The 2011 major league baseball season is officially underway, and since everyone under the sun has been talking mostly about which teams are going to win it all and which players will break out, I want to take a different approach on the baseball discussion. We all know that watching a game in person is much more exciting than watching it on TV, for a few different reasons. First of all, you are witnessing the game you love in an environment that breeds excitement with every crack of the bat. Secondly, you are providing yourself with memories that you will be able to tell your children and your children’s children. Next is the array of great-tasting food and thirst-quenching beer you are exposed to while at the yard, which is the premise behind this article.

Food, and beer in some cases, is a very vital part of attending a baseball game. The aroma that spreads throughout the air from various foods being simultaneously cooked is an expected occurrence. You can choose to indulge in anything from a hot dog to a pit BBQ sandwich to an order of nachos and cheese. It’s all there right in front of you, and even though it’s a little pricy, it doesn’t stop you from giving in to temptation. Beer is the same way because most of the time price doesn’t matter if you’re thirsty, and the more you drink, the more you buy without thinking about the hole it’s burning in your pocket.

But let’s get back to the food for a minute. Certain ballparks have their own signature items that only they serve. For instance, Camden Yards offers Maryland Crab cakes from almost every vendor in and around the stadium, and also have Boog’s Barbeque located behind the center field bleachers, which features beef or pork barbeque sandwiches or platters. The Phillies’ Citizen’s Bank Park features “The Schmitter”, which starts out as your regular cheese steak sub but involves into it’s own personal heart-stopper as the array of ingredients are piled on. Going back to beer for a second (you knew it was going to happen), Wrigley Field has their own signature food that isn’t food at all. Wrigley’s famous Old Style Beer isn’t your fancy brew that has won multiple beer awards, but it can sure satisfy your craving for a cold one on those hot summer day games at Wrigley.

Even though almost every ballpark has their own signature foods, you’re going to have the traditional fare everywhere. Crackerjacks, hot dogs, soft pretzels, cotton candy, peanuts, nachos and cheese and popcorn are all on the list. These foods are a staple at any ballpark around the country and are what makes our national pastime so great. There are few things in life that are for certain, so it’s refreshing to know that you can go to the ballpark and enjoy a game with a hot dog in one hand and a cold beer (if you’re of age) in the other and forget about your problems for a while.

Submitted by Steve Giles