Baseball Food And Competitive Eating

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DENVER - APRIL 02: A fan has a loaded hotdog at the ready to celebrate Opening Day as the Arizona Diamondbacks face off against the Colorado Rockies on April 2, 2007 at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado.

Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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Spring training is officially underway across the majors, which means opening day is only about a month off. Much of the country may be covered with snow now, but pretty soon we’ll be kicking back in the outfield bleachers stuffing our faces with peanuts and Cracker Jacks and humming “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

For much of the last 160 years, baseball has been our national pastime. But what would this American sport be without the iconic delicacies eaten at ballparks? It’s all part of the experience. So whet your baseball appetite with these records of baseball food eating. Save some room for a beer.

Get Your Hot Dogs!

One of the best known competitive eating events in the world, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, annually hosts many of the most impressive and accomplished eaters in the world. On the Fourth of July last year, professional competitive eater Joey Chestnut consumed a record 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Chestnut also holds the record for bratwurst eating, taking down 70 Hillshire Farms sausages in 10 minutes at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati on September 22, 2013. If you prefer hot dogs dipped in batter and deep fried, the record for corn dog eating is currently held by Richard LeFevre, who ate 12 of them in 10 minutes in 2003. And what good would any beefy sausage be without ketchup? On September 23, 1999, Dustin Phillips drank an entire 14-ounce bottle of Heinz Ketchup in 33 seconds in Los Angeles.

NEW YORK - JULY 02:  Former champion Takeru Kobayashi (R) and reigning champion Joey Chestnut look on at the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest official weigh-in ceremony July 2, 2009 in New York City. Chestnut defeated arch rival Kobayashi of Japan in an overtime battle last year by consuming 64 hot dogs.

Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi (Photo Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Ballpark Snacks

A baseball game consists of nine innings, which can turn into a full day of sitting on hard plastic seats in the unrelenting summer sun. It’s no wonder stadiums make so many delicious snacks available at the games. For nacho fans, prepare yourself for the mouth-watering largest serving of nachos ever made – 4,689 pounds of cheese-covered chip goodness created at Center Place at the University of Kansas in April 2012. Popcorn is a favorite salty snack not just for baseball games but also for movies; in 2011 a Croatian mall served up the largest box of popcorn ever, with a total volume of 1857 ft³. Combining cheese, meat and carbohydrates, chili cheese fries are a deliciously messy endeavor you’re likely to find at the game. Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas ate over eight pounds of it in 2006, setting one of her many eating records.

Summer Sweets

Satisfy your sweet tooth (for the moment) with some of these incredible accomplishments. Last July in Germany, the tallest cotton candy ever made reached a height of 17 feet and nearly 11 inches. The fried dough decadence of a powered sugar-coated funnel cake is an unrivaled summer treat. Joey Chestnut of Nathan’s fame took down nearly 5.9 pounds of in 2009. Of course, ice cream is one of the best ways to cool off during the summer, which might explain why Cookie Jarvis ate one gallon and nine ounces of the vanilla creaminess in 12 minutes. Then again, maybe he was just really hungry.

See you [in line for snacks] at the ballgame.

Read about Competitive Eating.

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Alli Sands is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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