Special report: Meet Hank the Ballpark Pup - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Special report: Meet Hank the Ballpark Pup

Posted:
MILWAUKEE (WAOW) -- Have you met the Brewers newest star, Hank? His homeless days in Arizona are long gone and he's getting used to being Milwaukee's famous ballpark pup!

Newsline 9's Nate Barrett had the honor of spending the day with Hank to see what his life is like now.

Six hours before the Milwaukee Brewers took on the San Diego Padres in late April, the players warmed up on the field, and the team's newest star had a photo shoot with the media.

About a dozen photographers and reporters gather around home plate to see Hank's new dog house.

But life hasn't always been so glamorous for the ballpark pup.

"We just wanted to get him home," said Mary Wronski, Hank's owner. "It was very clear he had been hit by something or just had several months of a rough deal."

Hank's introduction to the limelight started well before the Brewers season. The homeless pup made headlines when he stumbled onto the spring training practice field in Arizona. Cameras have been following his every move.

Hank raced with the famous sausages, chased ground balls with the players, and took pictures with fans. It didn't matter what the little furball was doing, Hank was stealing the show. And when no owner came forward, the Brewers knew they had to sign the rising star to a long term deal.

It's been a fan frenzy ever since. Hank's story even appeared on ABC World News With Diane Sawyer. The first display when you walk in the team store? Hank.

"Everyone loves a pet, loves a dog," said Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin. "Providing it with a home was the most important thing. It didn't have a place to live. The dog has got a lot of energy just like our ball club. It's quite a story."

With all this build up, we had to meet the famous pup.

"He's a natural, he loves people," Wronski told me. "He's not scared of them. We watch it really carefully. How much he's doing during the day and how much he's exposed, but he loves people. He's a wonderful walker. He loves to walk. He can dance. He's a really good dancer. For real."

She wasn't kidding.

Hank lives with Marti Wronski and her family. In addition to managing baseball's most popular pup, Wronski's day job, is the Vice President of Legal Council for the Brewers. And as much as they try to protect Hank's private life, it's hard to keep the two-year-old's adoring fans away.

"That is something that people would not believe. The amazing cards, pictures gifts and everything else we have gotten in the mail for him. I can't even begin."

After his big media day, Hank took the afternoon off for some well deserved quiet time with his family. He arrived at the game about a half hour before first pitch.

Once the Brewers took the field, Hank went inside his new house to watch.

It's been an incredible journey for the ballpark pup.

"There are certain things that just happen, some magically, somewhat organically and he's clearly one of those things," Wronsk said. "I don't think any of us could have written the story of Hank."

A once homeless pup who found an entire ballpark, and community, to call home.

Fans shouldn't expect to see Hank at every game. The team says there's no set schedule, but Hank does have his own bobblehead night on September 13th.

Twenty percent of the proceeds from Hank merchandise sold at the team store goes to the Humane Society. Team officials say his T-shirt is one of the most popular in the store.

 
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WAOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Chief Engineer Russ Crass at 715-842-2251. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.