Hot Dogs

Hot Dogs, I can smell 'em from here! The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates that 26 million franks will be eaten in major league parks in a single season. 26 million!

Chris Von de Ahe, owner of the St. Louis Browns, is given credit for first introducing hot dogs to baseball games. Von de Ahe's hot dogs were known as "dachshund sausages". During a game in 1902, one of the concessionaires at the New York Giants Polo Grounds was losing money trying to sell ice cream because it was a cold day. Supposedly he sent his employees out to buy up all the "dachshund sausages" they could get their hands on, along with rolls.

Soon his vendors were selling dachshund sausages from portable hot water tanks. and yelling, "..get your red hot dachshund sausages!"

Tad Dorgan, a sports cartoonist for the New York Evening Journal, needed something to write about. He heard the vendor selling the sausages and quickly sketched a drawing of a sausage with a head, legs and a tail. Resembling a dachshund. However, Dorgan did not know how to spell"dachshund" so he simply wrote "hot dog" on his cartoon.

Somewhere along the line, a ball player that was thought to be showing off was called a "hot dog". Or perros caliente as my Latino team mates would say.

These days vendors carry "hot boxes" full of hot dogs in every stadium. In Philadelphia they have what they call "Dollar Dog Night". Hot dogs sell for only one dollar.

Humphrey Bogart once said that a hot dog at a baseball game was better than a steak at the Ritz.

Babe Ruth, as legend tells, once ate 24 hot dogs between a double header.

The Los Angeles Dodgers sell the most hot dogs each season. The average hot dog sales at Dodger Stadium is 1.61 million! They are known for their "foot-longs" on a steamed bun.

A New York Yankee fan recently asked, "What's the difference between Yankee Dogs and "Fenway Franks?... they serve Yankee Dogs in October!"

The "Wisconsin Brat" is famous at Miller Park in Miwaukee as is the "Atomic Dog" in Oakland.

An average of 862,702 hot dogs are to be eaten in each ballpark each year. That translates to an average of 10,651 per game over 81 home dates in the regular season. If a typical game draws at least 30,000 fans, that means that, on the average, one out of every three fans is stuffing down a dog during the action on the field.

Each ball club has its own personality when it comes to the hot dog. At Turner Field in Atlanta, there are some 20 varieties, including Southwest Dogs and Chicago-style franks. The Chicago style dog, smothered in onions, tomatoes, banana peppers, dill pickle spears, celery salt and mustard on a poppy seed bun, remains the most popular version at Wrigley Field. Safeco Field has the Aqua Sox Dog for its young Mariner fans.

By the way, ketchup is the number one condiment used on hot dog in ball parks across the country. Mustard is second and then onions and relish.

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