Chase That Golden Thunder, the bat-retrieving dog mascot of the New York Yankee minor league affiliate in Trenton, N.J., for the past 11 years, died Monday, just days after his retirement because he was diagnosed with blood cancer.
The Times of Trenton reported that the Trenton Thunder made the announcement Tuesday.
Veterinarians diagnosed Chase, 13, with blood cancer in February and he also suffered from arthritis, according to the Times.
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Bill Cook, spokesman of the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees Double-A farm team, said the club held a retirement party for Chase Friday at Arm & Hammer Park.
"We’re all kind of a little sad today," Cook told the Times. "We had a wonderful celebration of his life and everything that he had meant to the team. Fans had a chance to see him one last time."
Chase had become a fixture at Trenton Thunder games, making his debut in 2002, The Associated Press wrote
. Chase would trot out in the bottom of the first inning to the batter's box to pick up bats with his mouth and bring them back to the dugout, according to the AP.
He also carried a woven basket with bottles of chilled water to the umpires and entertained fans by running down flying discs in the outfield, said the AP.
Last month, Chase was also honored on the field at Yankee Stadium. New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain petted Chase before the game and infielder David Adams came over to greet his old friend.
"Chase was there a long time," Chamberlain, who spent time as a minor leaguer in Trenton, told the AP. "He put a lot of smiles on people's faces. You know it's going to be sad, but his lineage is carried on."
Chase's son Derby is now participating in Thunder home game entertainment events, the AP reported. Another son, Ollie, performs with the minor-league New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Chase and Derby have different personalities, Eric Lipsman, the Thunder's senior vice president of corporate sales, told the Times of Trenton
Friday at Chase's retirement party.
"He’s just a one-of-a-kind dog," Lipsman said of Chase. "That’s all I can say. And that’s part of the problem is poor Derby is always going to go through life being compared to his father.”
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