When the Milwaukee Brewers’ pitchers and catchers reported to Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix on February 17, the first day of spring training, they were very quickly joined by an adorable mix-breed pup.
Where he came from nobody knew, but he immediately set about ingratiating himself with the players and staff. Before long the dog had a name: The players called him Hank, after baseball legend Hank Aaron, who began and ended his distinguished career in Milwaukee.
Hank the dog soon had a growing fan club. He began appearing at spring training games, holding court in a booth as his public lined up to have their pictures taken with him, in exchange for a donation to the Arizona Humane Society. “There were two questions that everyone has asked since the very first days of Hank’s arrival,” says Brewers’ CEO Rick Schlesinger. “‘Where will he live?’ and ‘Will there be Hank-themed apparel?’”
The answers are (a) Milwaukee and (b) of course! In fact, Hank-themed baseball regalia went on sale at Miller Field, the Brewers’ home, in mid-March, shortly after the pup made the trip north to his new forever home. Proceeds go to the Wisconsin Humane Society. So far, Hank has helped raise thousands of dollars.
“We couldn’t be more grateful to the Brewers for this generous and unexpected gift,” says Anne Reed, president and CEO of the Humane Society. “We depend upon community support, and it’s astounding and inspiring that little Hank will help save the lives of so many homeless animals.”
Hank has been adopted by a Brewers executive and his family. It’s a pretty safe bet he will never be the subject of trade rumors.
Who is your favorite dog mascot and why? Tell us in the comments.