Baseball fans are familiar with the Dodger Dog, the Brooklyn Dodger Dog, and now, they’re learning about the Dodger Dawgs.
The Dodger Dog is a landmark ballpark treat in Los Angles that’s been around since 1962 with millions sold annually at the stadium and grocery stores. Earlier this decade, the Brooklyn Dodger Dog made its debut at the stadium as a premium hot dog option. And now in 2017, there’s the Dodger Dawgs, Georgia’s own All-Star pitcher Alex Wood, pitcher Josh Fields and catcher Kyle Farmer. They are part of the team with the Major League’s best record and all enjoying tremendous success.
Wood, who earned All-Star honors this season, boasts a 12-1 record and 2.38 ERA in 16 starts. Fields is a career-best 5-0 with a 2.89 ERA and one save in 37 relief appearances. Farmer, who was promoted to the Major Leagues last Friday, delivered a two-run walk-off double in his debut this past Sunday in Los Angeles. Farmer is the first Dodger since at least 1920 (when RBI were first tracked) to hit a walk-off RBI in his very first plate appearance. How rare is that on the Major League level? According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last player to deliver a walk-off RBI in his first big league plate appearances was Toronto’s Tomas Perez on May 3, 1995.
At 31, Fields, a former first round draft pick of Seattle, is the veteran of the Bulldog trio. A two-time All-American and native of Hull, Ga., he helped Georgia to a pair of College World Series appearances including the CWS Finals in 2008. He said he likes having another pair of Bulldogs on the team.
“It’s awesome to see,” said Fields. “(Alex) Wood has been pretty solid for a while and (Kyle) Farmer with his debut the other night, that was incredible. There’s a lot of good things to come for Kyle, and Wood is going to keep doing what he’s doing. He’s been consistent. It’s been incredible to see. You knew it was there and for him to just do it day in and day out, it’s been awesome to watch.”
The Dodgers own a 75-31 mark and are 41-6 in their last 47 games. They extended their latest winning streak to nine with a 3-2 victory over the Braves in Atlanta Tuesday. The 26-year-old Wood and 26-year-old Farmer were roommates during their Georgia career. Wood, a second round draft pick of Atlanta, turned professional in 2012 while Farmer signed as an eighth round selection of Los Angeles following his senior year in 2013. Wood recalled the thrill of watching Farmer come through in a clutch situation this past Sunday.
“I was more nervous for his first AB (at bat) in that situation than I was for my own debut,” said Wood. “I was very happy for him; it’s been an exciting few days. It’s pretty special, Kyle is one of my best friends and obviously having Josh Fields up here, we’ve got three Bulldogs on the same team, much less the best team in baseball. It’s been a lot of fun when you’re winning a lot of games. We need to finish strong, need to keep playing good baseball and we should be in good shape.”
And speaking of shape, Farmer complimented Wood on his speed and tackling ability. Teams often celebrate a walk-off hit by mobbing their teammate on the field. When Farmer delivered Sunday at Dodger Stadium, Wood was the first one out of the dugout to reach him standing at second base.
“That was a lot of fun,” said Farmer. “I didn’t expect it to happen, but I’m glad my first hit was one to help the team. That’s the fastest I’ve seen Alex run in a very long time. And it’s the first time I’ve been tackled probably since the state championship game in the Georgia Dome (Farmer, an Atlanta native, was the starting quarterback for Marist in 2009).”
The Dodgers are in the middle of a three-game series with the Braves and Wood is scheduled to start Thursday. As a reliever, Fields has to be ready every day and the same goes for Farmer, now a catcher/utility infielder. As Major Leaguers, the Dodger Dawgs have proven to be the type of professionals every organization aspires to have on their roster.