Tag: greensboro grasshoppers
On an August night 16 years ago, Chicago White Sox fans were given the unprecedented privilege of bringing their dogs to a baseball game.
Five hundred seats in the bleachers were set aside for fans with dogs. A “doggy comfort area” was set up with sod, fake fire hydrants, and water stations. Vendors with dog treats patroled the area, and the Humane Society was invited to bring along and feature some adoptable pets.
That — the first “Dog Days of Summer” promotion at New Comiskey Park — sold out, as it would every year during the reign of Rob Gallas, former senior vice president of marketing and broadcasting for the Sox.
In a comprehensive article on dogs and baseball on ESPN.com, Gallas credits the “great creative department” he had with coming up with the idea, which stemmed from the fact there was a kennel at New Comiskey, where fans could lodge their dogs during the game.
“We thought, ‘How about if we allowed fans to bring their dogs out to a game?’” said Gallas, now the vice president and chief marketing officer of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
This season, 16 major league teams are hosting dog days, with some holding multiple events. The Pittsburgh Pirates lead the pack, with eight Pup Nights at PNC Park .
Major as it is becoming in the major leagues, inviting dogs to the ball park have become even more of an institution in the minor leauges, with nearly 50 teams having dog-friendly promotions this season.
While the major leagues take credit for doing it first, the concept was most supported, refined and popularized in the minor leagues. (We’d suggest dog-loving fans and humane societies probably did their fair share of pushing, too.)
The Inland Empire 66ers in San Bernardino, Calif., hold “Man’s Best Friend Mondays.” The Greensboro Grasshoppers hold two ”Bark in the Park” games, and the neighboring Winston-Salem Dash are having five “Pups in the Park” games this season. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs hold two ”Dog Days at the Park.” In Albuquerque Isotopes hold “Bark in the Park,” and the Jupiter (Fla.) Hammerheads have the “Dog Days of Summer.”
In Colorado Springs, where the Sky Sox have hosted Bark in the Park since the late ’90s, and up to 250 dogs can be accommodated in a grassy area down the left-field line, says Jon Eddy, the team’s director of marketing and promotions.
“Frankly, what amazes me is, as a pet owner my entire life, how incredibly well-behaved these pets are on a consistent basis,” said Eddy.
Meanwhile, back in the majors, while the White Sox got the ball rolling, the Cubs still haven’t caught on. Wrigley Field doesn’t allow dogs, (although there is a dog park not far away, called Wiggly Field).
After the White Sox first allowed dogs in 1996, the Montreal Expos followed, in 1998. A year later the Minnesota Twins invited dogs into the Metrodome. Today, The Cleveland Indians have Puppypalooza. The St. Louis Cardinals have Pooches in the Ballpark. The Kansas City Royals have Bark at the K.
At San Diego’s Petco Park, where the Padres play, up to 500 dogs can be accommodated in the annual Dog Days of Summer promotion that includes a pregame “tail” gate party.
And in Oakland, the Athletics’ Dog Day at the Park attracted about 750 dogs — an unofficial record for a major league game.
As the ESPN article concludes, “Baseball is just better with a friend, even a furry one.”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bark in the park, baseball, chicago white sox, dog days of summer, dogs, dogs and baseball, dogs in the park, greensboro grasshoppers, major league, major league baseball, minor league, pets, promotions, pups in the park, rob gallas, winston salem dash
Winston-Salem — the town of my birth, and the place Ace and I are temporarily hanging — took two giant steps toward dog friendliness this week.
First, yesterday, the Forsyth County Commissioners passed an anti- tethering measure, which, while not all it could be, and while not going into effect for two years, will forbid tethering dogs in a manner that harms them.
And tomorrow, Winston-Salem’s minor league baseball team, the Dash, will open its gates to dogs for the first time.
Of course, Ace and I will be there.
It was back in July that I bemoaned the lack of dog friendly games at the local minor league park — a void which forced Ace and me (that’s him at the game, above) to go see the Greensboro Grasshoppers, a team with a long and dog-friendly tradition.
But a few weeks ago, as the season neared an end, Dash officials decided to let dogs into their new ballpark for the first time.
Winston Salem’s minor league team, when it was known as the Warthogs and based in its old stadium, had dog-friendly days now and then. But for the Dash, which opened its new stadium last year, it’s a doggie debut.
Tickets are $15 and reservations are recommended. Proof of vaccination is required. Dogs will be restricted to the lawn behind left field.
The Dash will be playing the Salem Red Sox, and the event, called ”Pups in the Park,” will benefit the Forsyth County Humane Society. A portion of proceeds will also go to a planned Dog Park at Tanglewood.
The Humane Society’s Regional Outreach Vehicle for Education and Rescue will be at the ballpark Wednesday, along with some adoptable pets.
The event is also sponsored by Carolina Pet Place, a local boarding, bathing and grooming facility for pets.
Tickets can be reserved by calling Sarah Baumann in the Winston-Salem Dash ticket office at 336-714-6878.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baseball, dog, dog friendly, dogs, first, forsyth county, greensboro grasshoppers, humane society, minor league, north carolina, pets, pups in the park, winston salem dash, winston-salem
A statue of the Greensboro Grasshoppers’ beloved bat dog, Babe, was stolen by thieves who left only her paws behind, team officials announced Tuesday.
Miss Babe Ruth, to use her full name, is renowned for grabbing players bats after their appearance at the plate. The statue of her was located on the southeast corner of the minor league team’s stadium.
“It is really sad that someone would steal the statue of Babe,” said Grasshoppers President and General Manager Donald Moore. “At every game, kids clamor to sit on that bench with Babe and Guilford.” (A statue of Guilford the Grasshopper, the team’s official mascot, also sits on the bench.)
Team officials called it “a malicious act of vandalism.”
They plan to have the statue replaced, but say that will take weeks.
The team has offered $1,000 for information leading to the thief’s arrest and conviction, according to WFMY.
The statue of Babe, a black Labrador retriever, was stolen over the weekend while the team was playing in Savannah, Ga.
(Top Photo: WFMY)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, babe, baseball, bat dog, dog, dogs, grasshoppers, greensboro, greensboro grasshoppers, mascot, mascots, minor league, miss babe ruth, newbridge bank park, north carolina, paws, pets, reward, stadium, statue, stolen, theft