Butch Huskey Would Carry Most of the Load In The Batting Order
With a last name like Kratz, one might assume he prefers a house pet from the feline family. However, veteran catcher Eric Kratz, or at least his daughter, prefers a canine.
As columnist Bryan Hoch pointed out in a touching November 6 story at MLB.com, Kratz had for several years been promising to get a puppy for his daughter. She had to wait, however, until he had played his last Major League Baseball game, which finally came in late September.
After serving as a backstop for nine different clubs over an eleven year career, Kratz announced his retirement after 2020. As soon as he turned in his Yankee uniform, Kratz delivered on his promise to his daughter.
“We bought the puppy, and we’re enjoying it,” Kratz told Hoch for the article.
The story brought to mind the many connections dogs have in baseball, not only with nicknames like Bill “Mad Dog” Madlock but also with “Dog in the Park” nights at numerous venues. The sport has also enjoyed quite a few players whose names conjure up images of Man's Best Friend, and here is a roster of some of the most prominent.
Major League Baseball's All-Canine Roster:
Catcher, Danny Breeden
He spent the late Sixties and early Seventies with the Reds and Cubs, mostly as a backup.
First Base, Jimmie Foxx
The Hall of Famer won two MVPs with the Philadelphia Athletics and a third with the Boston Red Soxx.
Second Base, Nellie Fox
A nineteen year career ended in enshrinement at Cooperstown, it included highlights for the White Sox with whom he won his only MVP in 1959.
Shortstop, Charley Bassett
Bassett hounded hitters with his slick defense in late 19th century, comprising a nine year career with five different clubs.
Third Base, Butch Huskey
After a tremendous stint as a major prospect, Huskey enjoyed his best season when he hit 24 home runs with 81 RBI and a .287 batting average for the 1997 Mets.
Left Field, Dane Iorg
His brother, who played in the Big Leagues at the same time, would be on this team if there were a canine known as a Great Garth.
Center Field, Torii Hunter
Just as effectively as a hound can track a quarry, this perennial All-Star ran down many a fly ball during a fifteen year career with the Twins, Angels, and Tigers.
Right Field, Rex Hudler
Before becoming a popular broadcaster for the Royals, Rex spent 13 years and wore six different uniforms in the Major Leagues.
Starting Pitcher, Randy Wolf
The lefty spent sixteen years on the mound for eight teams, and earn an All Star appearance with the Phillies in 2003.