St. Louis Browns owner Chris von der Ahe is credited with introducing the hot dog to ballparks a century ago, and over the years concessionaires have found it hard to improve on his idea. But now hungry fans at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium can buy a double dog, two hot dogs in one bun.
The new wiener is the brainchild of L.A. Garrett, 41, a Columbia, S.C., inventor. Garrett figured out a way to cut a hot dog bun twice, so that there would be a retaining wall of bread in the middle. He says he got the idea while watching a TV commercial for frankfurters a few years ago. "Why just put one hot dog in a bun?" Garrett asked himself.
He brought his idea to the attention of Joseph Costa, the regional general manager of ARA/Martin's, the concessionaire for Memorial Stadium. "It's something different, and at two franks for $1.75, it is probably the best value in the stadium," says Costa.
According to Garrett, the double dog is ideal for people who can't make up their mind about which condiments to apply. "You can put chili and cheese on one dog," he says, "and sauerkraut and relish on the other." Unfortunately, Memorial Stadium only offers mustard, ketchup and onions.
The sad state of the Orioles (page 26) may adversely affect attendance and thus cut into sales of the double dog, but then again, fans may want to flee to the concession stands and eat to forget.