It’s the food that’s as traditional as the game itself. The hot dog, in all its forms, is the perennial favorite at ballparks across the country.
In what will surely make the American Heart Association cringe, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates that 30 million hot dogs will be consumed at the 30 ballparks across the nation this year.
To place that in perspective the NSDSC says that those 30 million hot dogs would be enough to round the bases 41,776 times.
And which fans love hot dogs the most? Would it be Los Angeles with the classic Dodger Dog? Nope, it’s Mets fans at Shea Stadium.
According to a survey conducted by the NSDSC, Mets fans will consume more than 2 million hot dogs this year. Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, is the runner up, with fans projected to consume more than 1.7 million hot dogs. Third place goes to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, with approximately 1.5 million hot dogs expected to be consumed.
And, get this, a number of ballparks offer special events like "dollar dog nights," where as many as 70,000 hot dogs are sold in one evening.
As for the types of hot dogs being sold across the country, the traditional “dog and bun” simply isn’t enough, Turner Field and the Braves dresses their “Georgia Dog” with coleslaw, chili and onion relish. The Metrodome and the Twins with their “Dome Dog” is a black angus dog served with toppings made fresh daily. At Fenway Park, the famous “Fenway Franks” are either boiled or grilled, and served on a New England bun with mustard and relish. At Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, the “Rockie Dog”, a footlong with grilled peppers, kraut and onions is served and at U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, the Comiskey hot dog is king.
Other stadiums serve up locally-produced or preferred products – such as Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers, which offers crackblack pepper sausages and hotlinks, or Angel Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, which serves up Angelitos soft tacos and chili pepper burritos. At Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals, the team mascot "Slugger" shoots Schweigert hot dogs into the crowd during the seventh-inning stretch. The ever-popular Nathan's Hot Dogs are served up at Shea Stadium.
No word on the number of heart attacks that claim the lives of baseball fans, however.
When it comes to the hot dog, this author has never been to a game without having one. It’s part of the experience. This passage in Field of Dreams seems to sum it up best:
Ray Kinsella: So what do you want?
Terence Mann: I want them to stop looking to me for answers, begging me to speak again, write again, be a leader. I want them to start thinking for themselves. I want my privacy.
Ray Kinsella: No, I mean, what do you want?
[Gestures to the concession stand they're in front of]
Terence Mann: Oh. Dog and a beer.
Source: The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council
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