Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Arizona Fall League Recap

Just call me the Moses of meat. Like the biblical hero, I wandered the desert for what seems like forever, or at least a week. While the real Moses delivered a people to the promised land, I , as promised, delivered the lowdown on the hot dogs in the Arizona Fall League. Call me conceited, but I think my quest was slightly more noteworthy; at least to baseball fans.

The dude in robe and beard brought forth the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai. I bring forth Ten Tidbits from taking in a week of Arizona Fall League action.

  1. The AFL is one of baseball’s best kept secrets; even to those living in the Phoenix area. Only the most ardent fans even know of its existence.
  2. Crowds are small. Really small. You can catch a game in a spring training facility with a crowd of a few hundred.
  3. Most games are noonish, or at least afternoon. A few are in the evening.
  4. Day games are normally nice weather-wise. If you attend a night game dress warmly.
  5. Tickets are only sold an hour before gametime if getting a seat at the ballpark on game day.
  6. Tickets are very reasonable. Eight bucks.
  7. It’s festival seating at every game, meaning your ticket lets you sit in any open seat.
  8. While you get a great break on ticket prices, you do not on concessions.
  9. The AFL has an all-star game mid-season.
  10. Parking is FREE!
  11. The concessions are scaled WAY back. Expect the basics and nothing more.
  12. You will sit next to real baseball fans, the conversation is amazing if baseball is your thing.

Then there are the hot dogs. I truly expected at least some sort of Fall League dog, or a team favorite or two. By and large the hot dogs fell flat. A few ballparks offered up a slight variation on the dogs but most just offered a regular hot dog. The same ballparks during spring training had some awesome eats.

The Nogales Sonoran Dog. Yes, it is that delicious.
But, I get it. It is hard to offer up some crazy, over-the-top dog when you only have 200 fans in the seats. It is a lot of time and expense to please 60 or so fans that would probably buy a monster dog at an AFL game. Still, each team could offer one with little effort, and I detailed a dog for each AFL team in their respective blog. I’ll recap those in the next post.

Hot dog takeaway? For an afternoon game skip the meal at the ballpark and get a wiener at Short Leash Hot Dogs near downtown Phoenix. Ask for their baseball-themed hot dog. If you are going to an evening game, grab a small snack prior to the game and then after hit the Nogales food truck after 7pm at the intersection of 20th and East Indian School Road; best dog in Phoenix. Tell them Moses sent you.

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