Oakland A's

How pitcher Daniel Mengden earned a huge offseason save by helping trapped puppies

A’s pitcher Daniel Mengden serves mostly as a starter, but the Houston native earned a big offseason save off the field in his hometown.
A’s pitcher Daniel Mengden serves mostly as a starter, but the Houston native earned a big offseason save off the field in his hometown. AP

It’s 2 1/2 months before pitchers and catchers are due to report to spring training, but A’s hurler Daniel Mengden already has nailed down his first save.

Mengden was returning to his Houston home when he ran across a rescue in progress, MLB.com reported. Two puppies were trapped in a storm drain.

“It was just kind of dumb luck,” Mengden told MLB.com. “I noticed some people were outside their cars, kind of blocking the road. I went up to them and they said they’d been trying to get these puppies out.”

Mengden was told residents in the area had been hearing the puppies for a few weeks. Without regard for his own safety and that of his Rollie Fingers-approved handlebar mustache, Mengden retrieved his hunting waders from his vehicle. Then he and local resident Rick D’Amico, a veteran of 14 Ironman competitions, descended into the storm drain.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">WATCH LIVE: Urgent puppy rescue underway in north Houston <a href="https://t.co/Y4RjrUWM4l">https://t.co/Y4RjrUWM4l</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KHOU11?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KHOU11</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HTownRush?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HTownRush</a> <a href="https://t.co/6AZSylwDmR">pic.twitter.com/6AZSylwDmR</a></p>&mdash; KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) <a href="https://twitter.com/KHOU/status/1062047307355500544?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 12, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

“The dogs were howling, and we were just trying to whistle back and forth,” D’Amico told KHOU 11 News. “They were still running from us when we got down there. They were scared to death down there.”

The two men scooped one of the dogs from the smelly water with a fishing net. The second dog was more problematic.

“One of the dogs was happy to be saved, it seemed like,” said Mengden, a Houston native who has pitched three seasons with the A’s, “and the other was terrified, trying to attack us.”

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Eventually the two men were able to get the second dog out of the drain and into the waiting arms of a worker from a local shelter.

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The two puppies were put up for adoption, but not for long. Mengden and his girlfriend adopted both, according to KHOU 11 News.

“I was just in the right place at the right time, I guess,” Mengden said.

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