Ahh, the hot dog, linked with baseball for what seems like, well, forever. If not forever, then at least 100 years or so, though the actual date of the momentous marriage of American favorites is not exactly known. Hot dogs are also referred to as frankfurters, franks, wieners, or wienies, though I personally can’t use the last two and keep a straight face, due to my son’s use of those terms to mean something else entirely.
According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, the hot dogs consumed at MLB ballparks during the 2008 season would round the bases 41,667 times – enough to stretch from Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. to AT&T Park in San Francisco! That’s a lot of dogs!
Babe Ruth supposedly liked hot dogs – a lot. Legend has it that the Babe gorged himself on 12 to 18 hot dogs before collapsing on a train ride in April 1925. A week later he underwent surgery for an intestinal abscess. This dried-up, partially consumed hot dog on display at the Baseball Reliquary was supposedly part of that binge.
What I’d like to know is why someone saved this? Eww! And where has it been for the all the intervening years? Somebody’s attic must have really reeked!
In all likelihood, the vast majority of hot dogs consumed at baseball games are purchased at concession stands, or from the vendor if you don’t want to get out of your seat. But why have your hot dog just handed to you, when it can come flying through the air instead!
At Reading Phillies games, the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor will fling your hot dog with all his might. Unfortunately there are occasional delivery “malfunctions”, as seen here:
I’ve circled the errant hot dog. Presumably some “lucky” fan only got a bun. The Crazy Hot Dog Vendor is actually pretty popular – so much so that he even had his own bobble head given away at a game.
But sometimes the dogs need to travel farther. In Salem, VA, the Avalanche mascot Muggsy will fire them into the stands with this nifty contraption:
The vast reaches of a major league stadium require something even more powerful. Something like this howitzer of hot dog delivery systems, employed by the Phillie Phanatic:
The main problem tends to be that frequently, bits of hot dog, bun, and wrapper rain down on the fans in the rows in between the launcher and the intended target. Oh well, I guess the old-fashioned way is best after all. So no matter how your hot dog is delivered to you this season, enjoy! And don’t think too much about what’s actually in it.
As promised, here are the answers to yesterday’s quiz.
1) Simon and Garfunkel. The line is from the song “Mrs. Robinson”, featured in the movie “The Graduate”.
2) Centerfield, from the song of the same name.
3) Bruce Springsteen, from the song “Glory Days”.
4) Phil “The Scooter” Rizzuto, in the song “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”.
5) Manny Ramirez. The song is called “Moonshot Manny”.
6) “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”
7) Sister Sledge
8) Bay Sluggas, Inc.
9) Bernie Williams
b) Black Train Jack, on the album “No Reward”. I saw this CD and was tempted to buy it simply because I really like that photo, and I was intrigued by their use of it. But I didn’t. So I have no idea what their music even sounds like.