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Original Issue


Here's the best and worst culinary fare found at big league concession stands


1. MILWAUKEE BREWERS—Bratwurst, knackwurst, Polish sausage and three different kinds of hot dogs, smothered in barbecue sauce or sauerkraut. If you're slumming, try the broiled steak sandwiches and roast beef, stuffed into freshly baked French rolls.

2. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS—The chili dogs are a religious experience, with pizza that's positively Papal. Enjoy how the Frozen Spoon Malts turn into pure cream on the way down and then ask yourself why the Cardinals don't cater.

3. TEXAS RANGERS—The charbroiled sausages are in first place, and the ribs belong in the Hall of Fame. Everything except the soft drinks is basted in barbecue sauce, most notably the beef-and-cheese patties that have long since made Texans forget the Alamo.

4. ATLANTA BRAVES—Frankly, my dear, these are the only edible nachos in the major leagues, served with the smokiest franks in the South. If the homegrown chili isn't enough to make you whistle Dixie, the barbecued pork will.

5. NEW YORK METS—The magic is back, and it's all in the hot dogs. They aren't two feet long, they aren't doused with spices and they bear no cute names. They're just terrific. And save room for the crispy fries that have the fine color of a new glove.


1. KANSAS CITY ROYALS—The entire menu suffers from acute anemia. The franks are small and flavorless, the French fries taste like old horsehide and the potato chips squish. Perhaps the waterfall in rightfield explains why everything's soggy.

2. CHICAGO CUBS—The main attraction is the red-hot, which looks delicious and smells great. Now if only it had a flavor. The French fries have the consistency of loosely packed gravel. Most everything else is prewrapped, prefrozen, preheated and preawful.

3. BOSTON RED SOX—You may climb the wall if you bite into a dog here. Its not-quite-cooked quality will give you the impression it's about to do something unnerving—like sit up. As for the buns, if they contain any fiber, it's gotta be rayon.

4. DETROIT TIGERS—Tiger Stadium is one of the oldest ball parks in the major leagues—and the food is obviously left over from that first Opening Day in 1912. The franks are stale, the mustard is brown when it shouldn't be. Pack a lunch.

5. SAN DIEGO PADRES—Mealy, mushy hot dogs that disintegrate on sight, congealed condiments and nacho chips that are covered with pasteurized rubber cement. Altogether, about as appealing as a stomachache.