Another clever name change to note: the Brooklyn Cyclones (short season A; NY-Penn League) will change their name to the Coney Island Franks on July 3 — just one day before the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest.
The summer of 2016 will also mark the 100th Anniversary of Nathan’s Famous on Coney Island. The business was started in 1916 with a small hot dog stand opened up by a Polish immigrant, Nathan Handwerker. In the 100 years since, over 435 billion Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs have been sold, and Nathan’s has become so synonymous with these treats that some parts of the country simply refer to frankfurters as Coney’s.
“Hot dogs are as much a part of Coney Island as the beach, rollercoasters and boardwalk,” said Cyclones Vice President Steve Cohen. “When we were coming up with an identity for our team back in 2001, one of the names that we strongly considered was the Hot Dogs. With Nathan’s celebrating their 100th Anniversary this year, we thought it was the perfect chance to see what could have been. But instead of Hot Dogs, we wanted to keep with the Nathan’s tradition and go with the Franks.”
As part of the Franks’ celebration of all things hot dog, the team will wear special uniforms that pay tribute to Coney Island and the frankfurter. The first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a special Franks snap back cap to commemorate the one-day name change. The team will offer special hot dog related offers at that evening’s game, with details announced in the coming weeks. To cap the night, fans will be able to kick off their Independence Day Celebration with a post-game fireworks spectacular.
Hot dogs are so much more than the standard by which all other ballpark foods are judged. They are a meal fit for a king and queen. On June 11, 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt served Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth during their first-ever visit to the United States. This meeting, which has since been given the moniker “The Hot Dog Summit,” is credited with normalizing the relationship between the United States and Great Britain ahead of World War II and it was all thanks to – what else? – a hot dog!