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Lifelong Baseball Fan Tastes Every MLB Stadium

Lifelong Baseball Fan Tastes Every MLB Stadium


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The typical hotdog won’t cut it after experiencing the finest of ballpark fare.

Dave Baker documented and rated each stadium based off of accessibility, stadium personnel, view, food and overall stadium experience.

Some things are worth waiting for.

After a lifelong career in school administration, one man finally found the time to go after his dream — to visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in one trip.

Dave Baker completed his “Journey of a Lifetime” in 42 days the summer of 2011, and this July he will be inducted into the Sports Travel and Tours Stadium Hall of Fame.

Sports Travel and Tours is a national tour operator based in Massachusetts that arranges trips of a lifetime for sports fans, and about every four years it inducts its latest group of super fans into the Hall of Fame.

Six fans were inducted in 2001, 17 in 2005, and 26 in 2009. This July, coinciding with the National Baseball Hall of Fame weekend, nearly 30 fans are eligible to be inducted at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., including Baker.

“We hear from our avid baseball fans all the time that their dream is to see a game in every stadium,” said Jay Smith, president of Sports Travel and Tours. “So we contacted the Hall of Fame and they allowed us to to honor these special fans in Cooperstown.”

There is an exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame devoted to these fans, and an official register of STAT Hall of Famers.

“Inductees come from all over the country and have diverse backgrounds,” said Christopher Switzer, creative director for Sports Travel and Tours. “We have inductees from Tennessee and Ohio, Florida and Missouri, even a husband and wife from Minnesota and brothers from Texas. A resident of the U.K. Has traveled the farthest. The common thread throughout these inductees is their love of baseball and the monumental achievement of visiting every Big League ballpark.”


Bringing Your Ballpark Food Favorites Home

You know what I love? Baseball. There’s just something about it, you know? As America’s pastime, it’s so historically and culturally significant—patriotic, in fact. As a summer sport, it was always a game I enjoyed during a break from school, when fun, relaxation, and baseball were what life was all about. As a daily sport, it’s great for someone like me. The practice to game ratio is great when you win, you get to keep the momentum going and when you lose, you can get right back to it the next day.

Home Runs The Best Food at America's Top Baseball Parks Now that I’m older, and no longer play the game myself, it’s this last reason that really sticks with me. Baseball is an everyday sport. Sometimes it’s a grind. Sometimes it’s full of highs. In that way, it’s a lot like life. It also becomes a part of your life due to this same, everyday nature. For six months, it becomes your routine. You watch, or listen, spending time with the announcers for a few hours, as you go about your day. It’s a hobby, a passion, habitual.

You know what else is a hobby and a passion of mine? Food! Maybe it’s a coincidence that I love food and baseball. Then again, maybe there’s a unique intersection between the two one that doesn’t really exist for any other game. There really aren’t any basketball, or tennis, or golf, or hockey, or football (no, wings and Papa John’s don’t count) foods. But there are baseball foods. No other sports have relationships with food quite like baseball. I mean, come on, take a look at the lyrics of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game:”

Take me out to the ball game,

Take me out with the crowd,

I don’t care if I never get back,

Let me root, root, root for the home team,

If they don’t win it’s a shame,

For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out

See! One line reads, “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack.” There’s no sport that celebrates food quite like baseball. When you go to the game, you expect to consume certain items. Those foods conjure up feelings of being at the ballpark, relaxing on a warm, summer night, enjoying a bite while enjoying the game. Those foods are baseball foods. Now, if you’re lucky enough to have the resources and time to buy season tickets and attend the games, you’ll have your fill of ballpark favorites. However, if you only make it to your stadium of choice every once in a while, you can bring the flavors of the ballpark home for a fun way to experience the nightly telecast. Here are nine items to take note of:

Hot Dogs

These are the quintessential baseball food. In “Field of Dreams,” when Ray goes to the game with Terrence, what do they order? A dog and a beer. Fenway Franks, Dodger Dogs, Coney Dogs—it doesn’t matter where you are or what park you visit, hot dogs are there. Now, all hot dogs aren’t made equal. Sure, you might like a steamed dog, wrapped in foil, purchased from a vendor (for real?), but for me, I’m going with a grilled, all-beef, kosher dog with caramelized onions and yellow mustard. If you like to branch out, get more hot dog topping ideas you (mostly) won’t find in a ballpark.

Brats

When you’re in the mood for an encased meat, but you’re not interested in a hot dog, you’re likely to seek out a brat. For a great ballpark experience at home, I recommend buying some uncooked sausage from a butcher, boiling them in beer, and finishing them on the grill. Get our Beer-Braised Bratwursts with Onions recipe.

Roasted Peanuts

There’s no ballpark snack like the next two items—they’re in the song, for goodness sake! It’s tough to beat sitting at a game, working your way through a bag of peanuts. At home, I’d recommend roasting your own. Doing so gives you access to a freshness you can’t get with peanuts out of a bag. Never roasted your own peanuts? Try this recipe. Or just spice up some store-bought peanuts with our Chile-Lime Peanuts recipe.

Cracker Jack

In case you’re not familiar with this wonderful snack, Cracker Jack is the brand name of a caramel popcorn mixed with peanuts that comes with a fun prize at the bottom of the box. Imagine this, though: making your own peanut caramel corn. Sound delicious? Of course it does! Check out our Cracky Snack recipe.

Nachos

Nachos aren’t necessarily a traditional ballpark food, but they’re now ubiquitous in stadiums across the country. In fact, my cousin Danny always gets a batch of nachos when he attends a game. At the end of the day, if you’re not in the mood for peanuts or Cracker Jack, you could do a lot worse than nachos.

Sundaes

When you’re at the game on a hot summer night, and you’re looking for dessert, chances are you’ll be looking to get a helmet sundae. Don’t know what a helmet sundae is? It’s an ice cream sundae, in a mini (or sometimes, if you’re lucky, a large) MLB helmet. For an authentic and fun ballpark-at-home twist, get some MLB mini helmets to use for sundae dishes. It’ll be a big hit with the kids!

Rawlings MLB Logo Mini Baseball Helmet Snack Bowls, 30 for $44.95 on Amazon

Perfect for all your baseball-watching snaks, from peanuts to ice cream sundaes!

Beer

This beverage is everywhere at the ballpark, and nowadays, you’re likely to have a choice between macro- and micro-brews. Ever wonder about brewing your own? Now’s your chance. Check out how to brew your own suds at home. Or sign up for a beer subscription box.

Cotton Candy

As kids, there was always one thing my sister and I looked forward to consuming once we were done with our hot dogs, peanuts, and Cracker Jack. Cotton candy. The spectacle of a cotton candy vendor was something to behold, and seeing it hand-spun, in person, was a miracle of science. Want to bring that fun and wonderment home for all? Check out how to make cotton candy.

Cotton Candy Express Machine, $62.99 on Amazon

This machine comes with 5 colors of different flavored candy floss sugar, plus paper cones for spinning up your treats if you want to try it at home.

Now that baseball season is here, you might find yourself craving some of these goodies. Hopefully, you’re able to get to a few games this year, but in case you don’t, never fear! You can bring the tastes of the ballpark to your home. Play ball—and eat well!

All featured products are curated independently by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission. For more great hand-picked products, check out the Chowhound Shop.


12 Vegan-Friendly Baseball Stadiums Winning the Snack Game

It&rsquos baseball season, and along with many fast-food chains such as White Castle and Burger King, ballparks around the country are embracing more vegan options. From New York to California, stadiums have moved beyond the basics of French fries, fruit cups, peanuts, and Cracker Jack, creating more variety for plant-based fans. Enjoy Beyond Burgers and Sausages, loaded nachos, hearty wraps, and more as you cheer on your team. These 12 vegan-friendly stadiums have really knocked it out of the park!

1. Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, NY
You don&rsquot have to choose between an Impossible or Beyond Meat product at Yankee Stadium the Bareburger restaurant located inside the venue carries both! Vegan-friendly options include the Changeup Burger featuring the Impossible Burger 2.0 (ask for no cheese), the Beyond Sausage with pickled jalapeños and caramelized onions, and the Guadalupe made with a vegan black bean patty and guacamole. Beyond Bareburger, look for Field Roast burgers in Sections 205 and 234, fruit and salads at Melissa&rsquos Farmer&rsquos Market, sushi and edamame at Noodle Bowl, and the standard pretzels and peanuts sold throughout the park stands.

2. Globe Life Park, Arlington, TX
While Texas might be known for its barbecue, the home of the Texas Rangers welcomes plant-based patrons with its all-vegan concession stand, the Ballpark Vegan. First opened in 2016, the eatery now serves everything from fresh fruit to giant nacho boats. This year, the menu expanded once again to include a new partnership with Beyond Meat. Customers can now chow down on a Beyond Burger with vegan cheese and Vegan Street Tacos made with Beyond Meat&rsquos vegan crumbles, in addition to the stand&rsquos regular vegan offerings.

3. Target Field, Minneapolis, MN
Home to America&rsquos first vegan butcher shop, this Minneapolis-based ballpark doesn&rsquot hold back when it comes to meaty vegan eats. Fans of the Minnesota Twins can enjoy an Herbivorous Butcher Vegan Italian Sausage or Vegan Sriracha Brat with all the fixings as well as salads, veggie tacos and burritos, burgers, hot dogs, vegan cheese pizza, and even a Vegan Tofu Vindaloo from Hot Indian Foods. Of course, the staple soft pretzels, peanuts, and French fries are also offered throughout the stands.

4. Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ
Go, Diamondbacks! While nothing fancy, vegans can find substantial, meal-worthy options at Chase Field. Craving Mexican? Make your way toward La Terraza for a Bean Burrito (without cheese). Burger options include an Impossible Burger (order without cheese) and the PV Burger (vegan as is) at Game Seven Grill, and those searching for something on the lighter side will find a Mediterranean Vegan Wrap made with Beyond Meat Grilled Chicken at Taste of Chase.

5. PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
When a ballpark hosts a vegan night, you know its vegan options are going to be good. While we await the third annual 2019 vegan event, plant-based Pirate fans can still enjoy plenty of ballpark eats. Options include the Ultimate Vegan Burger made with a Beyond Meat patty (Section 127), an Un-Tuna Salad, and a Quinoa Blueberry Salad (both found at the Market). The soft pretzels and popcorn are also vegan.

6. Citi Field, Queens, NY
Dumplings at a baseball game? They&rsquore vegan, so go for it. Find tender vegan-friendly edamame dumplings at the new Mets&rsquo stadium partner, Destination Dumplings. Marty&rsquos V Burger, is another newcomer to the field, serving up no-frills vegan burgers and mac and cheese. For more traditional fare, look for El Verano Nachos (ask for it vegan), Beyond Meat burgers and sausages, baked potatoes, veggie burgers, vegan pizza, and an expansive burrito bar.

7. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
You won&rsquot find a vegan cheesesteak at this Philadelphia ballpark in 2019 (the 2018 cauliflower cheesesteak has been replaced by a vegetarian Impossible meat version with cheese sauce), but you will find more than enough food to keep you satisfied through the bottom of the ninth. Try the new Curry Cauliflower Lettuce Wrap at the sit-down restaurant Harry&rsquos the K&rsquos Broadcast Bar & Grille or enjoy familiar vegan comforts at Shake Shack and Wahoo&rsquos Tacos and Quesadillas.

8. Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Grab a Dunkin Donuts coffee with almond milk and some tasty vegan eats before settling into your seat to root for the Red Sox. Choose from the build-your-own salad and fruit bar, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and the recently-added veggie burgers and hot dogs. Another option? Visit by CHLOE Fenway before or after the game for vegan burgers, entreé-sized salads, mac and cheese, noteworthy sweets, and more.

9. Dodgers Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Along with many of its players, the home field of the Dodgers is becoming more vegan-friendly. Find a vegan nopales-stuffed torta (a Mexican sandwich) at the LA Open Deck various salads and fruit at The Healthy Cart a Portobello & Mushroom Burger at Buds & Brews and vegan nachos (made with Follow Your Heart Cheese), Beyond Burgers, and Beyond Dodger Dogs throughout the stadium.

10. Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
Ohio may not be the most vegan-friendly state, but its ballpark scene is getting there. Vegan fans of the Cleveland Indians have a wide selection of veggie burritos, burgers, tacos, Field Roast hot dogs, and grilled cheese. World Series or not, we&rsquoll happily root for Cleveland on Team Vegan!

11. Safeco Field, Seattle, WA
Like PNC Park, the Seattle Mariners home stadium also hosts vegan nights along with its standard vegan-friendly menus offered at every ballgame. While the selection of veggie burgers and other snacks is impressive, the Field Roast Sausage various hit a home run every time. Choose from the Japanese-inspired Ichiban, Indian-themed Bombay, or more traditional toppings of ketchup, mustard, and relish.

12. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, KS
With all the vegan options at this midwestern ballpark, you may think that you&rsquore not in Kansas anymore. Cheer on the Royals while feasting on Beyond Meat Brats and Burgers, fresh made-to-order salads, tacos, Bavarian pretzels, and vegan coleslaw.

While they may not have made our list, ballparks across America are steadily increasing their vegan options. Click here for a comprehensive list of stadiums that offer Beyond Meat products, and here for Field Roast sausages.

Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and fitness enthusiast living in Orange County, CA.

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American League

Though Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s March 2 executive order lifting the mask mandate and increasing capacity of all business and facilities in the state to 100% would allow the Astros to open with full-capacity crowds in 41,168-seat Minute Maid Park, the team plans to phase in how many fans will be allowed to attend games in person, beginning with 25% capacity, or about 10,300 fans.

A mid-March approval for Orange County to move into the red tier will allow the Angels to sell 20% of the seats — about 9,000 tickets — in Angel Stadium.

Alameda County’s move into the red tier will allow the A’s to open at 20% capacity, or about 9,400 fans in 46,847-seat Oakland Coliseum. Ticket sales will be restricted to California residents only. No concourse concessions will be available to begin the season fans can order food and drink on their mobile devices to be delivered directly to their seats.

The Mariners received clearance from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on March 11 to open with 9,000 fans, about 20% of T-Mobile Park’s 47,943-seat capacity.

Though the Rangers are allowed to host full-capacity crowds in Globe Life Field, as many as 40,518 fans, on opening day, the team announced it will offer “socially distanced” sections for subsequent games. No tailgating will be allowed in outdoor parking lots. The retractable roof will remain open unless there is inclement weather. The team will add Plexiglas barriers on top of dugouts and at the back sides of the bullpens to protect player health and safety.

The White Sox will open at 20% capacity in Guaranteed Rate Field, allowing the team to host about 8,100 fans in the 40,615-seat stadium. Enhanced cleaning protocols will include frequent disinfecting using hospital-grade supplies on high-touch areas.

The Indians will open at 30% capacity, which will allow them to sell about 10,500 seats in 35,041-seat Progressive Field. Fans arriving at the park without an approved face covering — neck gaiters, bandanas and masks with valves will not be allowed — will be provided with a disposable face mask for the game.

State guidelines set in early March would have limited the Tigers to 1,000 fans in 41,083-seat Comerica Park, but the team recently announced it will open at 20% capacity, or approximately 8,200 fans. Fans will be required to complete a game-day wellness survey no more than 24 hours before entering the park.

The Royals announced in early March that 10,000 fans — a little more than 25% capacity — will be allowed in 37,903-seat Kauffman Stadium to open the season, with plans to increase that number each month.

The Twins received approval from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on March 12 to open with a maximum of 10,000 fans—about 25% capacity—in 39,504-seat Target Field. The Twins will clean, disinfect and sanitize all in-use seats, railings, food and drink surfaces, elevators, escalators and restrooms using EPA-approved COVID-19 cleaners and disinfectants before, during and after each game.

Though Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said venues such as Camden Yards could open to 50% capacity, the Orioles will allow only 25% — or roughly 11,000 fans — to ensure social distancing. The team averaged only 16,347 fans a game in the 45,971-seat stadium in 2019.

Under Phase 4 of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s reopening plan, the Red Sox were granted approval Feb. 25 to open at 12% of capacity, allowing them to sell about 4,500 tickets per game in 37,731-seat Fenway Park. The team also expects Fenway Park to continue operating as a mass vaccination site beyond the start of the regular season.

Like their crosstown rival Mets, the Yankees will open at 20% capacity, meaning about 10,800 fans will be able to attend games in 54,251-seat Yankee Stadium. Fans will be required to take a PCR or rapid antigen COVID-19 test with negative results or provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, as well as temperature checks on game day, in order to gain entry.

The Rays announced Jan. 15 that they would open with about 7,000 fans per game in 42,735-seat Tropicana Field, baseball’s only indoor stadium. In order to ensure social distancing, the team will scrap its traditional season-ticket plans for a new “season membership” model that will allow fans to choose from six membership levels, each with a separate discount and seating location.

Canadian government restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic will force the Blue Jays to play their first two homestands at TD Ballpark, their 8,500-seat spring training facility in Dunedin, Fla., where capacity will be limited to 15%, or about 1,275 fans. Team President Mark Shapiro said the Blue Jays might return to Sahlen Field in Buffalo, where they played most of their home games in 2020, in June to escape the heat and humidity in Florida. The team hopes to return to Rogers Centre in Toronto for the second half of the season.

Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.

Mike DiGiovanna is a sports writer who contributes to the coverage of the Dodgers, Angels and Chargers for the Los Angeles Times. He won Associated Press Sports Editors awards for feature-story writing in 2017 and game-story writing in 2001 and Orange County Press Club Awards for feature and game-story writing in 1996 and 1997. A native of East Lyme, Conn., and a graduate of Cal State Fullerton, he began writing for The Times in 1981. He has been covering Major League Baseball since 1995 and spent 19 years as the paper’s Angels beat writer and two on the Dodgers.


The Most Insane Hot Dogs From America's Baseball Stadiums

Let's face it, most people aren't buying peanuts and Cracker Jacks when they're at a ball game&mdashit's all about the ballpark hot dogs. We rounded up the top dogs and sausages from ballparks across the country, so no matter which MLB team you're rooting for, you'll know where to find some winning grub.

Why It's a Hit: It's got it all. Down South, they don't skimp on condiments, and a ballpark hot dog is no exception. Braves fans can enjoy this foot-long beef dog from The Braves Chophouse, topped with queso, jalapeños, nacho chips and sprinkled with popcorn (yep), plus a drizzle of barbecue sauce.

Why It's a Hit: Southwestern flavors. Big Dawgs' whopping 18-inch chicken enchilada sausage on a telera roll is kicked up with queso blanco, enchilada sauce, pico de gallo, black olives, sour cream and colorful, confetti-like tortilla strips, giving this Arizona dog a nice crunch . Warning: These behemoths will run you $25 apiece.

Why It's a Hit: Homegrown frank. Local purveyor Kayem has been making its beef hot dogs in Chelsea, Massachusetts, since 1909. The snappy franks are steamed, grilled or rolled and then wedged inside a classic New England-style bun (crustless on the sides with a split top).

Fun Fact: Fenway was the first MLB ballpark to install a Hot Nosh Glatt Kosher hot dog vending machine.

Why It's a Hit: Garden on a bun. Cubs fans surely like their vegetables, but classic Chicago dogs can get messy. Happily, Craft Hot Dogs is now hawking an "easy to eat" version topped with an all-ingredients-included chopped Chicago relish &mdash that's tomato, onion, pickles, neon relish, sport peppers and celery salt &mdash plus a squiggle of yellow mustard.

Why It's a Hit: It packs some heat. Like the rest of the Windy City, White Sox fans like their Chicago-style dog. But when they enter Guaranteed Rate Field, fans make a play for this juicy jalapeño cheddar sausage draped with spicy cole slaw and Sriracha mayo

Why It's a Hit: Skyline Chili. Cincy residents are as passionate about their Reds as they are about their chili. Cloaked in the famous Skyline saucy chili with hints of cinnamon and chocolate, the Cheese Coney is then topped with chopped onions and heaps of tangy, shredded cheddar cheese.

Why It's a Hit: Offbeat meat. Don't come looking for a regular, old beef frank here. Biker Jim's specializes in serving dogs that are anything but run-of-the-mill, from reindeer and wild boar to rattlesnake and pheasant.

Fun Fact: In 2009, Coors Field was the first stadium to introduce a concession stand featuring gluten-free hot dogs.

Why It's a Hit: Meat on meat. The Midwest is big on chili dogs, but unlike Cincinnati's cheesy iteration, Detroit's version focuses on the meat. At Comerica Park, fans line up for beef hot dogs slathered with coney sauce (a "wet," beanless chili spiced with cumin) and sweet, chopped onions.

Why It's a Hit: More meat and more spice. More is better in Texas, and the "Cincinnati Cheese Coney Dog" proves it. The jumbo hot dog is enhanced with fiery chili and cheddar cheese, and then topped with diced onion. In addition to the "Cincinnati Cheese Coney Dog," the stadium also offers other dogs representative of states around the nation, like the Georgia Dog (with coleslaw, chopped onions, and barbecue sauce) and the Ken Hoffman New York Dog (with grilled sauerkraut and spicy mustard).

Why It's a Hit: Breakfast flavors. The tailgate comes early for early afternoon ballgames, and if you've ever wished you could eat brunch while watching the game, this dog is here to answer your prayers. It's a footlong loaded with crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese slices, white sausage gravy and a fried egg.


Salt Lake Bees among Utah pro baseball teams excited to welcome fans back after year hiatus

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Heading to the ballpark, enjoying a hotdog and a cold drink, and taking in a ballgame is a big part of summer life in the United States.

But in many places across the country, minor league baseball stadiums sat empty last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That meant in Utah, there was no 7th-inning stretch, no rousing renditions of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” and no legendary Produce Races at Smith’s Ballpark where a few fans are pulled from their seats to run around the outfield warning track dressed in full-length fruit and vegetable costumes.

For the first time in 118 years, there was no professional baseball played in Utah in 2020.

“Surreal is a good term to describe it,” says Salt Lakes Bees general manager Marc Amicone, who has been a lifelong baseball player, fan, and team executive to ABC4. “Weird may be the best term. It was interesting.”

Courtesy of the Salt Lake Bees

As the coronavirus pandemic gripped the United States in spring 2020, the sports world took a major hit. The NBA and NHL famously played the remainder of their seasons in a bubble setting. The NFL played the entire 2020 campaign with strict guidelines for teams and players and held the majority of its games without fans in attendance. Major League Baseball seemed doomed to not have a season at all. It wasn’t until July 23 that MLB began a shortened, 60-game schedule that wrapped in late September.

By the time top-level professional baseball had started in America, it had already been determined at the end of June that the minor leagues wouldn’t play at all in 2020.

For Amicone, who has spent his entire career working in baseball, it was strange to be away from the game.

“I always think we’re spoiled that we get to work in a ballpark, but I really missed being here every day,” he says.

Courtesy of the Salt Lake Bees

This year, as the pandemic appears to be waning, the Triple-A Bees and Utah’s other remaining pro ball team, the Pioneer League’s Ogden Raptors, are preparing to welcome fans back to their friendly confines and a small sense of normalcy this summer. The University of Utah baseball team has already successfully played a few games at Smith’s Ballpark this month. However, the Orem Owlz, who’ve represented Utah County in the Pioneer League since 2001, will not return for this season, having relocated to Windsor, Colorado.

Of course, there will be some changes to the look and feel of attending a game in person at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City for 2021.

For one, the operations at the stadium are going to be as paperless and cashless as possible, says Amicone. Tickets, parking, and concessions will all be done electronically through smartphones. Even the experience of buying a box of popcorn or a drink at the stadium will be different as fans will be asked to order on their phones from their seats. When the food is ready, they will be notified and able to quickly pick up their order from the closest stand. This process is already in place at Utah Jazz games at Vivint Arena.

Other changes for the Bees management include figuring out how to create a fan-friendly atmosphere with strict guidelines in place for player safety from Major League Baseball. To keep the players healthy and playing ball throughout the season, they will be as “bubbled” as possible with fans in attendance. Areas such as the field level, the player’s clubhouse, and even the player’s buses are off-limits to anyone not on the roster or traveling party. That means the fun elements such as on-field promotions, mascots, and even the famous Produce Race will have to be reimagined.

Courtesy of the Salt Lake Bees

Most likely, those at Bees games won’t be delighted by a fan in a carrot costume tripping over the bullpen mound on the final stretch of the race that has been a favorite promotion for years.

Amicone tells ABC4 that the team is figuring out a solution that involves showing a recording or something similar on the outfield video board.

Luckily for the Bees, they have maintained their affiliation with the MLB’s Los Angeles Angels, giving the team a steady supply of talented ballplayers on the verge of making it to the big leagues. The Raptors weren’t so fortunate.

After 18 years as a rookie-league affiliate with the Los Angeles Dodgers, receiving the club’s youngest and rawest prospects as they begin their professional journey, the Raptors will play in 2021 as an independent team. The Pioneer League was redesignated as a “partner league” with MLB, meaning the big league teams would cover some costs of operation and install technology to scout the minor league players, but would not furnish the small clubs with players.

Having to fill their roster themselves, the Raptors are going through creative means. In addition to signing some players with a bit of professional experience, the club is also holding a tryout camp May 12-13 at Lindquist Field.

Team president Dave Baggott said in a press release back in November that the team would still be fun to watch and competitive on the field.

“Raptor fans should know that since the Pioneer League will be the only short-season professional league, the quality of play will be better than they have ever seen. There will be no shortage on acquiring talent,” Baggott said in a press release.

Regardless of who will fill the team’s uniforms, or the produce costumes in a pre-recorded video, getting back to the ballpark will be a welcoming experience for many Utahns, including Amicone.
He’s already imagining that opening day on Thursday will be a special one.

“We have some really loyal group of fans, and I’m picturing in my mind right now that it’s going to be a fun, exciting day for all of us to be back in the ballpark, no question.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Best Baseball Stadium Food

&ldquoIf you&rsquore gonna pay more for a hot dog or a burger or an order of fries,&rdquo New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer proclaimed in a recent phone interview about stadium food, &ldquothey better be damn good.&rdquo You can&rsquot blame him for being passionate.

Meyer, a lifelong baseball fan, has partnered with the New York Mets to bring versions of his popular Manhattan restaurants to Citi Field, the team&rsquos new stadium in Flushing, Queens. Mets fans can now get &ldquoShack-Cago&rdquo hot dogs at his Shake Shack, Kansas City ribs at Blue Smoke (also by Meyer), and slow-cooked pork tacos with tomatillo-chipotle salsa at El Verano Taquería, a taco stand inspired by chef Floyd Cardoz, of New York&rsquos Tabla restaurant.

&ldquoIt became clear that New York was far behind the curve when it came to food options at sporting events,&rdquo said Meyer, who&rsquos had Mets season tickets since 1986. &ldquoIf we do our jobs well, the food will be yet another reason fans will become excited to go to the ballpark.&rdquo

Thanks largely to the Baltimore Orioles, baseball fans no longer have to endure soggy hot dogs and watered-down beer. Since the team introduced regional cuisine to Camden Yards in 1992&mdashthink pit beef platters and Maryland crab cake sandwiches&mdashMajor League Baseball stadiums across the country have been retooling their menus to reflect a taste of the home team.

At Minute Maid Park in Houston, for example, you can now sample sizzling beef fajitas at Tex-Mex favorite Rosa&rsquos Taqueria, with grilled bell peppers, sweet onions, and fresh cilantro, on a soft flour tortilla made while you wait. At Seattle&rsquos Safeco Field, fans go crazy for Ivar Dogs&mdashdeep-fried cod topped with coleslaw and tartar sauce on a freshly baked bun from popular seafood chain Ivar&rsquos. And at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, hungry crowds line up for the roast pork&ndashprovolone&ndashbroccoli rabe sandwich from South Philly original Tony Luke&rsquos.

&ldquoIt&rsquos imperative that ballpark cuisine have regional flair,&rdquo says executive chef Ed Lake, who oversees concessions at Citi Field, Citizens Bank Park, and Fenway Park in Boston and works with a team of culinary professionals to develop locally inspired menus that reflect a taste of the neighboring community.

So which baseball stadium has the best eats?We surveyed experts, including league officials, restaurateurs (Danny Meyer), chefs (including stadium supplier Aramark&rsquos Ed Lake), and super-fans like Kevin Reichard, publisher of the go-to stadium news website BallparkDigest.com, and everyone agrees: AT&T Park in San Francisco is the champion of stadium food. &ldquoIt&rsquos got an amazing variety of local gourmet foods,&rdquo says Reichard, who&rsquos visited every major ballpark in America. &ldquoEven the hot dogs are outstanding.&rdquo Among his favorites are the fresh Dungeness crab sandwich served on garlic butter&ndashbrushed sourdough, and Palo Alto&rsquos own Gordon Biersch garlic fries made with fresh garlic and parsley. Meyer agrees: &ldquoAT&T Park propelled stadium food to the next level.&rdquo

And while he&rsquos hoping fans will enjoy the cuisine he&rsquos brought to Queens, don&rsquot expect to see duck confit&mdashor anything else too fussy&mdashat Citi Field. &ldquoNot a chance,&rdquo says Meyer. &ldquoJust because you can shave black truffles on pizza doesn&rsquot mean you should.&rdquo


SUBSCRIBE NOW Daily News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s an American tradition, like many in 2020, that was put on hold because of the pandemic. But this season, baseball is coming back.

Major League Baseball announced they’ll start spring training on time, and when games start, there will be fans in the stands this year.

But the Kansas City Royals organization said they want to make sure they get fans to Kauffman Stadium the right way.

Jeremy Danner is a lifelong Royals fan — win or lose.

“Not being able to be out there with my son or my wife or my friends has been pretty rough,” Danner said.

Last year, his “flat imposter” got to sit in the stands instead as one of hundreds of fans who purchased cardboard cutouts displayed at the stadium.

“I was visible almost every game. I got shuffled around a little bit, so it was really fun seeing that. What’s funny to me is my cutout was at 30 home games, which is less home games than I was at in 2019,” Danner said.

Mike Swanson, VP of Communications & Broadcasting for the Royals, said they’re ready to play ball.

“I was in conversation with (Whit) Merrifield earlier today, and everybody’s excited. Everybody’s ready to go,” Swanson said.

Baseball will look different this year, and Swanson said they’re working on the plans now.

“We need to have conversation with the city and the county and make sure they’re comfortable with everything we’re doing. Make sure our percentage of seating is appropriate to one of the pandemic stands,” Swanson said.

Danner said he’ll follow any guideline he has to so he can watch his team hit one out of the park.

“I think it’s going to be different, but I think for people who baseball means a lot to them, it’s going to be just this big relief,” Danner said.

While the Royals plan how their pods and guidelines will work to get fans inside, spring training is on their minds. Some fans will even get to make the trek to Arizona to cheer on their team before Opening Day.


2. New York Yankees

Does Matt Gibson, Senior Executive Chef of Yankee Stadium, play ball? “My first game I gave up a grand slam underneath my legs, and never went back,” he remembers. “My wife has enrolled our 5-year-old son in baseball, and we are surrounded by All-Star baseball players, so we will make sure to set him up for success!” Matt is humbled by the talent of his staff, and works with some “amazing” Dominican cooks. “An overall staff favorite is braised oxtails,” he says. “I try to take as many notes as possible to replicate the depth of flavor they are able to obtain, but seem to always fall short.” (Allow us to help, Matt!) Go, Yankees!


Number of fans injured by foul balls at MLB games is staggering

A recent study found that more than 800 fans had been injured by baseballs while attending a Major League Baseball game during the last eight seasons.

That number, while staggering, is likely just the tip of the iceberg.

NBC News conducted the study and did so without the cooperation of MLB and its 30 teams. Instead, the report released Tuesday was based on “lawsuits, news reports, social media postings and information from the contractors that provide first-aid stations at MLB stadiums,” according to NBC News.

The organization found 808 reports of injuries to fans from baseballs, most of which were foul balls, from 2012 to 2019. Of those incidents, 701 were reported by agencies that responded to fan injuries at four ballparks (Marlins Park, Oakland Coliseum, T-Mobile Park and Coors Field, the latter of which only had data dating back to 2014) those four agencies were the only ones that provided their records to NBC News.

That means the other 26 ballparks are largely unaccounted for in the report. Based on the numbers available, it would appear that the average MLB ballpark had around 175 fan injuries from baseballs since 2012. Multiply that by 26 and we’re talking about the possibility of more than 4,500 such injuries occurring during that timespan.

Of course, every ballpark is different, and the netting to protect fans from foul balls varies from stadium to stadium, so it’s impossible to know what the actual number of baseball injuries is.

At Dodger Stadium this summer, the netting behind home plate and along the dugouts was made 8 feet higher and extended an additional 124 feet down the baselines, following several notable incidents over the last two seasons.

In August 2018, 79-year-old Linda Goldbloom died four days after she was hit in the head by a foul ball above the netting behind home plate at Dodger Stadium. This season, a girl was hit in the head by a line drive beyond the netting down the first-base line, and a boy also was hit by a line drive at Dodger Stadium during batting practice this season.

According to NBC News, the Dodgers are one of 13 teams that either have extended the protective netting at their stadiums this year or have committed to doing so by next season.

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Chuck Schilken is a multiplatform editor and sports writer for the Los Angeles Times.


Watch the video: MLB Fan Conflicts (July 2022).


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