Cassius Marcellus Coolidge is the American artist responsible for the ubiquitous “dogs playing poker” paintings that have haunted our society since the late 1800’s.
But Coolidge (or Kash as he liked to be known) was an artist with much more range than we give him credit for. He also did a painting called "One to Tie Two to Win" which depicts dogs…playing baseball.
I am lucky enough to own a print of said painting and it hangs prominently in my living room. It is one of my most prized possessions.
All of this is a roundabout way to say that a love for dogs and a love for baseball comprise about 90% of my personality.
This is why I get so excited every year for the annual Dog Day Of Summer, celebrated on Thursday, June 16 this year at Nat Bailey Stadium. It’s the one day of the season when all dogs, and their owners, are welcomed through the ballpark gates.
In honour of this hallowed day of great import, I have racked my brain to put together an all-star, all-time, all-DOG lineup card for the ages. This is the culmination of many minutes of hard-nosed research and I am pleased to present it to you today.
1. LF Greyhound
Batting first and playing left field I have slotted in a Greyhound. I think they have the speed to be a premiere leadoff hitter and make a nuisance of themselves once on base. Hopefully, stealing a bag or two. However, I’d also be worried about their defense and arm strength, so I’m gonna stick ‘em in left field and hope they don’t make too many errors.
2. CF Border Collie
Having watched a few play in the park, I think these guys would make pretty good contact hitters. Also, their undeniable athleticism would give them the range to patrol centrefield successfully.
3. 3B German Shepherd
Third up in the batting order is traditionally where you place your best hitter. Someone with a high batting average who doesn’t strike out much and has the ability to hit the baseball hard every single night. I don’t know about you, but when I look at German Shepherds, I see a pure hitter.
4. 1B Newfoundland
The cleanup hitter. For this, I wanted a hulking dog with the necessary power to swing for the fences. Just a big lovable oaf with the strength of many men. I give you, the newfie.
5. RF Standard Poodle
Modern sabermetric baseball theories tell us that the 5th and 6th hitters should have high on-base percentages. Poodles are wicked smart and I think they would have a very discerning eye at the plate. Plus, my gut tells me they’d have the arm strength to gun down a runner heading for home.
6. 2B Jack Russell Terrier
No idea what kind of hitter these guys would be, but I guarantee you they could turn a double play like no one’s business.
7. SS Chihuahua
Admittedly, I just think this would be cute as hell.
8. C Scottish Terrier
Short, squat, and as immovable as a cinder block, The Scottie dog is a perfect catcher. However, their tiny legs would limit their hitting abilities which is why they find themselves in the 8 hole.
9. P Rottweiler
I’m a National League guy and I always will be. And even though the Universal DH has robbed us of watching Pitchers hit in the majors, this is my fantasy lineup card and I say that the pitcher has to hit! And for pitcher I want a smart dog that doesn’t take any guff and can shove the baseball all night long. To me, this is a Rottie.
So what do you think? Any other dog breeds that you think should have made my team? Come argue with me at the Nat. I’ll be the one howling behind home plate!