MLB ballpark concession stands may be packed with deep-fried pickle-wrapped delights and brisket served seven ways, but the food item of choice is still the humble hot dog.
Hot dogs have been served at ballgames since Chris van der Ahe was known to have sold dachshunds–the German sausage resembling today’s hot dog–in buns at St. Louis Browns games in 1893. One creation myth has Polo Grounds concessionaire (and later Ebbets Field and Yankee Stadium concessionaire) Harry M. Stevens inventing the modern hot dog on the fly in 1901, serving hot dachshunds wrapped in milk bread on a cold day when ice cream wasn’t selling on the ballpark. But there’s little doubt that the makings of the modern hot dog were well-established long before Harry Stevens introduced them to the Polo Grounds.
Today, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) estimates that MLB fans will consume more than 19 million hot dogs and 4.6 million sausages during the 2018 season. To put that into some perspective: the combined hot dog and sausage total could stretch the entire continental United States from Safeco Field in Seattle, to SunTrust Park in Atlanta.
Leading the way: the Los Angeles Dodgers, whose fans are once again projected to consume the most hot dogs, totaling more than three million Dodger Dogs. Based on last year’s attendance, means that nearly 80 percent of fans at Dodger home games will eat a hot dog.
Coming in second place in 2017 hot dog consumption: Colorado Rockies and Texas Rangers fans are expected to consume more than 1.2 million hot dogs. They are followed closely behind by 2016 World Series champions Chicago Cubs with one million anticipated hot dog sales. The Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Cardinals round out the lineup of top hitters, with fans expected to consume more than 1,080,000 and 959,720 hot dogs, respectively.
On the sausage front: the San Francisco Giants defend their title as MLB sausage champions, with 475,000 expected sales. The St. Louis Cardinals once again stepped up to the plate to clinch second place with fans expected to consume 419,356 sausages. The Chicago Cubs, meanwhile, knocked the Boston Red Sox out of third place, with Cubs fans expected to consume 400,000 sausages this year.
The Milwaukee Brewers have maintained their position as the only team in baseball that is expected to sell more sausages than hot dogs.