Man, time flies when you are having fun. In case you have forgotten, after two summers of driving at least 19,000 miles to have a hot dog at each of the 30 MLB ballparks, I took last summer off and watched A LOT of games on MBLTV (which is totally worth the price by the way). I designed a hot dog for each team/stadium that somehow depicted their personality. Sometimes it was a player that inspired me, sometimes the team name or their location. I would then eat that hot dog while watching them on MLBTV (did I mention it is well worth the price?). I called it the Virtual Baseball Tour, or VBT for short.
I intended to be finished by the end of the regular season. But like some writers get writer's block, hot dog creators can also get wiener block. I moved the deadline to the end of post season play, then the new year, and then to the start of the 2017 season. And I am proud and embarrassed to say that, after moving the deadline several times, I/we have finished our VBT. A hot dog creation and a beer pairing for the same are in the archives of this blog. All you have to do is scroll backwards. Here is a reminder of the dog delicacies in case you have forgotten (in the order they were posted):
Pittsburgh Pirates-The Willie Stargell
Toronto Blue Jay-The Pizza Dog
San Francisco Giants-The Golden Gate Dog
Chicago White Sox-The Zloty Dog
St Louis Cardinals-The Hill Dog
Detroit Tigers-The Delhi Dog
Los Angeles Dodgers-The Vin Scully
Oakland A's-The BART Dog
Chicago Cubs-The Underdog
Colorado Rockies-The Mile High Dog
Arizona Diamondbacks-The Snotty Sonoran
San Diego Padres-The Poor Man's Surf and Turf
Tampa Bay Rays-The Cool Ray Dog
Minnesota Twins-The Double Dog Dare Dog
Cincinnati Reds-The Breakfast of Champions Dog
Cleveland Indians-The Ricky Vaughn
Milwaukee Brewers-The Beer Brat Dog
Miami Marlins-The Big Fish Dog
New York Mets-The Big Apple
Baltimore Orioles-The Sponge Bob
Seattle Mariners-The Sushi Dog
Boston Red Sox-The Green Monster
Los Angeles Angels-All Dogs Go to Heaven
Washington Nationals-The Politician
Houston Astros-The Apollo 13
Philadelphia Phillies-The Balboa Dog
Kansas City Royals-The Meat Bomb
New York Yankees-The Fugetaboutit
Atlanta Braves-The Dixie Dog
Texas Rangers-The Nolan Ryan
I had a lot of fun creating these dogs, I hope you tried at least a few. If not, the recipes live forever in cyberspace on this blog.
That makes two trips to all 30 MLB ballparks in two consecutive summers, not to mention a TON of minor league stadiums. Then the summer of the VBT. What's next? I will continue to update you on hot dog happenings in and around all of baseball. There is always new and crazy dog coming out. And I have a serious backlog of Hot Dog Hotspots to get out to you. I am also planning an April minor league road trip mainly in the Carolinas and surrounding area. If you live near a ballpark in the southeast, drop me a line and maybe we can catch some action at the diamond together. Or you can introduce me to the best hot dog in your town. Oh, and I will be catching some Grapefruit League spring training games in Florida in late March.
But as of first pitch for the regular season I will be a broken man. It's a really cool thing to say that you have caught a game at EVERY major league ballpark. But when the 2017 season opens, I will have only been to 29 of 30. The Atlanta Braves are setting up shop in new digs called Sun Trust Park this season. I have one chance to catch a game there on my road trip: April 19. But with it being a new ballpark and early in the season, it will be tough to get a ticket without having to sell a kidney. But hey, I have two kidneys and only really need one, so it's possible. Atlanta Braves, if you are listening, do a brother a solid and sell me a ticket for under $30. I am not picky about seat location.
So here's to a great 2017 season. There's new grass on the field and baseball has never been better. But it is ALWAYS better when watched with a dog in your hand.