One Fan’s 11,000-Mile Quest for the Best Ballpark Hot Dog

The Fiscal Times

For many Americans, there’s no better way to celebrate July 4th than to eat a hot dog at a baseball game.

Tom Lohr, a 52-year-old lifelong baseball fan who is retired from the military, has been living the dream every day for the past three months.

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In early April, Lohr, who is originally from West Virginia but lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, began the quintessential American quest for the best ballpark hot dog. During his road trip throughout the U.S., he intends to eat a hot dog in each of the 30 Major League Baseball parks, driving roughly 11,000 miles.

Lohr has been chronicling his experience on his blog, ranking ballpark hot dogs - without forgetting his bottle of Pepto-Bismol.

“Last year, I drove the entire Route 66 and ate hot dogs all the way, but they taste better at the ballpark,” Lohr said in an interview, explaining why he undertook this experiment.

As of July 3, he’s visited 26 out of the 30 MLB parks and 18 minor league stadiums. He anticipates he’ll finish his journey in Atlanta on July 20.

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He looks at several factors when rating Dodger Dogs against Fenway Franks and other ballpark offerings: the quality of the hot dogs he tastes, including the bun, the meat and the toppings; the quality of the park itself, including the location, parking, cleanliness and the fans; and affordability.

Here are his top three ballpark hot dogs so far:

  1. Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Md.
  2. Coors Field in Denver, Colo.
  3. Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz.

“With a combination of great dog and ballpark, Oriole Park gets the first perfect score of 60,” he wrote on his blog on June 25. “That means if you are planning a baseball road trip, Baltimore should be on your list no matter what. Great job, Baltimore.”

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