- A delicious part of being a baseball player is that it takes you all over the map. Because of the traveling, I’ve been able to indulge in some pretty eye-watering food.
- Whether it’s a doughnut in Portland, custard in Milwaukee, muffalettas in New Orleans, or cheesesteaks in Philly, I love trying local tastes.
- The furthest destination baseball has taken me is to Campeche, Mexico. During spring training, we ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the stadium’s cafetería.
- I don’t know mucho Spanish, but I did learn one phrase, “seen frijoles“. In the local dialect this vitally means, “no beans please“. (only beans I eat are jelly) And since every meal, snack, or beverage came with beans, I used this phrase a lot.
- And the meals at the stadium were pretty ordinary until, one day…
The morning seemed normal, as I arrived at the field. I picked up a food tray and stood in line for breakfast. “Hola!” said I, as I walked up to the counter. “Seen frijoles!” As the disappointed amigo with the enormous spoon of refried beans turned away, I saw another plate being filled. This plate, at first glance, appeared to be only scrambled eggs. But just like a box of Cracker Jack, these eggs had a prize inside… Hot dogs. Whaaa… you mean… hot dogs? Yeah… hot dogs.
Now, I love hot dogs… but I’d never considered it a breakfast food. And it could’ve been me or it could’ve been something in the Mexican water, but all I can say is BUENO! I crushed it. Every bit. (“Slimy yet satisfying!“)
Soon after (full of eggs and hot dogs) we started practice with a 45 minute stretch/agility session. When practice was over, we took a bus for our game on the road. Upon sitting down, I was handed a sacked lunch. While making a joke about breakfast, I opened my bag of food. I found a banana, a bag of chips, a “Fanta”, and a hamburger. As I lifted the sesame top for pickle removal, I was intrigued by the sight of one of my condiments… Hot dog? Oh yeah… hot dog.
Cut in half, and sliced long ways; the hot dog sat atop the burger like lettuce or a slice of cheese. My raised left eyebrow gave creative and innovative props to the chef.
Minutes after the the game was over, a hungry baseball team scrambled back onto the bus. Staring out the window, as the bus zoomed by the red “ALTO” signs, I begin guestimating just how many hot dogs I had consumed that day.
When the bus came to a complete alto, it was a sprint to the food line. My mind was racing too, “What is it? What is it? Could it be? A hot dog trifecta?” A teammate walked by with his tray. I excitedly hoped for… you know; but my heart (and overall health) probably needed a salad. With great anticipation I peered at the passerby’s plate. And next to a mountain of beans was a huge pile of… Spaghetti!
BUT, much like the “Cracker Jack” eggs… this spaghetti contained a prize!
“I like my dogs with mustard and relish.” (and eggs, hamburger, and spaghetti)