You’d think the Ballpark at Arlington’s introduction of a one-pound, two-foot long, $26 chili-cheese dog would be sufficiently headline-making on its own. But no: Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan kicked it up a notch by calling this new culinary monster “a tremendous wiener.”
As the Dallas Morning News reported Saturday, Ryan was on Randy Galloway’s ESPNDallas radio show, where talk naturally turned to the Champion’s Dog, a featured item at the Rangers’ new Captain Morgan Club that is presented on a cutting board and meant to serve four fans. The nearly bat-sized tube steak will be sold elsewhere in the ballpark as the “Boomstick,” in honor of Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz’s nickname.
Said Ryan (full audio here):
When [Rangers Executive Vice President, Communications] John Blake came in and told me that Sportservice had announced that yesterday, I asked him how big the wiener was. He didn’t know. But it has to be a tremendous wiener. And then we’re getting some kind of exotic bread flown in from France. And I don’t know what kind of condiments you put on that. But I do want to look at it.”
Naturally, the blogosphere just can’t stop tittering about this. Dave Brown of Yahoo!’s Big League Stew said Ryan’s description of the bun “might be the most Nolan Ryan thing that Nolan Ryan has ever said.” And Deadspin created a YouTube dubstep remix of Ryan’s comments.
Double-entendres aside, such culinary excess at the old ballgame is nothing new. Last year, the Rangers served a three-pound pretzel, and as Adam Watson of The Postgame pointed out, the minor league Brockton Rox offered an $80 frank topped with truffle oil, porcini dust, white truffle shavings, crème fraiche, caviar and fresh roe. Most infamously, the minor league Gateway Grizzlies (of Sauget, Illinois) are known for their version of the “Luther Burger”: a bacon cheeseburger with two Krispy Kreme glazed donuts pinch-hitting for a bun.
At Ryan’s suggestion, Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com asked Rangers outfielder David Murphy if he could eat a Champion’s Dog all by himself. “If it’s plain, I think I could definitely do it,” Murphy said. “I’m not a big topping guy. Usually when I eat my hot dog, it’s with cheese. If I tried to do it by adding the chili, that would be a challenge. Even with the toppings, I’d be close.”
Murphy is something of a competitive eater, having participated in “food challenges” during the Ranger’s TV broadcast. We’d like to see him square off with champion competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi, who, during his recent visit to SXSW in Austin, told Max Thompson of The Postgame that he was a huge baseball fan, and was “excited about new Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish.”