Derby, the famous Bat Dog for the Trenton Thunder, dies after battle with cancer

Derby hailed from a storied baseball bat-fetching family.

Born, Home Run Derby, on Jan. 26, 2008 from the Trenton Thunder’s legendary Bat Dog, Chase That Golden Thunder. One of Derby’s siblings, Ollie, served as a Bat Dog for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

At just 3-months-old, the golden retriever made his on-field debut in 2008. He would go on to retrieve his first bat on April 8, 2010. He played with the Trenton Thunder for his career, a minor league affiliate of the New York Yankees, but he also made appearances with other Minor League Baseball teams as well as the Harlem Globetrotters.

Derby was more than a bat-retrieving dog.

Derby takes a break from bat-fetching duties. Eric Lipsman/Twitter

He also brought bottled water to umpires during scorchers at ARM & HAMMER Park.

“Derby was one of the biggest parts of our identity in the nine years of his life and it breaks my heart to share this news with our fans ahead of our 25th season,” Thunder GM/COO Jeff Hurley said in a statement. “His presence at our games and in the community was massive and every person and dog that interacted with him will miss him dearly.”

Derby had cancer and died Jan. 6. He was 9 — and just 20 days short of his 10th birthday.

He was a very good dog.

Derby Day will be held Jan. 26 in his memory.

Fans are asked to post their memories and images of the retriever online.

Memories are already flooding social media. Like this video posted by the league.

This is a player who made his mark on the game.

And other teams paid their respects.

This was a dog who meant something to so many.

Perhaps most of all, to his owner, Eric Lipsman, who has been humbled by the kindness.

Any pet owner knows exactly how he’s feeling.

Derby also leaves a fur family.

He became a dad on Dec. 15, 2013 with the birth son Rookie and daughter, Mickie. Rookie joined Derby on the field in 2014 and started his bat retrieving duties full-time in 2016.

So on Jan. 26, “paws” for a moment and think of Derby.

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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