A Different Kind of “Dog Catcher” At New York Giants Spring Training 1956

The Catcher Was A Dog – Spring Training Phoenix, Arizona 1956

Is Being A Catcher A Dog’s Life?

Sparky the dog in Wes Westrum’s catching gear March 12, 1956 photo; United Press

Baseball catchers wear the so-called tools of ignorance. They get hit by wild pitches, foul balls and errant bats, constantly taking a beating behind the plate. So who wants to be a catcher?

Sparky did.

Did a UPI photographer or another player outfit Sparky the dog at spring training? We’ll never know.

But Sparky figured that if he got into New York Giants catcher Wes Westrum’s equipment he might get a shot with the team.

Westrum who would play in 68 games in 1956 batted .220.

Sparky only played in 32 games that season but ended up batting .316.

Animal rights activists put an end to Sparky’s brief MLB career after the season.

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