Every dog has its day — but for one golden retriever, it was at a night game at New York’s Citi Field.
It happened after New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor hit a solo home run that went soaring into the right field upper deck.
Various dogs were at the game as part of a “Bark at the Park” promotion, and one golden retriever managed to get hold of the ball (though not while it was still in the air).
The dog is named Renegade, and he was at the game with his human companion as well as two other baseball-loving canines.
Renegade is actually from Florida and was visiting his brother Doak in the Big Apple, according to Doak’s owner, Chris Howland.
Although Renegade got the ball, Howland admits a potentially dangerous sequence of events led to the triumphant moment.
“Lindor hits the home run. I see it coming and I guess my dad instincts took over,” he told MLB.com. “It was literally going right for the dogs. I don’t need them taking a 110-mile-an-hour baseball in the stomach. So, I reached over my girlfriend, it hit off my finger, hit off the seat and landed on the ground. We’re scrambling for it. I came up with it and I gave it to the dog.”
“In the moment I was like, ‘This is way funnier if I give [the ball] to him,’” Howland said. “So, I handed it to him and he was cool about it, right? He was holding onto it, chewing on it. They’re both obsessed with balls to begin with, so one of them was gonna take it.”
Renegade won’t be keeping the ball permanently, Howland admitted.
“They have plenty of balls; these dogs are spoiled,” he said. “I’ll keep this one for the story.”
Howland did, however, seem to have a bone to pick with the Mets, wondering on Twitter why Renegade didn’t get a congratulatory hot dog.
Footage of the retriever catching Lindor’s home run ball managed to go viral the same night Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season. The accomplishment wasn’t lost on Twitter users.