Tomorrow is Opening Day for Major League Baseball. Even though the parks won’t be operating at full capacity, there will still be thousands of fans attending each game, with capacity set to increase if and when more people get vaccinated and COVID rates continue to fall. This slow return to sports normalcy will also mean an increase in forcemeat consumption: in an average season, fans eat approximately 20 million hot dogs and 4.5 million sausages, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. And according to a press release sent to The Takeout, the Council has also determined that, generally speaking, the MLB teams that serve the most hot dogs also win the most games. Look! There’s a chart to prove it!
The hallowed Council gathered five years’ worth of concession sales data to build the case that hot dogs conquer all. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals each sold over one million hot dogs and sausages in annually within the five-year period examined, and those teams were also five of the top seven MLB teams with the most wins over the same period.
“That’s correlative, not causative,” you might be saying. And you’re absolutely right. But not according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, who prefers to see this as an unambiguous win for tube meats.
“It’s clear that well-fed, enthusiastic fans drive winning too,” said NHDSC president Eric Mittenthal in the press release, “and no food makes fans happier at a ballgame than hot dogs and sausages.” Who can argue with that kind of certainty?
Let’s hope that we can all return to the cozy confines of those ballpark seats soon, hot dogs and Polish sausages in hand. In the meantime, I raise my home-cooked hot dog in salute of the Texas Rangers, whose baseball record is decidedly middling but who seem to sling hot dogs with the best of them.