Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jake the Diamond Dog

That picture above is the famous Jake the Diamond Dog. I had the opportunity to see him as the Louisville Bats hosted the Norfolk Tides at Louisville Slugger field on Sunday, May 1, 2011. This was my first experience with Jake, but I am definitely a dog lover, so I had no doubt that this would be a favorite of mine.

It was a quiet day a Louisville Slugger Field. There were a number of other things going on in Downtown Louisville, and next week is Derby week. The game also was squeezed in between rain showers that had swelled the Ohio River from Louisville on south.

Jake has several "bits" that he does, but he does hang out on the field for most of the game. He had an inflatable dog house down the right field line where he and his person, Jeff Marchal, stayed during the action. They played catch with a frisbee during the inning breaks. Jake also brought out the game ball to the starting pitcher (who was in this case Johnny Cueto on a rehab start for the Cincinnati Reds).

Jake also acted as the bat boy during a couple of innings for the home team Louisville Bats. Basically, he stayed near the dugout and went and got the bat after the players had reached base. It's a good thing that the Tides did not strike out the side when Jake was working as the bat boy.

Jake as the Bats bat boy

It was a pretty impressive display. Jake seemed to be acting without direction, although I am certain he was getting commands from Jeff. I was wondering how he would pick up the bat without his teeth ruining the handle, but picking it up closer to the sweet spot seems to have answered that question

My favorite part was when Jake brought water out to the umpires. It was a fairly simple routine of carrying a basket with a few small water bottles. But, it seemed to personalize the routine a bit. Jake seemed to be a caring animal. The umpires interacted with Jake also, which was a nice touch.

Jake bringing water out to the umpires.

Jake and Jeff spent a good deal of time after the 7th inning at a table in the concourse signing autographs and talking to people (mostly kids). Jake sat on the table while Jeff did the autographs with them. This was a great part of the event. Jake was unbelievably well-behaved and really seemed to like the attention he was getting. Jeff personalized every autograph. I stopped by a few times, since the crowd was light, to give Jake a few extra pats.

All in all, I highly recommend Jake the Diamond Dog. This is not a headliner event, and I don't believe that many of these promotions are, but Jake is most definitely worth your time if live anywhere near his events. I highly recommend getting a ticket and going out to see him...especially if you like dogs.

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