Turbo getting ready for baseball season

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 7:00 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -Hot Rods’ Baseball is right around the corner and the team’s bat dog, Turbo, is getting ready for opening day in Bowling Green.

The cancellation of the 2020 Minor League Baseball season caused some of Turbo’s training to be put on hold. So he’ll be spending the next month at Riley’s Retrievers, getting a refresher course.

“They train a lot of bird dogs and it’s a similar concept,” said Hot Rods General Manager and COO Eric Leach. “Obviously, a different item and he has certain commands to go get the bat. The bat has a name so when you say that keyword he’ll go get it.”

Once the season begins, Turbo will spend about one inning each game in the dugout retrieving bats and taking out addition baseballs to the umpires when needed.

“He’s down pretty good as far as taking the basket filled with baseballs to the umpire, he’s really comfortable with that,” Leach said.

Turbo will also need some more general obedience training.

“He hasn’t been around large crowds and he’s still a puppy so he gets distracted,” said Leach. “He gets so excited. He loves people.”

Even with the additional training Turbo’s getting before Hot Rod’s home opener, Leach knows there are still a few things he’ll have to experience during a game to get used to. The audio coming from the speakers at the ballpark and the sound of the crack of the bat are some of the things Turbo will have to get comfortable with.

We’re talking with a couple of little league teams about coming out and having a demo practice for us and Turbo as well,” said Leach.

When he isn’t performing his bat dog duties, Turbo will be interacting with fans throughout the ballpark.

“We’re going to have a designated time and place where you can come and get your picture taken with Turbo, pet him,” said Leach. “Hopefully he’ll have his own baseball card at that time.”

The Bowling Green Hot Rods home opener is Tuesday, May 11 at Bowling Green Ballpark. Plenty of eyes will be on the best boy in South Central Kentucky.

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