Tuesdays are for the Dogs With the Blue Rocks’ “Bark in the Park”

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Isabeau poses with her human, Suzanne. Tuesday, July 26, 2022. - Staff Photgrapher / Ashley Craven

Daniel S. Frawley Stadium, home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, isn’t just dedicated to providing inclusive fan experiences to those in attendance at a baseball game. On Tuesday nights, they cater to a different crowd as furry friends fill the stadium to enjoy a few hours of baseball.

“Bark in the Park,” sponsored by Concord Pet Foods and Supplies, occurs every Tuesday home game throughout the entirety of the Blue Rocks’ season. All types of K-9s are welcome at the event and according to the team’s website, the event was brought back due to “PuP-ular” fan demand. 

“He loves baseball, obviously,” owner Trish said, referring to her dog Huckleberry Hound– the self-proclaimed, best friend of the ice cream man. At age two, Huckleberry Hound has been coming to Frawley Stadium all of his life to enjoy the game and free dog treats littered throughout the ballpark. 

The food seems to be a favorite of many in attendance for bark in the park, and not just those lined up for a bite of their favorite pretzel or refreshing lemonade.

“She’s [Luna’s] particularly excited when people spill food and she’s able to pick up after them,” Claire said, pointing towards her dog Luna who was sitting still in a Blue Rocks stadium seat. “She’s pretty excited about that.”

Many of the dogs present at bark in the park on Tuesday, July 26, were featured on the Blue Rocks K-9 Card Set presented by Concord and given to the first 1,000 people that walked through the gates at Frawley Stadium.

The card set featured pictures of 29 different dogs as well as information about their hobbies, favorite foods, favorite toys, who their humans are, and even a fun fact. Many dogs featured on the cards, such as the golden retriever Theodore, showed up in the accessories they sported in their photos for easy identification.  In Theodore’s case, his “Bad Motha Flufffa” bandana was a clear sign that he was a Blue Rocks celebrity.

Dogs in attendance were also able to participate in some of the Blue Rocks’ classic mini-games in between innings, such as musical sit where these K-9s competed to be the first to sit when the music ended. Others dogs like Bruno, whose human is Steve Gold, the director of field operations at Frawley Stadium, spent their time catching frisbees on the field. 

Maele, an English Mastiff whose humans are Toni and Derrick, was perfectly content to do neither of these things, however. Instead, Maele spent her bark in the park experience lounging atop the visiting team’s dugout where there was more than enough space for her to sprawl.

“We actually like the look of the faces when the players run out and they see her, [they’re] shocked,” Toni said. “And she enjoys the french fries.”

There’s something for every dog at the Wilmington Blue Rock’s “Bark in the Park” game, and with the next one right around the corner on Tuesday, August 2, K-9s are ready to feast on french fries, be pet by fans, play games in between innings, or even just sprawl atop the dugout. 

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