Sports Traditions: Baseball Mascot Races


Sports traditions, much like the fans, are amazing and sometimes a little wacky. From throwing an octopus on the ice at hockey games to green jackets in golf, there are countless examples chronicled throughout the years. Today, we’re answering the question: Why are there mascot races at baseball games?

Baseball’s Best Brats

The Milwaukee Brewers began virtual mascot races in the 1990s as a partnership with one of their sponsors, Klement’s (which sold sausages).

In 2000, the Great Sausage Race transitioned from scoreboard animations into a real-life event. The race, which takes place at the end of the sixth inning, pits the following meats against one another: Bratwurst, Polish Sausage, Italian Sausage, Hot Dog, and Chorizo. Polish Sausage ended the 2015-2016 MLB season as the winner, claiming 23 first-place finishes.

Possibly the most famous incident involving these friendly cased-meats came in 2003 when Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Randall Simon struck Polish Sausage in the back of the head. He was arrested, fined, and suspended for three games for his assault on the beloved meat product.

Vegetarian-Friendly Imitations

Two notable imitators have taken a swing at the Sausages’ throne: The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Great Pierogi Race and the Washington Nationals’ Presidents Race.

The Pittsburgh Pierogies – Bacon Burt, Cheese Chester, Jalapeno Hannah, Oliver Onion, and Sauerkraut Sal – race at the end of the fifth inning in the 280-yard Pierogi Race.

Looking a little more lifelike, since they’re modeled after actual U.S. Presidents, the Washington Nationals delight fans with the President Races.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Herbert Hoover go head to head at every Nationals home game. While this won’t settle the debate on who the best president is, it may be tangentially used to discuss which may have been the fastest.

On Your Mark, Get Set … Go!

Whether you’re cheering on sausages, pierogies, or presidents at your team’s ballpark, look the part of a true fan by wearing the best officially licensed MLB merchandise and apparel from Fanatics.




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