Dining for America’s Pastime: Strap On the Baseball Feedbag

4 04 2009

Today is only two days away from the official (we’ll disregard the Sunday games) Monday start to the 2009 Major League Baseball Season. It’s about time! Forget about the ticket prices at the stadium… forget about market blackouts because of cable contracts… and forget about watching network news! baseball-1-blogIt’s baseball season and we can all wrap ourselves up in our favorite team… our favorite team colors… and embrace the official beginning of baseball dining.

One of the strongest associations to baseball season for many is the smell of hot dogs. Another sense that puts us in baseball mode is the auditory… hearing the vendors in the stands shouting, “Hey Peanuts!” or “Beer Here!”. Today’s blog post is designed as a guide to help you through the 2009 baseball season without being embarrassed. A compendium, if you will, of the newest terms associated with FOOD at the ballpark. Baseball is ripe with exclusive terminology dealing with every aspect of the game… and food is no exception. It would be a shame if you went to the concession stand at the stadium and ordered ‘Chicken Nuggets’… they would laugh you right out of line!!! They’d say, “Do you mean Fowl Balls?”. baseball-2-blogYou might make the mistake of asking for two hot dogs and a beer when, in fact, you should have shown your ballpark foodie moxie and just said, “Let me have a Triple Play please.”.  The following is an extensive list of terms that are either this year’s names for ballpark food (or at least what they should be), or terms that vendors at the stadium use to describe certain fans, or other baseball/food related terminology. This is for your own good…

 

2009 Baseball Foods Explanation
Baltimore Chop Salad stadium version of trendy steakhouse salad
Backdoor Sliders an order of trendy mini-burgers
Forkball any meatballs NOT served on a roll
Bases Loaded Baked Potato ballpark version of trendy steakhouse side dish
Batter Up funnel cakes served at the stadium
Bullpen Session two mounds of ground beef served warmed-up
Fowl Balls stadium chicken nuggets (dipping sauce: mustard)
Pepper Games jalapeno poppers
Farm Team veggie burgers w/ tofu cheese
Sacrifice Bunt Cakes small, over-priced half-round cakes that look like a baseball’s northern hemisphere
Bean Ball vegetarian ‘meatball’ sandwich
Small Ball Swedish meatballs served by the Minnesota Twins
Ground Rule Double two all-beef patties served on a sesame seed bun
Triple Play two hot dogs and a beer
Basket Catch fried shrimp-in-a-basket
Shoestring Catch fish & chips (very thin chips)
RBI BBQ pork riblets (pronounced Ribee)
Throwing Smoke pulled-pork BBQ at the ballpark
A Peel Play banana split (no argument here)
Power Pitcher x-large cup of Red Bull
Squeeze Play fresh lemonade from a stadium kiosk vendor
Suicide Squeeze Play when the vendor juices the lemons for a ‘Squeeze Play’ w/ a paper cut on a finger
On Deck a multi-level turkey club sandwich
The Perfect Game roast duck w/ bing cherry sauce (only served in luxury boxes)
Hit and Run hot dog w/ chili & onions
Scorching Ground Ball any meatballs ordered well-done
Grand Slam a ballpark big-meal sampler consisting of one hot dog, one Italian sausage sandwich, one slice of pizza, and a beer
The Sinker an extremely juicy Sloppy-Joe sandwich that should really only be eaten over the sink
Dying Quail Cajun-style chicken cutlet sandwich
Frozen Ropes ice pops in those long plastic tubes for young fans
Relief Pitcher big, ice-cold pitcher of any summer beverage
Starting Pitcher the first pitcher of beer served in a luxury box
Vendor Terms Explanation
Fungo adding mushrooms to any sandwich by request
Clearing the Dugout the act of finishing soup served in a breadbowl
Switch Hitter any fan who can eat a hot dogs and beer in either hand (although usually better w/ one hand than the other
Charging the Mound term used by nacho vendors when customer pays w/ a credit card
Bush League any fan who orders a salad at the concession stand
Blocking the Plate to stop serving beer to fans who have over-indulged
Cutoff Man the beer vendor who actually has to ‘Block the Plate’ and say NO to the over-indulgent fan
Disabled List term used by beer vendors to describe fans who have been officially ‘cutoff’
Caught in a Rundown term used by stadium coffee & coca cola vendors to describe fans who make purchases in the late innings
Flash some leather term used to describe a really fast & efficient hot dog vendor
Dogging It name for fans who only order hot dogs
Brock for Broglio whatever amount of money you need to pay for Dippin’ Dots in a miniature batting helmet doesn’t matter because the deal is still lopsided…Dippin’ Dots is still the better deal (you may need to research this one!)
Caught Looking when another fan catches you ‘eyeing’ their Dippin’ Dots lustily
Late Inning Pressure Situations dealing w/ excessively long lines at stadium restrooms after the 7th inning stretch

While this is in no way an exhaustive list of the new 2009 baseball season culinary adventures… it’s at least a good way to get some discussion going. 

hot-dog-blog

For all of us who have waited through the football season… followed by the arid months of hockey & basketball only… the beginning of baseball season is a blessed time. Not just in terms of following America’s true pastime… but also the chance to sink our teeth into the world of stadium food. Speak the language… root for your team (except the Red Sox!)… and dine on some diamond vittles! Life’s too short not too!

If you have some baseball foods NOT found on the list above… PLEASE SHARE any new ones by adding a COMMENT to this blog post!

 

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One response

4 04 2009
Culinary Artist

Bob,
I’ll take one Starting PItcher to be followed with many Relief Pitchers!!!
Great List!

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