Hobson Reaches Milestone in Dogs Victory
By Jack Ankony, Chicago Dogs
The accomplishment of winning his 2,100th game as a manager hasn’t sunk in for Chicago Dogs skipper Butch Hobson, but he is already setting new goals.
Hobson began his professional baseball career in 1975 as a 23-year-old third baseman for the Boston Red Sox and is now approaching his 70th birthday in August as he commands the Dogs’ dugout. But his competitive spirit has never dwindled.
“Our next goal is to win a championship,” Hobson said. “I’ve got a bunch out there that is capable of doing that because they play from their heart.”
When asked to give a one-sentence job description, Hobson said, “Love your players.” This love has translated to his players and is engrained in the culture of the Chicago Dogs organization.
Thursday night’s rubber match was a perfect representation of these beliefs as the Dogs were constantly high-fiving each other on their way to an 11-7 win over the Kane County Cougars. The Dogs totaled 16 hits and showed why Hobson believes they are a contender for the 2021 American Association crown.
The Dogs’ series-clinching win was highlighted by leadoff hitter Brennan Metzger’s first career inside-the-park home run to take a four-run lead. Scoring runs in five separate innings on Thursday, the Dogs’ offensive attack was firing on all cylinders.
Eight of the nine Dogs hitters recorded at least one hit and five batters drove in at least one run. Danny Mars tied the game in the bottom of the first inning with a double to score Michael Crouse, and Mars’ two-run blast tied the game yet again in the fifth inning.
After taking the lead in the seventh inning thanks to Metzger’s heroics, it was Cam Booser and Jeff Kinley who slammed the door in the late innings. The lefty duo of Booser and Kinley combined for three shutout innings and three strikeouts, allowing just one hit.
This win on a special night for Hobson also builds momentum ahead of a crucial road trip beginning Friday. The Dogs will head to Kansas City for a three-game set against the first-place Monarchs before bussing down to Cleburne, Texas for a three-game series with the second-place Railroaders.
Under the leadership of Hobson, the Dogs will look to keep the high spirits rolling through what could be a season-defining road trip.
“When you play from your heart, good things happen,” Hobson said.