Time for a good, old-fashioned food fight. With a social media and technology twist of course. And a healthy dose of civic pride.
For the next week and a half, fans can vote on the best ballpark food in minor league baseball. The Buffalo Bisons have put up their fried bologna in the scrumptious sandwich category. They are up against 16 other sandwiches in the category.
To vote, fans can go online at www.milb.com. Fans can also vote on Twitter by including #FoodFight
Fans can go to www.buffalobisons.com and print out a coupon for a free soft drink with the purchase of a fried bologna sandwich this homestand. Showing your vote via Tweet at the ballpark’s guest relations center will also earn you a free drink.
Voting closes on May 29.
Other entries include Fang’s Venom Burger of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (two quarter-pound patties with Cajun seasoning, pepper jack cheese, salsa and jalapenos on a Kaiser roll); the Chukar Clukar of the Idaho Falls Chukars (chicken breast topped with hot sauce, cheddar cheese, French fries and chipotle ranch coleslaw) and the Knucksie of the Gwinnett Braves, which contains house-smoked pulled pork covered in two types of BBQ sauces served open-faced on skillet corn bread with pickles, caramelized onions and coleslaw. The Knucksie was created by former Braves pitcher Phil Niekro and fans who eat one are entered into a nightly drawing to win an autographed Phil Niekro baseball.
There are four categories in the Food Fight online event, sponsored by minor league baseball. Along with scrumptious sandwiches are gut busters, hogs ‘n’ dogs and local legends. Fans can vote in each category.
The most entertaining (and slightly disgusting) entries are in the gut busters category. There is the 5,000-calorie Fifth Third Burger of the West Michigan Whitecaps. On an 8-inch bun there is half a cup of chili, five one-third pound burger patties, five slices of American cheese, crushed corn chips, nacho cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and optional jalapenos.
Rochester put up its famous Garbage Plate with either two cheeseburgers or two hot dogs served over macaroni salad and home fries, covered in a meaty hot sauce and smothered in onions and ketchup or mustard.
The Norfolk Tides have a Salute to Pork Challenge that includes four pulled-pork BBQ sliders, four cajun-smoked sausages, 12 pork wings and back and chili cheese tots. If someone can eat the five-pound feast in one hour, the meal is free and they get four tickets to a future game.
In the Hogs ’n’ Dogs category is the VooDoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Brat of the Eugene Emeralds. The bratwurst is served in a Bacon Maple Bar doughnut.
The Local Legends category includes fried asparagus by the Stockton Ports, roasted corn of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and, from the Missoula Osprey, Bats and Balls, which are deep-fried bull calf testicles that are peeled, coated in flour, pepper and salt and pounded flat, and served with French fries.
Before the game, right-hand pitcher John Stilson was transferred to the Bisons from Double-A New Hampshire while righty Clint Everts was released from the club.
The 22-year old Stilson was drafted by the Blue Jays in the third round in 2011. He has made two relief appearances in New Hampshire this year with one save, six strikeouts and a 3.86 earned run average in 2∑ innings of work. Last season he had 30 appearances and 22 starts between Single-A Dunedin and New Hampshire. He went a combined 5-4 with a 3.88 ERA.
Everts was 0-2 with the Herd in six relief outings. He had 9.39 ERA and gave up 10 walks and seven hits in 7∏ innings.
The series will continue this afternoon (1:05 p.m., Radio 1520) with Todd Redmond, coming off the disabled list, scheduled to start for the Herd against Charlotte righty Zach Stewart (2-4, 3.81 ERA).