Originally written on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 11/17/14
After 11 years serving as the bat dog of the Trenton Thunder, Chase heads off into retirement with one final ceremony. (Photo from Trenton Thunder on Facebook) Since 2002, the Trenton Thunder, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, have had hundreds of players wander through their locker rooms. They’ve had a couple of different managers and dozens of coaches. However, there has always been one consistent face of the franchise, present for 71 home games each year. Regardless of the promotion – whether it be fireworks, kids eat free, or hat night – fans have always come out to see Chase, the team’s bat dog. For the past eleven seasons, it has always been about the dogs in Trenton. On Friday night, that was no different, as the team held a combined retirement/13th birthday party for New Jersey’s favorite bat-grabbing golden retriever. The ceremony was truly touching. Trenton’s media department did a fantastic job compiling a four-minute long tribute video to Chase, showing some of his favorite moments retrieving bats, playing fetch between innings, and even being featured in commercials and on CNN. Joining Chase on his night were plenty of his canine friends, who attended as part of “bring your dog” night. Chase also got to spend some time with his son, Derby, who has taken over the full-time bat dog duties for Trenton, and his grandpup, Champ. Chase’s other son, Ollie, could not be in attendance — he is currently the bat dog for the Eastern League’s New Hampshire Fisher Cats. For many, the thought was that Chase’s retirement was simply due to his old age. Then, the revelation came from Thunder Senior Vice President of Corporate Sales and Partnerships Eric Lipsman, who owns Chase and Derby: Chase has lymphoma. “It has been a tough week,” Lipsman said. “He’s had cancer since February. He’s struggled through it. He’s also got severe arthritis, which is why he was hobbled, and if you saw his legs wrapped in blue, and that is from where he’s had intravenous and chemotherapy. But he’s a brave dog, and I just wanted him to be out there to hear those cheers.” And cheers there were. Though Chase was unable to retrieve one final bat as originally was planned, the fans cheered loud and proud of their bat dog. For many, a hot night in New Jersey’s capital was well-spent celebrating the past eleven years as they came out to say one final goodbye to their friend Chase. Heathcott with Chase prior to Friday’s game (Photo from Trenton Thunder on Facebook). It hasn’t just been tough for fans to say goodbye. During his tenure with the Thunder, Chase has touched several players and coaches as well. Among those mentioned were current Yankees catcher Austin Romine and current Thunder outfielder Slade Heathcott. As Chase lay in the grass for the pre-game ceremony in his honor, Heathcott came out to his side, rubbing his friend’s ears at one point. “A dog’ll put you in a good mood,” Heathcott said prior to Friday’s game. He didn’t stop smiling the whole time we talked. “It give you kind of a feeling of being back at home.” That feeling was echoed by several other members of the Thunder, including Zach Nuding, Tyler Austin, and the team’s manager, Tony Franklin. For Franklin, who has been here since 2007, the connection to Chase was a close one. “They become family,” Franklin added. “So you miss family.” With Chase, everyone in the organization has viewed him as family for a long time. There is no doubt that everyone will miss him both on and off the field. In the case of Chase the bat dog, retirement has cost the team not only their bat dog and the face of their franchise, but also their friend.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos will franchise tag Demaryius Thomas

Marshawn Lynch on final SB play: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers acquire Keith Yandle from Coyotes

Report: Bucs to keep Vincent Jackson under current contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Twins to limit players' smartphone use on game days

Shane Battier: Carmelo Anthony is not that tough to guard

Ronda Rousey would be 'happy' to fight Cat Zingano again

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans after loss

Cowboys to let DeMarco Murray test free agency?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184, keeps MMA rumors alive

WATCH: Sidney Crosby gets leveled in open-ice hit

PHOTO: Pacquiao has message for Mayweather with t-shirt?

Nuggets break team huddle with countdown to end of season

WATCH: James Harden kicks LeBron in the groin

Jim Harbaugh tells Madonna he respects her toughness

Are the Oakland Raiders finally trending up?

Durant blasts Instagram hater for Westbrook comment

Three potential big signings the Steelers could make

Kevin Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for Timberwolves fans

Michigan fan has incredible Charles Woodson tattoo

WATCH: NIU C brings down basket on dunk

McCown plans to embrace mentoring role with Manziel

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos to franchise Demaryius

James Harden kicks LeBron in groin

Lynch: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers get Yandle from Coyotes

Harbaugh respects Madonna's grit

Twins to limit game day cell phone use

Kevin Durant blasts hater on Instagram

KG buys 1,000 tickets for T-Wolves fans

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans

Cowboys letting Murray test market?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.