Nice to Meat You: Happy 30th Birthday to the Famous Racing Sausages!
They’re one of the most recognizable mascots in sports, and they’ve been running for 30 years.
The first live-action mascot race in Major League Baseball debuted in the summer of 1993, and the Milwaukee Brewers’ Famous Racing Sausages will be honored before Friday’s game vs. the Cincinnati Reds at American Family Field.
27 years ago today, Bratwurst, Italian and Polish ran from left field to home plate in the first ever Sausage Race! pic.twitter.com/50PY0BCZOf
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) June 27, 2020
“On June 27, 1993, as the Blue Jays battery of pitcher Jack Morris and catcher Pat Borders warmed up for the bottom of the sixth inning with a big crowd of 45,580 in the stands, the usual scoreboard race became a live affair.
Bratwurst, Polish and Italian bumbled around in left field for a bit, then ran right down the third-base line to home plate. It must have shocked Borders. It must have shocked everyone, since no player from either team had been given a heads up that this event was about to happen.
The winner of that first race was also the event’s founder, Michael Dillon, a Milwaukee-based graphic designer who urged a Brewers marketing official in the fall of 1992 to bring the digital race to life. When he got the go-ahead in ’93, Dillon designed and produced the three original foam mascots himself.”
Hot Dog became the fourth mascot in 1998, followed by No. 5 Chorizo in 2007.
For much of the early 2000s, the Racing Sausages were more exciting than the Brewers and were sometimes the only things that brought fans to their feet.
Then there was that fateful day in 2003 when scandal erupted after the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Randall Simon took a swat at the Italian sausage:
Then there was panic in 2013 when the Italian sausage costume was stolen at an event. It enjoyed a fun night out on the town and was returned without incident.
I’ve witnessed more sausage races than I can remember. (I always pick Italian to win, and I usually lose.) Most of the races I’ve seen have been good, clean contests. But there was this one where Bratwurst bit the dust:
— Ryan Berenz (@raberenz) August 30, 2017