“You can’t get butts in the seat without a gimmick!”
As covered a few days ago, baseball and insane hot dogs go together like serial killers and women who send love letters to various prisons who have a lot of issues they need to work out. We should tease out that comparison a little bit more, but we’re not going to. Anyway, the point we think we’re trying to make is that, stadiums like to ply baseball fans with booze and food because while baseball can be boring, if you’re drunk and full, you won’t really mind. This has led to a recent explosion in creative, intense, and, well, insane hot dogs throughout the baseball world. And while we’ve talked about hot dogs in Major League Baseball stadiums already, that was really us going easy on the rest of you. Because Minor League Baseball only sustains itself through the unfulfillable dreams of thousands of minimum wage athletes, and ridiculous ballpark gimmicks. If you think of it, Minor League baseball has probably done it! Smash a printer like in the movie Office Space!? Sure! Dress a dog as the bat boy? Why not! Live amputation on the field? Jesus Christ, no, what the living hell is wrong with you!?
Anyway, if you thought that the last article we had about crazy hot dogs, well…no that was pretty crazy. But check this shit out too!
The Craziest Hot Dogs in Professional Baseball (Minor League Edition)
As boring as people might find baseball to be, it’s got nothing on Minor League Baseball. You’re basically paying to watch auditions, and in-her-prime Susan Sarandon usually isn’t even there. So naturally, they’ve got to step up their hot dog game to get you interested. That level of desperation and ingenuity leads to such things as…
The Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins Triple-A Affiliate): Tony Soprano Dog
Minor League stadium food is so prolific that in 2013 they started a “Food Fight” where each team could submit an entry and let you(!) the voter decide what is best photographed. This wasn’t limited to just hot dogs—everything was included, which is why you have to scroll down 2014’s entries a bit until you get this pizza hot dog inexplicably named after an Italian gangster ohhhhh okay, we get it now. The ingredients are listed as a hot dog, marinara sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni, which honestly is a good enough idea for a hot dog that we’re surprised we don’t see it more often.
How is it? Well it’s surprisingly hard to find a lot about “crazy but not totally insane” concessions at Minor League sporting events. That’s the sad truth—Minor League stadium food is basically a never-ending orgy of insane food ideas, and anything that isn’t insane and reckless enough that they force you to sign a waiver before eating it basically just registers as white noise. That said, Facebook user and probably-hasn’t-tinkered-with-his-privacy-settings-in-a-while champion Matt Wildey is on record as saying that it is “probably the best concession stand food at any sporting event ever.. just sayin’”.
Having not tried it, we’re definitely not going to disagree. It’s a pizza hot dog, people. Good call, Rochester.
The Corpus Christi Hooks (Houston Astros Double-A Affiliate): The Babe
Corpus Christi, home to the X-League’s Fury, clearly is worried that they’ll have a hard time getting butts in the seats for the Hooks, the local Double-A team, because they decided to go full hog with this insane wrapped/stuffed/whatevered hot dog. We’re not even sure if that last bit about going full hog is a pun, because there’s so much going on here we are having a hard time focusing on what type of meat we should be devoting our attention to. This beast, named after either Babe Ruth or the poor animal that was slaughtered to create it, was introduced to Whataburger Field (yes, the Hooks’ stadium is called Whateburger Field) having been “inspired” by the MiLB Food Fight inaugural contest the previous year.
The hot dog itself is simple, in the same way a homemade turducken is simple, by which we mean to say that this contains all the meat to ever exist and actually is not that simple at all. Specifically, they take a cheddarwurst (so basically a cheese filled hot dog which is a thing that exists and oh no you’ve just bolted out the door to buy all of the cheddarwurst at your local butcher, yeah, that’s an understandable response), wrap it in a hamburger, and then wrap that with bacon. It’s put on a sturdy roll, and in the eyes of the law, eating a full Babe in one sitting serves as a legally binding DNR order.
This is wonderful, and whenever someone tries to Leaving Las Vegas themselves with food instead of booze, we’d have to imagine this is a good place to start. If you were to ask a Hooks official how many calories are in this hot dog, they would probably respond, “Everyone dies eventually, some sooner than others.” Warning, despite all outward appearances, this dish is not Kosher.
The El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego Padres Triple-A Affiliate): Memphis Meets Mexico Juarez Dog
Here we have another entry in 2014’s Food Fight competition, a fourth-place finisher made by Ovation Food Services as the first ever hot dog specifically designed to make sure you have to take a nap as soon as you finish it. It’s an American twist to the Juarez street food of a bacon-wrapped hot dog, which to be fair we’d be quicker to associate as an American thing, but whatever. This quarter-pound hot dog is wrapped in bacon before being topped with pulled pork, coleslaw, dill pickles, and, fuck it, candied bacon to boot. Oh, then they add a whole mess of chicharrones (fried pork skin) before liberally adding barbeque sauce. Your arteries know what they did and it’s time for them to take their punishment.
This hot dog no doubt tastes wonderful, though asking people to eat this while sitting at a ballpark basically demands that you bring multiple changes of shirts before even dreaming of taking a bite of it. Just imagine trying to hold this over your lap, bring it to your mouth, tilt your head sideways to take that first bite, and then just, have a tsunami of barbeque sauce and coleslaw land directly on your shirt, with chicharrones just cemented to the newly soiled segments. We’re not saying it’s not worth it, we’re just saying be prepared, or maybe just wear a shirt you normally wear when you have to paint a room.
The Eugene Emeralds (Chicago Cubs Short-Season A Affiliate): VooDoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Brat
So far, we’ve been dealing with a lot of “ha those toppings are crazy!” or “there’s how much meat!?” kind of hot dogs. The buns have been very utilitarian, serving a purpose but otherwise huddling quietly in the background. This is where that ends, however, because did you know that anything can be a hot dog bun if you believe hard enough? So long as you put a hot dog on it and eat it, you could call a shoe a hot dog bun [editor’s note: please do not try to put a hot dog in a shoe and eat it]. In this case, the Eugene Emerald’s entrance to 2013’s Food Fight did away with the bun, replacing it with a VooDoo bacon maple doughnut. They just jam a bratwurst in there before topping everything off with a slice of bacon and a maple glazing, bringing the final calorie count to 1,034.
The most impressive thing about this doughnut bratwurst is not its mere existence, but rather that this isn’t even the craziest doughnut hot dog available in minor league baseball. That awesome distinction belongs to…
The Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City Royals Advanced-A Affiliate): The Sweenie Donut Dog
Ha ha, holy shit. Look at that monster up there. This hot dog, which literally crams a sausage into a Krispy Kreme doughnut and covers it in raspberry jam and crumbled bacon, was originally announced without a name. They let you, the morbidly curious, suggest a name, eventually settling on the finalists of Inside The Porker, Frawley Frank, Don’t Go Bacon My Heart, Glazed and Confused, The Sweenie, and Grand Slam With Jam. Naturally, we were strongly pulling for a pun, and the fact that they ended up going with The Sweenie is an immense disappointment to us. Seriously, America? You had to go with the most boring name available to you? Ugh, this is why democracy doesn’t work.
The name is less important than the audacity of this hot dog’s existence. This couldn’t be any less subtle if they called it “You’re Going to Get Fat” and each order of it came with an obscene and violently sexual letter being sent to your cardiologist. We want one so bad.
So keep on keeping on, Minor League Baseball. We’re eagerly looking forward to 2015’s Food Fight competition, and if you’re looking for some judges, we happen to know an American website that would be glad to gorge on your behalf.