Baseballs, Wieners and Ketchup

Categories: Game On

Thumbnail image for astrosstad.jpg
AlphaTangoBravo/ Adam Baker
Remember when people used to go to Astros games?
Spring training is just around the corner. The players are oiling up their gloves, creasing their brims and preparing to chew, spit and rearrange themselves through another 162 games.

I love baseball.

I don't care that it is the slowest and most idiosyncratic of all professional sports. The only game more involved and meticulous in nature than baseball is golf, but golf is just aristocratic enough as to be out of the common man's sphere of influence. Historically, golf is a game largely played by wealthy white men, and in recent years and smaller numbers by wealthy men of other races.

The purest aspects of baseball are icons of Americana, of all the things that I as an American love: teamwork, high-fives, crotch grabbing, firm pats on the ass, afternoon drinking and-- most of all -- hot dogs.

There is no Cousteau without the Sea, no Jackson 5 without Michael and there is no Baseball without the Hot Dog.

There are other foods we associate with baseball, at least in the modern era. Minute Maid has nachos, yard-long, sangria-based "margaritas," baked potatoes bigger than your head, Papa John's and a few St. Arnold's stands.

There's even a Little Big's in the stadium, as well as an El Real food concession stand, though the former excites me more than the latter by a fair margin. I can't say I see myself spending that much money on food at the ball park, either way. Maybe Chef Caswell can suit up and toss a few innings for the 'Stros. Couldn't hurt.

No, when I eat at the ball park, my available stomach space is devoted to a hot dog.

hotdogz.jpg
stevendepolo
Buncha weiners, bro.
For one, it's the cheapest thing at the concession stand, more or less.

And two, the toppings are free, so you can put whatever the hell you want on your own damn hot dog.

That said, I'm going to say something right here and right now, something that will probably catch me more flak than calling California Rolls "sushi," or insisting that each and every Austin eatery open at least four new Houston locations a piece, growing exponentially by a power of three each and every year from now for a decade.

You can say whatever you want about "It's blasphemy" and "Mustard is the only thing you can put on a hot dog." You can quote me some lines from Sin City, or tell me I have a base, sophomoric palate. You can even tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. Whatever. Maybe you'd be right, but I I wouldn't give a damn.

I hate mustard and I love ketchup, so I put ketchup on my hot dog. If baseball is America's National Pastime, and America is the Land of the Free, then I'm free as a bird to put whatever I so please upon my hot dog. So I do. I put ketchup on my hot dog.

New owner Jim Crane is allowing fans to bring food into the park this season. The rule will apparently be that you just have to have the food in a clear plastic bag. If that's the case, I'll bring in gallon bags filled with hot dogs and buns. I'll sprinkle them about and pass them around like some kind of twisted Johnny Appleseed, hopped up on too-expensive beer and excessive sodium. I'll keep one dog and one bun just for me, though. I'll put ketchup on it, and love every second.

I still go to Astros games, even when the team is miserably piss-poor. I still go to Astros games because I'm a creature of habit. It's also force of habit to put red stuff instead of yellow stuff onto a tube of heavily-preserved meat which is nestled inside of some bread.

This Saturday is the last Saturday until September when there will not be a baseball game of some sort on. For me, that signals the beginning of another habit I've formed over the years: being excited about baseball season starting again.



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29 comments
Tara Burkholder
Tara Burkholder

I'm a fan of mayo on my dog, personally.  And despite the fact that Caswell owns/runs Little Bigs, I'm not impressed. Tasteless sliders, not great condiments, and a building that DIRELY needs AC...and if I recall correctly, they didn't even serve sweet tea. What the hell is that about?

SirRon
SirRon

What are your thoughts concerning hamburgers and ketchup? 

Corey
Corey

Ketchup/Catsup is fine, even on a chicago dog. You can suck it if you feel otherwise.. :)

Daniel Castillo
Daniel Castillo

This is just sick.

I'm assuming FattyFatBastard hasn't commented because his head exploded in a fit of outrage, Scanners style.

Yadayadayada, mustard purist, rot in hell, etc.

Derek
Derek

Ketchup?

Already getting ready for the DH in 2013, I see...

Krogensagen
Krogensagen

What you lack in food knowledge, you more than make up for in zesty spirit! Keep it coming ketchup man! No one will call you Pumkin and get away with it.

SirRon
SirRon

"​Spring training is just around the corner." Eh, already in progress. Just saying.

You are alright, Mr. Sam. Ketchup on hot dogs. Like.

JB
JB

What baseball game is on next Saturday?

JTD
JTD

I go on this rant every once in a while.  The hot dogs at Minute Maid (and Reliant for that matter, but we're talking Astros here) are terrible.  And I appreciate that Minute Maid park has a wide variety and choices of fare at the park, but to me it is unbelievable that you can't get a decent hot dog at the ball park.  And the hot dogs are terrible, I mean terrible, I cannot remember the last time I had a good one there. Cold dog, stale bun, just bad hot dog.  I understand that there is no real reason for them to strive to put out a better hot dog, we all seem to line up to hand over our 7 bucks for the terrible dog, (myself included in the delusional hope that THIS time, it'll be better...), so I don't expect much to change.  But, as they say, hope springs eternal so at some point this season, I'll be in line at Minute Maid, my money in hand and when the server asks, "what'll you have?", I'll be there, "dog and a beer please"

DX
DX

Actually, the El Real stand is pretty damn good. Last year it was probably the best food deal in the stadium. If Caswell is associated with something you know he is going to execute it well and that is exactly what he did with Little Bigs and El Real concessions.

I just wish they could figure out how to get rid of Aramark. Maybe get Caswell to run the whole stadium?

Terry Alexander
Terry Alexander

The great thing about Minute Maid is you go to the nacho station and add jalapenos to your hot dog that has mustard, ketchup and mayo on it. It's called a Rainbow Coalition Dog. TA

Bruce R
Bruce R

Ketchup on a hotdog is a bit of a fetish, but it's OK. It's all part of being human. Reminds me of the time I was watching an afternoon talk show, where this dude revealed to his unsuspecting girlfriend that his secret fetish was dressing up like a baby in a giant diaper then taking a shit and having his girlfriend clean him up. Good looking couple. They broke up on the show. Or rather, she dumped him.

You might not have noticed, but I'm starting a rebellion by spelling hotdog without a space.

Matthew
Matthew

i like ketchup AND mustard on a hot dog.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown

This coming from the guy who coined the term "Empire of Ketchup," when we used to eat 39 cent cheeseburgers from Burger King.

TdStevens
TdStevens

...calling him 'pumpkin'...like the kid in the movie? not even fattyfat went that far, but he was headed in that direction

Sam Brown
Sam Brown

I just meant the games.  Pitchers and catchers reported a while ago.

Jimb
Jimb

I totally agree.  I don't understand why the concept of a "hot" dog is so difficult.  I understand you need to be ready for the crowds, but heating the dogs and buns 3 hours before people get to the park shouldn't be the only preparation method.

Little Katy
Little Katy

 I actually read that Craig Biggio hates El Real. I can't seem to find the article but it's legit. I know people who know people. As for Aramark... good luck. Those bums run this town.

Matthew
Matthew

dumped him, heh heh.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown

I don't relish the prospect.

Daniel Castillo
Daniel Castillo

Empires of Ketchup are not built in a day.

Don't cheapen what we had.

Sheriff Blaylock
Sheriff Blaylock

You guys should ditch the dogs and get with the Nachos. I hear the Kick'n Nachos are where it's at. Probably around section 114 & 427

Robert
Robert

I'm going to punch you for such a pun, as soon as I can mustard up the strength.

Little Katy
Little Katy

 Hey DX I've got two words for you... French Canada. That's where you can take your extremist nacho agenda. This is America and I want dogs in my stadium.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown

Don't dog me with your simple put downs, Robert. 

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