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Happy-Gourmand

Seventh inning stretch

October is a month when most things are winding down, but there is still anticipation and excitement for the end of the year. Gardens are getting wrapped up, farms are turning the ground over, and everyone starts to prepare for the hectic holiday season. 

It can be hard to know if one should sit back and relax or run out and celebrate, so how about a bit of both? Baseball offers the perfect way to do that. A seat in the bleachers with your treats in hand, a good old-fashioned 7th inning stretch, and perhaps a bit of leaping around if the home team wins? 

With the final rounds to the World Series approaching, I have some baseball statistics for you to enjoy.

Did you know that hot dogs, a staple food at ball parks, have been around for hundreds of years? The frankfurter sausage was originally used, a type of sausage that has celebrated its 500th anniversary in 1987 in the city of Frankfurt. Even more interesting is that a neighbouring town made a similar sausage, known as a ‘dachshund’ - ‘little dog’ - sausage.  

Germans have long eaten sausages with bread, but it's said that this combination was made popular at U.S. universities in the late 1800's. Putting the sausage in a bun meant it was easier for the students to eat while getting to class. 

in 1893, hot dogs were first brought to a major league ball park, reputedly by a German immigrant, Chris Von de Ahe, who happened to own the St Louis Browns. There is a long-standing urban myth that says the name ‘hot dog’ came from a cartoon of barking sausages in buns sketched by a journalist at a New York Giants game - he didn't know how to spell ‘dachshunds’, so he just captioned it ‘hot dogs’. Nowadays, there are close to 30 million hot dogs consumed each year at major league baseball parks in Canada and the U.S..

The same year that hot dogs came to baseball was the year that a sticky molasses, popcorn and peanut confection had its debut. The Reuckheim brothers (more enterprising German immigrants) first sold it from a street cart. They improved the formula by developing a way to keep the morsels from sticking together, and in 1896, brought it to the Chicago World's Fair. A salesman tasting the candy exclaimed, "It's cracker jack!", meaning that it was fantastic. The name was copyrighted, and then, in 1908, the candy was given free publicity in a song that is now a baseball classic along with the candy itself. 

Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
Just buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win, it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game!

And just in case you need a few more bits of trivia so you can talk baseball at the water cooler, here are five oddball tidbits:

Babe Ruth's top salary was $80,000 - in 1930-31. Adjusted for inflation, that's only $1.1 million.

Derek Jeter made $269,841.27 per at bat last year

During World War II, the U.S. military adjusted the size and weight of a grenade to match abaseball, since ‘any young man should be able to properly throw it’ (a baseball).

Pitcher Jim Abbott had a 10 season career in the major leagues, including a no-hitter in 1993 for the New York Yankees (vs. Cleveland). He was born without a right hand.

Jackie Mitchell, a 17-year-old female pitcher for the AA Chattanooga Lookouts, once played the New York Yankees in an exhibition game and struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in succession.

 

Go Jays! (ya gotta root for the home team)



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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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