Last week, a little pup wandered onto the Milwaukee Brewers’ spring training camp in Arizona. Good legs, quick tail, damn cute. A little rough around the edges — he was a stray. From the streets. They gave him a chance. Gave him a shirt. Named him Hank, after Hank Aaron, the longtime Major League Baseball all-time home run king, because they saw a spark in the furry little kid.
“He didn’t miss a ground ball,” said pitcher Yovani Gallardo. “He had a lot of impact. First time out, I think he learned a lot.”
First, though, they sent him to the doc to get fixed up and checked over. He looked about two years old and appeared to be a Bichon Frise mix. The vet noticed a tail injury and some gray markings around his right hind leg, according to the AP, and figured he might have been run over by a car.
Who knows what else the poor dog had been through, but now he had a team. He’s the unofficial mascot, winning over everybody on the club. The team is looking for his owner, spreading the word through social media and showing Hank off to the world.
“I’m second banana now,” tweeted Bob Uecker, the club’s popular broadcaster, according to the AP.
In the meantime, Hank runs through practice with the club, wearing the No. 1 jersey, sprinting around the infield and showing off his belly. He even has a Twitter account: @BrewersHank.
And the players love him.
“He’s awesome,” said Gallardo. “I think he’s going to fit right in. He’s laid back, has fun, enjoys coming out here every day taking care of business.
“He’s a good guy. He’ll talk to everybody.”
When practice is done — or, really, whenever he sees fit — Hank takes breaks in the stadium operations office, where he gets his water and food. Staff members take turns housing Hank at night.
Soon, however, the Brewers will have to move back up to Milwaukee when they break camp. Fortunately, if Hank’s owner does not step forward, the team intends to adopt the dog and take him along. Team owner Mark Attanasio really has no choice.
“I was in Europe this week on business and I had four texts from my wife,” he told the AP. “And three of them were ‘What can I do to adopt Hank the Dog?'”
So Attanasio has opened up talks, and he’s hoping for a good outcome.
“A number of different departments are vying for him,” Attanasio said. “The players want him on the roster and to travel with the team. (General manager Doug) Melvin’s trying to get him into a baseball meeting later today.”
Sounds like this little dog will have a great home on the team. Let’s hope things go his way.
Via the AP
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