Sunday, February 23, 2014

Brew Dog-- Stray Becomes Mainstay at Brewers' Cactus League Camp

[Photo: The Arizona Republic/Cheryl Evan]

As the Milwaukee Brewers reported to their spring training in Phoenix, Arizona, the baseball team was joined by an unusual walk on.  A stray dog wandered in to Maryvale Baseball Complex.  The dog, which looks like a Bichon Frise mix, looked a little roughed up.

Brewers staff took the dog to a veterinarian for a checkup.  The vet found a tail injury and some gray marks around his hind leg, which suggests that the stray dog may have been run over by a car.  The team took  the little dog in and named him "Hank", in memory of baseball great Hank Aaron, who started and ended his major league career in Milwaukee.

Signs were put up to find Hank's owner.  In addition, the Brewers publicized Hank's arrival on social media and the dog became a celebrity.  If the owner is not located, Hank will be drafted to join the team when they move up North to Miller Park in Milwaukee.

The team has really taken to Hank.  Brewers' owner Mark Attanasio was traveling in Europe last week on business where he received four texts from his wife, and three of those messages concerned trying to adopt  Hank.

Hank has become the unofficial mascot of the Milwaukee Brewers.  Barely a week into the camp, Hank was assigned number 1 for his doggy jersey.  Veteran Pitcher Yovani Gallardo marveled how he did not miss any ground balls during infield practice with Hank by his side.

                                                                                     [Photo: The Arizona Republic/Cheryl Evan]

The Brewers seem well trained to cater to Hank's needs. Coach Ed Sedar went to fetch Hank's favorite breakfast dish of scrambled eggs from the food line.  Brewer staff members take turns housing Hank for the night.  And Hank takes his breaks from the field in the stadium operations office.  The players want to put Hank on the roster and have him travel with the team.

Spring training not only winnows down the roster but also conditions players for the long 161 game season.  If Hank truly becomes the Brew Dog, the boys of summer won't have to wait for the dog days of summer to find their Fido as Hank came onto the scene in the Cactus League.

h/t: AP

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