Dodger dogs lead the way: We love those ballpark hot dogs

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WASHINGTON – With opening day of the 2002 Major League Baseball season, Americans’ fancy returns to their love affair with baseball and hot dogs.

This season, the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council estimates that 26.1 million hot dogs will be enjoyed in major league stadiums this year – the No. 1 item on ballparks’ menus.

And despite a trend toward more diverse menus at ballparks, hot dogs and sausages remain the most popular items with baseball fans.

To put that in perspective, 26.1 million hot dogs would stretch from PNC Park at North Shore in Pittsburgh, PA, to Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium or would feed the state populations of New York and Virginia.

Top dog. Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles has reclaimed its title as Top Dog in hot dog sales after being beat out last year by Cleveland’s Jacob’s Field. L.A. Dodgers’ fans will enjoy an estimated 1.5 million Dodger Dogs this year, while Cleveland Indians’ fans will enjoy 1.1 million hot dogs.

Getting fancy. American’s are enjoying a number of unique sausages at ballparks this year. Houston Astros fans will sample jalapeno-smoked sausages. And Los Angeles Dodgers’ fans will enjoy chicken andouille and chicken Italian sausages.

The most popular sausages served at ballparks are Italian, bratwurst and Polish. On average, ballparks serve about half as many sausages as hot dogs.

Some other hot dog facts from America’s ballparks:

* Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wis., home of the Milwaukee Brewers, serving as many hot dogs as it does sausage – 400,000 each of hot dogs and sausages. And Miller Park is the only MLB stadium that boasts sausage as its top selling menu item.

* Fans at Safeco Field in Seattle, Wash., home of the Seattle Mariners, prefer their hot dog buns toasted and their dogs topped with sauerkraut.

* Comiskey Park, in Chicago, Ill., is the only MLB park that serves more kosher hot dogs than regular hot dogs – 400,000 kosher dogs and 160,000 regular hot dogs.

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