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Staff Photo by Grant Morris

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Overindulging at ballparks getting extreme

Joe Marchilena

There are so many tough questions we all need to answer sometimes.

Like how much would you pay for a hot dog?

If you said $26, then I have the hot dog for you. For this baseball season, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, is offering a one-pound, two-foot long hot dog for the previously mentioned price.

No word on whether or not it comes with a souvenir bun, but you can add the following toppings: shredded cheese, chili, sautéed onions and fries. And for those concerned about how to transport it back to your seat, don’t worry, because it comes in a carrier with handles.

It should also come with a pamphlet on overindulgence.

Of course, the ballpark claims the hot dog is meant to serve four. I highly doubt that actually happens a lot. I can’t remember a time I’ve ever shared a hot dog with someone.

That got me wondering, what might some other stadiums across the country offer to fans that they really shouldn’t be eating.

Marlins Park, the new stadium of the Miami Marlins, has an item called the Supreme Helmet Nachos, and it is exactly what it sounds like – a batting helmet full of nachos covered in salsa, jalapeños, chili, cheese, and green sauce.

You’d expect the unhealthiest item in Milwaukee – at a place called Miller Park, no less – would include beer, but you would be wrong. Instead, it’s a pulled pork parfait. Yes, a parfait with pulled pork, and also mashed potatoes and chives.

But the one that tops them all isn’t even found at a major league ballpark. It’s at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill., home of the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League.

It’s been called baseball’s best burger, but I suppose that depends on what your definition of best is. The burger is covered with cheese and bacon, which sounds pretty standard, but its served on a bun made from a Krispy Kreme donut that’s been split in half.

To balance that out, you’d probably have to jump onto the field and participate in the game, and then hang around and run a few laps as well.

Is it really worth it? You already have to pay an arm and a leg to park and get into the game. Why do you want to forfeit your health, too?

Some stadiums are going in the opposite direction and offering healthier options. For example, Marlins Park also offers a plate of oysters and Rangers Ballpark has a burrito with chicken, veggies, guacamole and black beans.

But those don’t make the headlines like a two-foot long hot dog.

Joe Marchilena writes a weekly fitness column for Hampshire Hills. To find out more information about the “90 Day Commit to Get Fit” program, call 673-7123 or e-mail hhinfo@hampshirehills.com.