Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Major Eats in the Minor Leagues and Other Tidbits From the Lower Levels of Baseball

The Western Michigan Whitecaps minor league baseball team has jumped into the world challenge eating. You know what challenge eating is, right? It's where the customer buys an enormous sized meal and if the customer finishes it in one sitting, he/she gets a prize and/or the meal is free. The Whitecaps entry into the market comes via the Fifth Third Burger, a burger which consists of five one-third lb. burger patties and several toppings that include a cup of chili and Fritos. The entire burger weighs upwards of four lbs. and contain 4800 calories. If the purchaser finishes the $20 burger in one sitting, he/she gets a t-shirt. This recent story in The Grand Rapid Press details the story behind the burger and contains a video on the making of the burger. Of course, the reader comments attached to the story are exactly what you would expect....they are along the lines of "it's no wonder Americans are fat" or "I can't wait to have one". The best comment I saw on the burger was on a different website. It was simply "what, no bacon?". By the way, the Fifth Third Burger shares its name with the sponsor of the Whitecaps' ballpark, Fifth Third Bank.

To give equal time to healthier eating at the ballpark, here is a story ran back in November on the vegetarian menu at Stadium, home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. PETA has named the stadium the Most Vegetarian-Friendly Ballpark in Minor League Baseball. Oh yeah, that wasn't People Eating Tasting Animals who gave the award.

I recently found this interview with former James Madison University stand out baseball player Kellen Kulbacki on the Project Prospect website. Kulbacki talks about how his game improved last season after he was promoted from low A to high A ball within the Padres farm system. Kulbacki hit 20 HRs in 304 at bats after being promoted. Presently, Baseball America has Kulbacki ranked as the fourth best prospect in the Padres system.

In 2001, published this list of the 100 best minor league teams of all time. It's interesting to see how many Baltimore Orioles teams from the 1910s and 1920s are on the list. Seeing most of us weren't around during those glory days of the minor league Orioles, check out a couple of the more recent teams on the list. I liked the piece on the 1992 Columbus Clippers because I had seen several players from that team, including J.T. Snow and Brad Ausmus, play for the Prince William Canons in the years just prior to 1992.

And finally, I found it funny the West Virginia Power is taking an online poll asking fans which West Virginia celebrity fans would most like to see on a bobblehead doll. The choices are Senator Robert Byrd, Jennifer Garner, Jerry West, Randy Moss and the Dancing Outlaw himself, Jesco White. Anyone who knows me, knows my vote is for good ol' Jesco.

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