Rays Baldelli makes a key catch

Rays coach helps reunite dog and owner
This is dog Rays coach Rocco Baldelli found Tuesday night. [Twitter]
This is dog Rays coach Rocco Baldelli found Tuesday night. [Twitter]
Published April 18, 2018

Rays coach Rocco Baldelli was all smiles Wednesday morning, happy to play a role through social media in reuniting a lost dog and its owner.

"I feel really good about how this worked out," Baldelli said.

Baldelli was driving along 22 Avenue North to his St. Petersburg home after Tuesday's game around 11 p.m. when he saw a car with its flashers on driving slowly behind a dog that appeared to be wandering on its own.

He and the other driver pulled over and conferred and eventually Baldelli – by sitting in the road – corralled the dog.

The other man offered to drop off the dog, which didn't have a collar, with authorities, but Baldelli had a better idea.

He brought it home – with the foresight to first text his girlfriend a heads-up – and then used his Twitter account, as well as the Next Door app, at the suggestion of Rays PR man Dave Haller, to put out word that he found the female dog.

"She was great," Baldelli said. "We had her downstairs, trying to figure out  what we were going to do. We ended up setting up a little bed with a blanket in the bathroom."

By this morning, the much-relieved owner of Charlotte – a 14-year-old who has a brother – had reached out via social media, connected with Baldelli's girlfriend, Allie Genoa, and was reunited with the mixed breed dog.