Alabama’s baseball dogs: A right fielder’s best friend

Abby McCreary, Assistant Sports Editor

Anyone who has been to an Alabama baseball game knows right field’s most famous fans.  

They snack on hot dogs, enjoy the people watching and soak in the atmosphere of Sewell-Thomas Stadium just like any other fan. However, unlike the students that consistently heckle and trash talk the opposing team’s right fielder, these fans are a right fielder’s best friend. 

These fans are the dogs of The Joe.  

This year, dogs almost weren’t allowed to watch the Crimson Tide on the baseball diamond. A preseason tweet in February from Alabama baseball’s official account announced that pets would no longer be allowed in the right field of Sewell-Thomas Stadium. According to baseball security guards, though, an unhappy fan changed that rule. The fan tweeted athletic director Greg Byrne, arguing The Joe should remain open to pets, especially since the stadium is the only UA athletic facility to allow them.  

The tweet was successful. On opening day, Feb. 17, right field was filled with dogs of all breeds and ages, first timers and old veterans, all receiving an abundance of baseball treats and smells, distracted pets and cuddles, and mid-inning love and attention — a special combination unique to The Joe.  

Here are five of baseball’s most popular fans. 


Eli and Benny 

Eli and Benny have probably attended more baseball games than the average Alabama fan, and they might have looked cooler doing it, too. Decked out in their Alabama baseball glasses, bandanas and leashes, the golden doodle and labradoodle have cheered on the Crimson Tide at every game they’ve been allowed for the past four years.  

Their owner and UA alum Kathleen Moffit said her dogs love baseball games, but baseball isn’t always their main priority.  

“Eli will sit and watch the game,” Moffit said. “But they love all the attention. Benny’s favorite part is attention and Eli likes the smells.” 

Although Benny enjoys The Joe as much as his brother, Eli was raised to love baseball. As a puppy, he was the tailgate mascot and was able to attend more games as Moffit’s guest while she was still a student.  

Now the two must wait for special occasions, like games that open right field to the general public or Bark in the Park events.  

Moffit has even started taking them to Birmingham Barons games, where Wet Nose Wednesdays allow dogs to watch select baseball games. That’s where the dogs get most of their baseball experience these days, but Moffit said she hopes for more at the University. 

“I would take them to anything dogs are allowed to,” Moffit said. “We travel with them a lot so we take them wherever we can.” 

Right now, those opportunities consist of the rare Bark in the Park event and football tailgates on the Quad, so Eli and Benny get all the love and smells they can when they’re allowed at The Joe.



Blue, a husky and Australian shepherd mix, is on his way to becoming the super fan that Eli and Benny already are. This is his first season with the Crimson Tide but he’s a local, adopted from Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, who has already attended several games with his owner Caitlyn Bobo, a sophomore majoring in neuroscience.  

Although Blue wears his baseball hat to games, Bobo said his main priority is the snacks. 

“He has a backpack full of snacks,” Bobo said. “I brought him cookies so he likes that and the attention.” 

For Blue, baseball games are also a perfect opportunity to scout out other dogs. Bobo and her boyfriend Garrett Pugh said they try to sit away from other dogs, but in The Joe’s small right field seating area, it isn’t always possible. They’re just grateful Blue isn’t distracted by the ball as well.  

“If he hears the ball hit the bat he’ll pay attention, but other than that he doesn’t have a very good attention span,” Pugh said. “In the first game, a home run came to us in the first inning. He flinched and wasn’t into it at all — if anything he’s more timid when the ball comes around.”  

Blue is gradually working his way up to becoming a veteran canine of right field, but for now, he’s still adjusting to his first year as a Crimson Tide pup. 

“Blue says, ‘Roll tide,’” Bobo said.  



Like Blue, Sadie also attends baseball games at The Joe for just one reason.  

“She’s eating peanuts and hot dogs and French fries,” said her owner and Crimson Tide parent Dawn Reynolds during one Saturday afternoon game. “She’s been trying to get his [the man seated next to them] pizza all game.” 

Sadie, a four-year-old goldendoodle, attended her first Crimson Tide baseball game this year, but Reynolds said she’ll be back for more, and not just for the snacks. Sadie doesn’t watch Alabama games, but her favorite player is transfer Jackson Reynolds, Dawn’s son. 

“She’s oblivious to the game,” Dawn Reynolds said. “When [the players] do the walk-by at the end, she’ll be very happy to see JR. He doesn’t know she’s here.” 

For Sadie, being at the ballpark with other dogs and lots of smells is a lot better than being left at home, especially when she gets to see a friendly face at the end.  



Another dog of a player, Hoss offered a friendly face for the right fielder of the opposing team on March 11 during the Columbia University series. 

Whole family came to the game, so you got to bring the dog,” said his owner, Columbia University parent Paul Schott. “He’s part of the family, my fourth kid. I have to bring him wherever I can.” 

As the dog of Columbia right fielder Hayden Schott, Hoss was the only comforting presence among a sea of Alabama students who regularly heckle and taunt the right fielders of opposing teams as they take the field.  

A ten-year-old chocolate Labrador, Hoss has attended many of Schott’s games as Paul Schott’s service dog, but Schott said the Alabama game allowed Hoss to take all the gear off and just enjoy the game.  

“He’s usually pretty chill but right now he’s all amped up because he sees the other dogs,” Paul Schott said. “He loves people but does not pay attention to the game, he just vibes. He is the chill master.”