posted on July 17, 2013 14:54
If you’ve gone to Dwyer Stadium for a baseball game the last 8 years, you’ve seen Haley. The happy-go-lucky dog with an energized gait belongs to head groundskeeper Don Rock, whose then-wife adopted her from the Cortland pound.
Rock says it was after the divorce that he started bringing Haley to work and she’s become a prominent presence on the diamond as the grounds crew tends to the field.
“She’s really good here,” Rock said, “as far as hanging out and not running away. She just loves it here.”
“Whenever my grandson comes to the game, she’s the first thing he points out to us,” Muckdogs season ticket holder, Sylvia Sawyer said.
Assistant groundskeeper Ivan Madafferi counts Haley as a co-worker and says she’s one-of-a-kind.
“She’s smart,” the former Genesee Community College baseball player said. “It’s really weird. She knows not to run on the field in certain situations. She never really gets in the way.”
Haley is much beloved at Dwyer Stadium, but the new affiliation agreement between the Muckdogs and Miami Marlins created some awkwardness at first. Rock said he was nervous the new coaching staff would be reluctant to let Haley sleep in their office or under a desk. After talking to former manager Dann Bilardello, he was left feeling assured. He says Bilardello called new manager Angel Espada to make sure Haley would be welcomed in her usual nap spots.
“And (Angel) says, ‘Don’t worry about it. Tell him to come in, my office is his office and the dog can sleep wherever she wants,’” Rock recalled.
Sawyer and husband Alen of Mount Morris say Haley adds to their Muckdog experience.
“It wouldn’t be as much fun to watch,” Sylvia said. “We generally get here a half hour before the game starts, and I like to watch the crew working on the field. If she wasn’t there, it wouldn’t be as interesting to watch. I look for her. I look to see where she is.”