Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Year of the Dog

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.

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