Your injury report for the day: Miss Babe Ruth, the Labrador Retriever bat and ball dog for the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Low Class A; Sally League), may have her 575-game streak broken while recovering from a recent ear surgery.
Babe, who has entertained millions of Grasshoppers fans for 575 consecutive home games, had the 90 minute procedure Monday to surgically repair an auricular hematoma.
“This occurred because a collection of blood and fluid developed between the skin and cartilage of the ear secondary to the rupture of a blood vessel in the ear flap,” said Team Veterinarian Jason Streck, who performed the surgery. “The loose space under the skin filled up with blood and the pressure from the ruptured vessel caused the entire surface of the ear to swell and become very painful. If left untreated, the pain would have eventually subsided but the swelling would have generated scar tissue over time and permanently disfigured her ear. This would have likely resulted in the so-called ‘cauliflower ear’ seen commonly in athletes, like wrestlers and sometimes boxers, where trauma to the ear readily occurs.”
Miss Babe debuted on August 2, 2006 as a nine-month-old, taking baseballs to the umpires, serving as a batgirl, and running the bases following the game. Her popularity has grown immensely over the years, as she has her own statue in front of the ballpark, her own souvenir items, and her own yearly baseball card. She greets fans after every Friday and Saturday ‘Hoppers game along with her brother, Master Yogi Berra, and her niece, Miss Lou Lou Gehrig.
“We all wish Babe a speedy recovery and hope she gets well in time to work our last three home games next week. She loves performing in front of our fans and I hope she can continue her amazing streak,” said Donald Moore, Grasshoppers president and general manager, and also Babe’s owner. “Right now she is listed as day-to-day and I guess we will play it by ear next week.”
Har. Play it by ear.
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