The Akron RubberDucks (Double-A Northeast) will honor a local delicacy, the pressure-cooked JoJo potato wedge, by playing as the Akron JoJos on July 28-29.
Akron’s fame as the home of the JoJo dates back to 1963, when two immigrants from Lebanon, Alfred Ajamie and Walter Abood, founded Fiesta Pizza and Chicken in Goodyear Heights. After meeting with a chef in Youngstown to learn the best way to make pizza, Ajamie and Abood created the shop on Newton Street, following a new concept of selling pizza and chicken at the same location. They also introduced a brand-new food item to Akron, the JoJo. Akron Life has a good backgrounder on the roots of the Akron JoJos.
Over 50 years later, Fiesta Pizza and Chicken is still open in Goodyear Heights, and the JoJo is Akron’s favorite side dish with pizza and chicken places all over the Rubber City developing their own JoJo or fried potato wedge.
On Thursday, July 28, the RubberDucks invite all area restaurants to bring their signature JoJos dish to Canal Park. The RubberDucks will set up tasting tables on the concourse, as all fans in attendance will get the chance to sample and vote on who has the best JoJos in Akron. During the Friday, July 29 game, the winning restaurant will be recognized. A representative of the prized potato producer will have the opportunity to toss out a ceremonial first pitch and postgame fireworks will cap off the night. The RubberDucks will wear their Akron JoJos identity back-to-back nights.