1906: The history of the American hot dog is
shrouded in mystery and conflicting accounts. But one legend says
hot dogs first appeared at baseball games in the early 1900s, when
the guy who ran ice cream and soft drink concessions for the New
York Giants, Harry Mosley Stevens (an Ohio native), put wieners on
a bun because people did not want to eat ice cream in the cool
April air. Well, that 's what the Ohio Historical Society says, noting it was either 1901
or 1906, so we'll go with that and pick 1906.
1908: Quick, what is the only brand name in
"Take Me Out to the Ballgame?" It's Cracker Jack , of course. The snack, now owned by
PepsiCo's Frito-Lay, remains a ballpark staple.
1953: St. Louis' Sportsman's Park is renamed
Busch Stadium when Anheuser-Busch buys the Cardinals. Today, like
most ballparks, the new Busch stadium sells all kinds of craft brews, including non A-B
1962: The now-famous Dodger Dog is born. According to LA Weekly, it was
invented by Dodger Stadium concessions manager Thomas Arthur, who
originally called it a "foot-long dog." Problem was that it was
only 10 inches, so he came up with the new name.
1974: The Cleveland Indians hold 10-cent beer
night. The result: mass drunkenness and rioting.
1980: Ad Age surveys hot dog promotions across
26 MLB parks. Among our findings: Medford Meats gives a free hot
dog to all women at a Phillies game on Flag Day. God bless
1984: Marge Schott buys the Cincinnati Reds. A
polarizing figure known for her ever-present St. Bernard,
"Schottzie," she was personally invested in keeping the price of
stadium hot dogs at $1. She gave up ownership in 1999 and died in
2004. Today you can still find $1 hot dogs at Reds games -- but only in the upper
1992: Oriole Park at Camden Yards opens in Baltimore,
inspiring a wave of "retro" parks. Food-wise, the park is best
known for Boog's Barbeque, which sparked nationwide trend of
ballpark barbeque cuisine, according to the authors of "The
Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan's Guide to Major League
Stadiums." The authors a few years ago named Boog's to their
list of top ten ballpark treats, which also
includes shrimp tacos at Petco Park in San Diego and a grilled
salmon sandwich at Safeco Field in Seattle.
1995: Coors Field opens in Denver along with
the Sandlot Brewery inside the stadium, where Blue Moon beer is invented.
2000: Pacific Bell Park opens in San Francisco
and the smell of garlic fries fills the air. Now called AT&T
Park, today's concession choices include a California
wine bar, clam chowder, crab sandwich and an antipasto bar.
2009: The new Yankee Stadium opens. The team boasts that the
ballpark has five times the cooking capacity of the old stadium,
with choices including a Boar's Head made-to-order sandwich stand,
Cuban sandwiches, Asian noodle bowls and sushi.
2011: The White Sox unveil Bacardi Cafe at
Cellular Field, competing with the crosstown Captain Morgan's Club
that is next to Wrigley Field. Also available at Sox games: a
two-pound Nacho Helmet for $11.50, served in a
souvenir Sox helmet.
2012: Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium hosts the All-Star Game. A food vender estimates
that fans would munch on 40,000 hot dogs, 7,200 soft pretzels,
2,400 pounds of brisket and 1,800 pounds of pulled pork. We are
still waiting for an estimate on how much antacid was sold the next