Mike Ford celebrated his 28th birthday on Saturday, prompting a special message from a renowned canine member of the New York Yankees.
Sharing a birthday with the United States of America must be pretty cool for New York Yankees youngster Mike Ford. What’s even cooler, though, is that furry celebrity Rookie the bat dog remembered Ford’s special day.
— Rookie (@BatdogRookie) July 4, 2020
“A very happy birthday to my fren #MikeFord!” tweeted Rookie, who retrieves bats for Bombers double-A affiliate Trenton Thunder. The golden retriever impressively tapped out the birthday wish with just a single typo, despite possessing no fingers or thumbs.
Rookie, who boasts well over 12,000 Twitter followers, included a few photos of him and Ford yukking it up together in Trenton.
Ford played for the Thunder in 2016 and 217, Rookie’s third and fourth years on the job. The 28-year-old first baseman played well in Trenton, hitting .274/.412/.452 with 18 homers and 91 RBIs in 143 games.
Thanks to that stellar performance, Ford moved on to the triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in 2018. His 23 dingers in 79 games there in 2019 propelled him to the Bronx the same year.
While Ford is now looking to stick with the Yankees in 2020, Rookie is unfortunately sidelined. COVID-19 precautions, which have shortened the MLB season to 60 games, have wiped out the entire MiLB season.
Despite the absence of in-season baseball duties, the talented pup should have plenty of work to keep him busy. He has a new partner named Dash to train for a fresh slate of games in 2021.
Dash and Rookie are upholding a tradition that began in 2002 with Rookie’s grandfather Chase. The founding member of the bat dog family retrieved sticks from 2000 until he went to doggie heaven in 2013.
Chase’s son Derby then carried the torch until his passing in 2018. He worked with Rookie, his son, for the final four years of his career.