s the most famous dog in all of baseball right now. His name is Hank, named after the Milwaukee (and Atlanta) Braves great Hank Aaron. The stray showed up at the team’s spring training facility this season, and was immediately adopted by the club. He now rules the roost at the stadium in his own specially built dog house, and the team has set up a fund in his name at the Wisconsin Humane Society. But if Miller or Hank don’t do it for you, Brewer is a fine pet name, as is Uke for Bob Uecker or Bernie, who happens to be the team’s official mascot — no matter what Hank says.
Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium is famed for its delicious Dodger dogs, so it’s certainly a fitting name for a canine. There’s also Chavez Ravine, where the stadium is located; legendary broadcaster Vin Scully; and Blue, for “The Boys in Blue,” not to mention a bunch of great players’ names, including (Sandy) Koufax, Fernando (Valenzuela) and (Kirk) Gibson, who hit a legendary World Series homer in 1988. You could do worse than to copy diehard fan actress Alyssa Milano — she actually has one dog named Gibson and one named Dodger.
Named after its founding owner, Ewing Kauffman, the Kansas City Royals’ classic stadium, often called “the K,” has been the site of some memorable moments, most notably the team’s 1985 World Series win. The canine monikers we’d recommend off that roster include George Brett, MVP Bret Saberhagen, and Quiz for Dan Quisenberry. Though we like Kauffman the best, fans who’re looking to name their pal after their favorite team could do worse than Royal or their mascot, Sluggerr. (Okay, the mascot’s a lion, but still, it’s a pretty darn cute dog name.)
There’s one thing every ballpark has in common, and that’s the song played during the seventh-inning stretch, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” with its shout-out to the famed snack. That makes Cracker Jack the perfect name for any “barker in the park,” we’d day. By the way, the dog pictured with Sailor Jack in the logo is modeled after a stray owned by co-manufacturer/owner Henry Eckstein, and is officially named Bingo.
Have you named your pup after a baseball-related player or park? What is it? Tell us the story in the comments!
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About the author: Atlanta’s own Toni Perling is a writer, mostly about dogs, hence her blogger name, Doggienista. And hence, her two beautiful rescues dogs: Daisy Jo and Bud Earl. She tweets for them at DaisyJoBudEarl, and shares her collection of dog names and trends at DoggieNames.com. Toni started asking her parents for a puppy pretty much the minute she learned to speak, but they held off until she was the ripe old age of 10, when the family welcomed a Miniature Schnauzer named Truffles. In between, she inhaled every book about dogs ever written and can pretty much identify any breed by sight. She’s also a longtime supporter of spay/neuter/rescue, and adopted her first dog, a sweet lovable mutt named Sophie, from an L.A. County shelter.
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