July 7, 2014


In Milwaukee, one racing hot dog has his day in the ballpark (Bob Ecker, 7/06/14, The Inquirer)

With one out in the sixth, I donned "Frank," the Hot Dog outfit. The other four runners got ready too. "Bret," the Bratwurst wearing lederhosen; the natty "Posh," the Polish Dog in sunglasses; "Guido," the Italian Sausage with a chef's hat; and, the newest, "Cinco," a Chorizo wearing a gigantic sombrero. Frank looked like an all-American baseball player, with his toothy smile and eyeblack.

The costume isn't heavy, maybe six or seven pounds, but bulky, and about six feet tall. I dove in, popped my arms through the armholes, and placed the inner harness on my shoulders and that was it. Now the top of the head was about 11 feet in the air; I viewed the world through a mesh screen in the character's chest. I paced around like a caged animal, nervous but ready to run for all the mustard.

After the third out, a gate opened and we emerged from behind the left field wall, as happens in every Brewers home game. I began "Hot Doggin' " and emulating the other Sausages. I high-fived some people in the stands and strutted along the left-field foul line. Soon I moved toward the other Sausages lining up and all of a sudden, we were off. The sellout crowd of 43,812 was roaring. I was huffing and puffing - this is a 150-yard sprint, after all - and though I wasn't far behind the Chorizo, the three leaders were gone. My casing was palpitating and sweat poured through my bun. As I finally neared the finish line down the right field line, I heard one fan yell, "You suck, Hot Dog!" (His comment is still ringing in my ears.) Italian won, followed by the Brat, Polish, Chorizo and me, the Hot Dog, dead rancid last.

Posted by at July 7, 2014 6:19 AM

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