Ever wondered what it’s like to share a stadium with Shohei Ohtani? Well, for his Dutch Kooikerhondje, Decoy, it seems like a pretty good gig, especially considering his pawsome debut during Ohtani’s 2023 AL MVP acceptance speech. Look beyond the powerful swings and dazzling catches of MLB, and you’ll discover a softer side—a love for furry (and sometimes not-so-furry) friends.

From playful pups to dignified felines, these animal companions offer a heartwarming glimpse into the lives of baseball’s biggest stars. So, prepare to be charmed! We’re about to embark on a journey through the dugouts (and living rooms) of Major League Baseball, revealing the adorable animal companions that steal home runs straight from the hearts of these players.

Diamonds and Drool: Baseball’s best buddies


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Step into the world of MLB pups, where tail wags and slobbery kisses are the norm. The bond between players and their canine companions is undeniable. Ohtani isn’t the only one with a furry MVP. San Francisco Giants outfielder Jung Hoo Lee clearly isn’t afraid to admit he’s a “package deal,” relocating to the US with his loyal dog, Kao, by his side. But the list of adorable duos goes on!

New York Mets’ outfielder Brandon Nimmo might be known for his blazing speed on the basepaths, but at home, it’s all about belly rubs for his rescue pup, Jake. While Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins can’t get enough of his doggo Rookie (as evidenced by their social media posts together), over on the St. Louis Cardinals, former player Adam Wainwright has a loyal companion in his Lagotto Romagnolo, Louie. Photos of Wainwright and Louie enjoying a post-game cuddle session are a heartwarming reminder that even the fiercest competitors need a dose of unconditional love.

But this love for pups isn’t limited to smaller breeds. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich takes a more low-key approach with his canine companion, Cooper Yelich. Cooper embodies the laid-back charm often associated with Doodles, offering a calming presence for Yelich after intense games. The San Francisco Giants’ surprise acquisition, Matt Chapman and his cutest puppy Harley, recently took to Twitter with a massive viewership storm! Not just the youngsters—the love for furry friends transcends generations in MLB.

Even retired players and Hall of Famers get in on the act! Derek Jeter, a name synonymous with baseball excellence, has found a loyal companion in his Italian mastiff, Kane. Jeter has spoken openly about Kane’s impact on his life on The Players Tribune, highlighting the powerful bond between humans and their canine friends.

Across the diamond, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout might be known for his laser-focused hitting, but at home, it’s all about cuddles with his furry crew. Mike and his wife, Jessica, have turned their love for pups into a viral phenomenon. Their Instagram account showcases the delightful antics of Juno Trout (a miniature spitz) and Josie Trout (a mini Australian Shepherd), boasting thousands of adoring followers. These MLB pups are batting a thousand when it comes to stealing hearts, and their social media fame proves it!

The power of pawsome pups on social media

But the Trout family isn’t the only one with internet-famous pups. Social media has become a haven for adorable content featuring MLB players and their dogs. Mets fans are treated to a double dose of cuteness with Jeff McNeil’s “home run pup,” Willow, and his feline friend, Mac. Over at the Minnesota Twins, pitcher Pablo López proudly displays rescued dog Bennie on a dedicated Instagram page, chronicling their adventures and Bennie’s undeniable charm.

And who can forget the New York Yankees? Aaron Judge’s Dachshunds, Gus, and Penny, found their playmate with Anthony Rizzo’s Dachshund and furry namesake, Kevin Rizzo, leading the pack. And it’s not just about the glamorous teams, though.

Washington Nationals outfielder Lane Thomas has won hearts with photos of his labradoodle pup, Baxter, while Kansas City Royals faithful Will Smith melted the internet with a picture of his adorable new puppy, Gunner. The message is clear: behind the intense competition and pressure-packed games, these baseball stars find solace and joy in the unconditional love of their furry friends.

Even the fields aren’t immune to the allure of canine companionship. Former outfielder and manager for the Twins, Rocco Baldelli, leads by example with his loyal dog, Bowie Baldelli, by his side, proving that even skippers can have furry confidantes. The social media phenomenon isn’t limited to purebred pups, though.

Feline Finesse: MLB’s cat cafeteria

While dogs dominate the MLB pet scene, there’s a dedicated crew of cat lovers keeping things interesting. Former Angels pitcher Cam Bedrosian, a noted cat lover, finds solace in the relaxed vibes of his feline companions, Grace and Bootsy.

On the West Coast, former Colorado Rockies pitcher Scott Oberg throws a ‘purrfect’ curveball for the cat lovers out there. He’s a true feline fanatic, offering a loving home to not just one, but two cats! Oberg’s social media chronicles the adventures of his furry companions, proving that sometimes a double dose of feline sass is exactly what the doctor ordered.

So, the next time you think of MLB and furry friends, don’t just picture playful pups. Remember, there’s a whole crew of feline finesse lurking in the shadows (or basking in sunbeams), offering their brand of companionship and, of course, the occasional hairball. After all, these graceful creatures offer a perfect counterpoint to the high-octane world of baseball.

Beyond the Ballpark: Unconventional love stories

Not all MLB stars subscribe to the traditional “man’s best friend” stereotype. Former player Dioner Navarro once defied expectations with a pet teacup pig named Sassy, proving that love comes in all shapes, sizes, and sometimes, even snorts!

For some players, the call of the wild is too strong to resist. Starting with the pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Miles Mikolas, has a fondness for the aquatic world, as evidenced by his pet fish collection and angling. And who could forget about the 300-horned companions of former pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, whose love for longhorn cattle is well-documented?

Legendary power hitter Jose Canseco was famous for his “fainting goats” and turtles, who were just mere additions to their litany of seven dogs. Whether it’s the comforting presence of a dog, the playful antics of a parrot, or the unexpected cuddle with a sloth, these animal companions enrich the lives of MLB players in unique and heartwarming ways.

Double the Trouble: MLB’s multi-pet households

Some MLB households aren’t content with just one furry friend; they crave the double (or sometimes even triple) dose of cuteness that comes with a multi-pet family. Look no further than Mauricio Dubón of the Houston Astros, whose Instagram account overflows with photos of his two adorable pugs, Marcelo and Chorizo. It’s a pug-party every day for Dubón, and his followers can’t get enough!

Over on the Twins, Carlos Correa isn’t just a hitting machine; he’s also a dedicated pet parent to his canine companions, Rocket and Groot. These furry brothers even have their official Instagram account, chronicling their adventures and adorable antics. It seems no baseball season is complete without a dose of Rocket and Groot’s playful rivalry (and inevitable snuggle sessions).

The unconditional love of a pet can be a powerful source of comfort and support, especially during challenging times. This is something that Amir Garrett, the pitcher for the Halos, understands all too well. After witnessing the plight of animals in kill shelters, Garrett decided to take action, rescuing two deserving dogs and giving them a loving forever home. His story is a heartwarming reminder of the positive impact that MLB players can have, both on the field and off—and followed are some examples who take the “off-the-field” approach a little too seriously.

MLB champions animal welfare

Many Major League players leverage their platform to advocate for animal welfare. Texas Rangers’ Max Scherzer, a true champion for furry friends, actively promotes pet adoption and has partnered with the Humane Society of the United States, and his dedication extends beyond donations.


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Scherzer himself is the proud owner of a whopping four dogs. Talk about leading by example! The Astros’ Justin Verlander’s adorable pup, Riley, is just one example of a rescued dog finding a loving home thanks to an MLB hero’s influence. It’s clear that these players care about more than just hitting home runs; they’re hitting dingers for animal welfare too!

A tailored look at the heart of Baseball


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Major League Baseball isn’t just about towering home runs and dazzling catches; it’s about the human element and the stories that unfold beyond the bright stadium lights. The love these players share with their animal companions offers a heartwarming glimpse into their personalities and reminds us that even the biggest stars crave companionship and a sense of normalcy. 

From the playful pups to the dignified felines (and the occasional oink!), these furry friends provide a constant source of love, support, and, of course, cuteness overload. So, the next time you tune in to watch your favorite team, remember, there might just be an adorable animal companion cheering them on from the sidelines, offering a silent (or sometimes not-so-silent) pep talk before they step up to the plate. After all, in the world of baseball, sometimes the biggest hearts come in the smallest packages.