The end of an era: Miss Babe Ruth, the beloved Labrador Retriever bat and ball dog for the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Low Class A; Sally League), will retire at the end of the 2015 season.
Since debuting as a 9-month-old on August 2, 2006, Greensboro baseball fans have grown accustomed to her taking baseballs to umpires, serving as the Grasshoppers bat girl and running the bases nightly for 580 consecutive games.
“Babe is such a fixture at our ballpark that it’s hard to imagine a game without her, but the time is coming,” said Grasshoppers President and General Manager Donald Moore, and also Babe’s owner. “We have given this a lot of thought and hope she will have several years of good health and relaxation following her retirement. Babe will be 10 this fall and she deserves to slow down.”
Babe’s 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 annual 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.
The team estimates that Babe has delivered over 3,500 baseballs to umpires and retrieved upwards of 4,600 bats in her tenure. She has also generated over $200,000 in income through her career-long sponsorship with Novartis Animal Health.
Miss Babe Ruth is one of the leading lights in the MiLB dog world; she was a prime part of our story on dogs at the ballpark to begin the 2015 season.
Photo courtesy Greensboro Grasshoppers.