#Shortstops: Doggone Delicious
While hot dogs are now regarded as the iconic ballpark snack, this was not always the case. Hot dogs as we think of them today didn’t come on the scene until the late 1800s, evolving from the 15th century German frankfurter and the Viennese wiener. Given the large European immigrant population, these sausages quickly gained popularity in America.
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Antonoine Feuchtwanger was one of the many peddlers who capitalized on this growing demand for frankfurters. Feuchtwanger famously provided his St. Louis customers white gloves to protect their hands from the boiling hot sausages, but eventually the concessionaire’s profits suffered when customers kept wandering off with the gloves. Historians report that Mrs. Feuchtwanger revived the struggling business with an innovative solution: A long roll that perfectly encased the steaming frankfurter.
Soon after the hot dog got its bun, it began appearing in ballparks across America.
But hot dogs are not just for the fans – baseball great Babe Ruth was a hot dog enthusiast. Once he reportedly devoured twelve hot dogs and drank eight bottles of soda between the games of a doubleheader, landing himself in the hospital with a severe case of indigestion. This rumor was later proved false, and, like millions of other baseball devotees, the Babe was able to continue his love affair with hot dogs.
Rachel Jacobe is the 2022 library research intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development