The Wild Number Of Hot Dogs Eaten At Baseball Games

With every baseball season comes the challenge of satiating hungry fans. Everyone has their favorite ballpark foods to snack on, including the classic peanutty Cracker Jack. Hot dogs are another particularly popular gameday food item.

Easy to single-handedly hold while cheering for players on the field, they've been called "an American icon" (via CNN). They are easily found behind many concession stands, to be enjoyed with some cold soda or beer. And frankly, they don't take very long to prepare, which is key if you're running a busy snack booth during a packed baseball game. On The Zest podcast, Mel Lohn of Mel's Hot Dogs in Tampa, Florida says this is because the average hot dog is sold fully cooked, noting that "all you want to do is heat it up."

According to MLB, we have a man named Harry Stevens to thank for bringing hot dogs to national fame as a ballpark snack. He landed in Ohio from London in the 1880s, and "almost immediately" upon becoming a baseball fanatic, saw an opportunity to hawk tempting treats during the game's nine-inning stretch.

Fans will feast on more than 19 million hot dogs

It's predicted that over 19 million hot dogs will be consumed by MLB fans in 2022, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (via PR Newswire). This number makes sense, given that all MLB stadiums are starting off the season operating at full attendance capacity for the first time since 2019.

The council also called out several teams' fans for their hot dog consumption, pegging them as "sausage leaders." These include Los Angeles Dodgers fans and New York Yankees fans, who are expected to eat almost three million and over one million hot dogs this year, respectively.

Some people even swear that hot dogs taste better at baseball games. In conversation with Frank Deford for NPR, former Orioles MVP Boog Powell pondered this longstanding belief, surmising, "Most people come to a game to enjoy themselves and forget the rigors of life. They want that hot dog to be wonderful." Needless to say, this year is seemingly shaping up to be a hot dog-heavy summer.