Miller Park (Brewers Stadium), sits out in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The MLB venue is home to the Milwaukee Brewers team. The stadium is known for its retractable roof, Home Run Slide, fantastic food at American Family Field, and a great baseball team. In addition to those known features, it’s also known for The Famous Racing Sausages. In this post, I’ll go over when the race takes place, who the runners are, and other fun trivia to know before your next visit!
When Did the Milwaukee Sausage Race Begin?
The sausage race, initially as a scoreboard animation, began in the early 1990s with the Bratwurst, The Polish Sausage, and the Italian Sausage. The scorecard animation race was a way to promote Klement’s Sausage. Over time, two new sausages came into the race with the Hot Dog in the mid-’90s and Chorizo in the mid-2000s. The first official race took place on June 27, 1993, when the sausages came out of the left-field at Milwaukee County Stadium to run along the actual warning track. Throughout the 1993 season, you had select games with sausage races, but 1994 was the first year with races during home games.
When Does the Famous Racing Sausages Take Place?
The race, at Miller Park, takes place before the start of the bottom of the sixth inning. The racers line up between the dugout and third baseline on the warning track, race to Homeplate, and then finish towards first base. On Sunday afternoon home games, you will see mini “little weenies” end the competition as well.
What are the 5 Milwaukee Brewers Racing Sausages?
There are five racing sausages at Miller Park for home games. The five sausages are Bratwurst, Polish Sausage, Italian Sausage, Hot Dog, and Chorizo. Typically speaking, you will find employees of the Brewers partake in the race during each baseball game. The sausage costumes measure seven feet high from the top of the head to the knee.
Meet the Brewer Sausage Racers
Each runner who partakes in the race has a unique backstory. The classics are the Brat, Polish, and Italian, but the Hot Dog and Chorizo are new to the mix. Each runner has a unique story below that fans embrace for each game.
BRAT (known as Bratwurst) was an Olympic trainee who never made it past the trials. He’s the most aggressive of the runners and works out daily. He tends to start each race off with a bang but quickly loses speed towards the end of the race.
Polish was a high school cross-country coach for many years. He likes to start each race slow, but then builds up speed towards the end. Many people consider him the underdog in the group but don’t overlook his polite behavior.
The Italian Sausage
The Italian Sausage has been in numerous films and he is a crowd favorite. He tends to make the race look easy, which may seem as if he is not trying. When the crowd cheers louder, he runs faster.
The Hot Dog
Hot Dog is a real All-American favorite for all fans to enjoy. He works hard to win races, and fans respect his tradition. He’s new to the sport, but generations admire what he stands for. The Hot dog is relatively new to the mascot race, but many assume he was there from the start.
He likes to keep his exercise worth ethic a secret from others and spent many years training overseas. In 2006, he got the call by the Brewers to participate in the inaugural Cerveceros Day race. He took off during his first race but became tired shortly after that burst. Since 2006, The Chorizo continues to add more fan support each season and wears a sombrero to highlight his oversea routes.
Notable Guest Runners
Most games have employees of the Brewers run the races, but some games have celebrities join the race. Notable ballplayers to run as mascots include Geoff Jenkins, Pat Meares, Mark Grace, and Hideo Nomo. In addition to those celebrities, Green Bay Packers wide receive Javon Walker raced in 2004. In 2014, a small dog got into the Brewers’ spring training camp and ran his first sausage race that year.
Who Hit the Sausage in Milwaukee?
Believe it or not, an opposing player hit one of the sausages running by with his bat in 2003. Randall Simon was suspended for three games and was issued a $2k fined by Major League Baseball after whacking his bat against the mascot’s heat. It’s worth mentioning that the bat did not hit the employees actual head, but did cause the mascot to fall after it was struct.
In addition to running during baseball games, you can find the sausages at many local events. Some events include 5k run/walk, which funds raised go to the Brewers Community Foundation. Along with this event, you can find the sausages at many charity events around the state.
Mascot Races and Other Imitators Around the League
The Brewers went to Citizens Bank Park in 2008 for a postseason game, which was their first playoff game since the 1982 World Series. During the sixth inning at Citizens Bank Park, three feebly dressed sausages took off during a race towards home plate to mock the Brewers. Standing at home plate was the Phillie Phanatic, who hit the sausages with a giant plastic bat.
What makes the Milwaukee Brewers racing sausage event so special is the backstory of each participant. Fans fiercely cheer on their favorite contestant each home match and get upset when their pick loses. Fans looking to visit the baseball stadium should check out the American Family Field parking tips beforehand.