greensboro grasshoppers

The bat dog is restless. The first inning’s running long, so Donald Moore, who owns both her and the Greensboro Grasshoppers, is entertaining her under the stands. He throws a baseball. She fetches. He pets her. She scratches her back on a patch of AstroTurf. For more than 600 straight games, this is what Miss Babe Ruth has been up to: hanging out, waiting to take balls to the umpire, to retrieve bats, and to run the bases postgame.

The black Lab is now 10. This is her last season. Two understudies, Miss Lou Lou Gehrig and Master Yogi Berra, will take her place. But for now, she has a job to do. After the third out, the gate to the field opens. Miss Babe Ruth grabs a bucket of baseballs, trots out to the umpire, drops the bucket at his feet, gets a treat, and returns the bucket. Innings, like seasons, always end. But Miss Babe Ruth will always be a good girl.

We’ll miss you, Babe

As she has since August 2006, Miss Babe Ruth will serve as the Greensboro Grasshoppers’ bat dog at every home game this season. Look for her during the first, third, and fifth innings, and at the end of each game, when she runs the bases. Celebrate Miss Babe Ruth’s retirement at the last Saturday game of the season, on August 29 at 7 p.m.

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Markovich is a senior editor/writer at Our State, and a former special content producer for NBC Charlotte. He has won two 2011 regional Emmy Awards and regional Edward R. Murrow awards along with the 2011 Green Eyeshade award for Magazine Feature Writing, the 2010 National City and Regional Magazine Award for Personality Profile, the 2010 Clarion Award for a Magazine Feature Article, and the 2010 Green Eyeshade Award’s Best-In-Show for Non Daily Print Journalism.