Miller Park Sausage Race

Part of what my employer does is create the material used on and in baseball infields, and on this particular day a few of us were going to meet the head groundskeeper for the Milwaukee Brewers.

We showed up and scarfed down a couple of brats before making our way down to the field – yes, of course we had field passes.  We got to hang around the backstop as the opposing team finished up their batting practice.  We thought we’d soon be ushered out of there but they let us hang around.  Despite the student group coming out to sing the national anthem, there we remained.  It was after they announced the starting lineups and the umps took the field a mere four minutes before the first pitch that we were directed towards out seats.  They had a cozy little spot for us in the 4th row along the 3rd baseline.  Here are the Dodgers lined up for the anthem.

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After a few innings, we went up to a secret meeting spot and were led down into the the guts of the facility.  On this most incredible of days, we would be taking part in the famous Klement’s Sausage Race.  After some back doors and secret passages we arrived to a room filled with the various mascots. We signed some wavers, and got the run down of what we were NOT to do.  Having completed our 5 minute orientation, we selected our sausage shells.  It was my assumption that at every home game, 5 random fans were selected to go out and run this legendary race, but not so!  The execs want to keep exclusive, and limit the races to those members of the Brew Crew Staff, only allowing close friends and industry partners (us) to take part a couple times per season.  Learning that brought a certain cachet to the opportunity.  Here is the Turface team.

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Getting those suits on and off wasn’t the easiest task, but we were able to get a feel for what a running in a hot, top heavy, meat cylinder was like.  Here we were before the big event (LtoR): Frankie Furter the Hot Dog, Brett Wurst the Bratwurst, Stosh Jonjak the Polish Sausage, Guido the Italian Sausage, and Cinco the Chorizo.  I was that smug dog in the middle.

Wieners

We were led to a gate in the outfield, near the bullpen, where we awaited our grand unveiling.  The race is always run at the middle of the 6th inning, so we just had to wait for a couple more outs before taking the field.  They were explaining to us that we would be heroes, and that we would want to play it up a bit with the kids and fans.  They did also mention that the starting horn can be a bit muffled from inside the suit.  We waddled out there, not entirely sure of where to go, but loving the notoriety.

I was invested in throwing up high-fives to kids and adults alike, but after glancing askance saw that my colleagues had already taken off!  I was only a couple strides behind them coming off the line, but from the perspective of my tunnel vision it was far.  I tore off after them, came close at the bend, and continued to reel them in as we approached the finish line.  The video doesn’t do my race the utmost of justice, but I’m fairly certain that I brought it into a tie for second, and had the best line to line time overall.  No, I didn’t win that day, but I can still say I’m proud.  Chorizo was actually facing the wrong way entirely at the start of that race, and represented poorly on Cinco de Mayo. He we are coming down the homestretch.

Back Stretch

Win or lose, we were rewarded with a beer and puppy chow once it was all said and done.  I think that every job is going to have some sort of perk associated with it, and this one here really was a fantastic opportunity that would have never been afforded to me in any other way.  I may very well never see such a chance as this come again.  To those wondering: yes of course, the event was taped.

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