TRENTON, N.J. - Chase, a baseball bat-retrieving dog who entertained fans of a club in the Yankees farm system, has died.
The ailing 13-year-old golden retriever lived just long enough to be thrown a retirement party by the Trenton Thunder, which was held at Friday's game. The team said Chase died Monday.
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The dog had been diagnosed in February with a form of lymphoma, suffered from arthritis and struggled during his last appearance.
His bat-retrieving legacy will live on with his son Derby, who continues to be part of the Thunder's home game entertainment. Another son, Ollie, performs with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Chase made his debut with the Thunder in 2002. He would trot out to the batter's box to pick up bats with his mouth and bring them back to the dugout. 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.
At Friday's celebration, which coincided with his birthday, fans were encouraged to bring their dogs to the game. Chase bobblehead dolls also were given out.
Last month, he was also honored on the field at Yankee Stadium.
The Thunder's website Tuesday featured a photo of their late mascot with a bat in his mouth and the caption, "In Loving Memory, Chase That Golden Thunder."