Relish 20th anniversary of first Brewers' sausage race
JUN 27, 2013 11:15a ET
Previously, the race was shown on the scoreboard at County Stadium, but on this day, the animation was shown on the scoreboard and when they approached the stadium, real-life mascots ran onto the field from the outfield gates.
It was the first time a live race by mascots took place and it has been replicated by many other teams since then.
But the original happened in Milwaukee with three mascots — Bratwurst, Polish sausage and Italian sausage. The Hot Dog mascot wasn't added until later in the decade and the Chorizo arrived in 2007.
Video of the first race survives and we can see the mascots running zig-zag in the outfield before racing onto the field where the Toronto Blue Jays were warming up. An obviously surprised Ed Sprague, Toronto's third baseman, fields a grounder and then holds on to the ball as he watches the mascots run by.
The Bratwurst (worn by Milwaukee graphic designer Michael Dillon, who had the idea of the race and designed the costumes) won the initial race — touching home plate before the other two sausages right in front of Toronto catcher Pat Borders, who was warming up Jack Morris.
The sausages now run outside the field of play with a finish line, although that caused its own problem July 9, 2003 when Pittsburgh's Randall Simon hit the Italian with a bat as it ran by the dugout.
But that isolated incident aside, the race is a fan favorite and the Brewers even keep track of how many races each sausage has won during the year.