Jeff and Tatiana McNeil added a new member to their family Saturday, one night after the Mets All-Star launched a three-run homer as a way to convince his better half to adopt a puppy.
It all started Friday night when the North Shore Animal League brought a bunch of four-legged friends looking for a new home to Citi Field.
The Santa Barbara native, who entered Saturday as the major league leader in batting average, took time out of pre-game batting practice to FaceTime his wife making a plea to adopt one of the rescued puppies.
“We’re going to see the puppy again tomorrow and we’ll talk,” McNeil told reporters Friday night following the Mets 6-3 victory. “I think hitting a home run after holding a puppy, you know, I think that gives me a little bargaining chip. If my wife wants more homers, we may have to get a puppy.”
A power surge may be in McNeil’s future.
On Saturday, the 27-year-old posted a photo to both his Twitter and Instagram announcing the family’s newest member.
His Instagram caption read: “Happy to announce the new addition to the McNeil family!!! Thank you @animalleague for all that you do and can’t wait to bring her home!! A name is currently being worked on! #adopt #puppy #dog #puppypower.”
McNeil told reporters before Saturday’s game that it didn’t take long to convince his wife.
“As soon as she picked her up, it was kind of game over,” he said. “She fell in love immediately.”
The dog is believed to be a mix of Alaskan malamute, Great Pyrenees and shepherd. The family will bring the dog home once the Mets return from their upcoming road trip, which they leave for on Monday.
McNeil said he has wanted a puppy since he was in college. His wife made him a deal as he was coming up through the Mets’ minor league system that provided some extra incentive in him getting to Queens.
“I think I was in my first or second year of playing and she goes, ‘If you make the big leagues, you can have a dog. Each year you don’t make the big leagues, you get a puppy knocked off,'” McNeil said. “I think I started at eight dogs and I think it took me like four years after that, so I think I’m still waiting on like three dogs. So she said, ‘All right, we can go ahead and get the one for now.’ We’ll get the others later.”