Champ, The Bat Dog, follows in his famous big brothers paw-steps on the field

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Friday, June 7, 2024
Champ the dog to make debut at Holly Springs Salamanders baseball game
Champ the dog to make debut at Holly Springs Salamanders baseball game

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WTVD) -- The newest four-legged celebrity in Central Carolina is making his debut in minor-league baseball.

One-year-old American black Lab, Champ, has been training hard and debuted retrieving bats for the Holly Springs Salamanders on Thursday at their home game.

Champ is the younger brother of Ripken The Bat Dog who has gained fame as a crowd favorite retrieving bats and tees at many sporting events including with the Durham Bulls, NC State Football, and The Carolina Hurricanes.

Michael O'Donnell owns and trains both dogs and has a lot of practice as the owner of Sit Means Sit dog training in Apex.

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"Ripken has been on The Kelly Clarkson Show and The Dolly Parton Show, so he's gotten some fame," O'Donnell explained. "Now, it's time to build Champ up here a little bit and show him the ropes."

O'Donnell played college baseball and is living out his dream watching professionals on the sidelines with his beloved dogs.

He is hoping one day the majors will come calling for them.

"Our goal with Champ and even Ripken is to get them to the pro level next year. Maybe to the PGA, NFL, MLB you name it. I think the sky's the limit with both," O'Donnell said.

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