The Oakland Coliseum has a long history of animals running around on its field, from Evie the Cat in 1990 to the Rally Possum(s) of the last several years. Baseball stadiums are huge facilities, after all, so it’s not unusual for some critters to find their way in and make themselves at home. However, if you keep your eye on Rickey Henderson Field before and after A’s games these days, you might catch a glimpse of one animal who is there on purpose: Reba the Groundsdog.
Clay Wood has been the A’s head groundskeeper since 1994. For much of that time it was arguably the toughest groundskeeper job in sports, as the Coliseum was the last remaining multi-purpose stadium in the country, switching back and forth between hosting MLB and NFL games. That era is over now, as the Raiders have officially left for Las Vegas, but it’s a challenge Wood has dealt with for his entire quarter-century tenure to date.
Fortunately, he’s had help in recent years. Over the past few seasons, Wood has brought along his dog, a yellow lab named Reba. She can frequently be seen around the Coliseum, whether riding along on Wood’s cart, helping the players loosen up, keeping an eye on the pregame throwing sessions, or joining the media session in the dugout.
While we continue to support each other, self care is just as important. Take time to ｐａｗｓ and relax with this moment of zen brought to you by everyone's favorite Groundsdog, Reba. pic.twitter.com/lkuocNKe9y— Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 3, 2020
She’s there to make sure Wood doesn’t miss a spot while dragging the infield dirt.
End your night with this really, really good doggo. pic.twitter.com/tIkomUWxSq— MLB (@MLB) August 1, 2018
Reba has become such an integral part of the crew that the A’s have her listed in the front office directory on their official website.
Of course, all this time spent around baseball has given her an excellent mind for the sport, so manager Bob Melvin isn’t shy about asking for her input.
Bob Melvin with the #Athletics’ newest call-up Reba pic.twitter.com/a57jaiMhf9— Ben Ross (@BenRossTweets) September 4, 2018
Even if no one is in the dugout, though, she’s happy to help out by keeping the bench warm and rubbing up some fresh baseballs.
One more cute Reba moment, making herself at home in the Mariners dugout. She’s the 2-year-old yellow lab of A’s groundskeeper Clay Wood. pic.twitter.com/QIexNa7rUn— Janie McCauley (@JanieMcCAP) September 2, 2018
But her primary role is as the groundsdog, and she and Wood are the absolute best at what they do.
"I'd like to thank the Oakland A's for the opportunities that they have always given me and Coppola wine for the award for Excellence in Grounds keeping'. On behalf of the Oakland A's grounds crew i'd like to accept this award. Thank you very much." - A #StayGoldMoment @athletics pic.twitter.com/VQG8hlvYgj— Francis Ford Coppola Winery (@coppolawine) February 9, 2020
What does the job look like from her perspective? See for yourself!
Take a ride with Reba! Bark at the Park is a month away and Reba is hard at work prepping the field. https://t.co/rtXQmxUI3n pic.twitter.com/PqW23rgGzA— Oakland A's (@Athletics) June 16, 2017
So the next time you’re at the Coliseum, whenever that may be once fans start going to baseball games again, make sure to keep an eye out. You might just look down and see Reba, the Very Good Groundsdog.
Sorry @scottbraun ... I got a little distracted Reba the official dog of the A’s grounds crew was hanging out by my feet. pic.twitter.com/WeaskbRRYw— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) August 31, 2018
All pups are good pups, but our Groundsdog Reba is the best pup. #NationalPuppyDay pic.twitter.com/8PNO6Dbkos— Oakland A's (@Athletics) March 23, 2020
Want more baseball dogs? Click here to read about Finn the Bat Dog, of the Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators.