The month of April brings showers, tax day, and in Pennsylvania’s Americana Region, the return of the Fightin Phils baseball to FirstEnergy Stadium. The long awaited season opener gives fans their first glimpse of changes to the team roster, updates to the stadium, new snacks, maybe even a new mascot. It means the boys of summer are back to provide a season filled with great baseball, cool giveaways, and lots of laughs with fan favorite, Frank Phurter, a.ka. the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor. His nightly romps on the field have been delighting crowds for years.
Just how did the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor become a Fightin Phil’s fixture? The story couldn’t be more convoluted. It seems Frank learned the art of cattle wrangling in his youth! As he got older, Frank tried his luck at modeling, hot dog eating competitions, and stunt work. Eventually, he headed back to the ranch where he learned to wrangle cattle. The cattle were gone, replaced by ostriches. The unusual creatures fascinated Frank and he decided he had to have one for a pet. He put his awesome roping skills to work and caught an ostrich! He named the ostrich, Rodrigo.
Once again Frank found himself looking for a change. He recalled some of his friends worked for the Fightin Phils as souvenir vendors. With Rodrigo in tow, Frank made the trip to Reading where he secured a job as a hot dog vendor at FirstEnergy Stadium. Poor Rodrigo had to be tied outside of the stadium whenever Frank worked. One fateful evening, Rodrigo managed to squirm loose. He ran onto the Fightin’s baseball field! The crowd went wild. Frank sprang into action, jumping on Rodrigo’s back to calm the big bird down. He ended up throwing his hot dogs to the cheering fans while doing so! The rest, as they say, is history… Fightin Phils history.
Since that fateful night, every 2nd inning at a Reading Fightins home game finds Frank riding Rodrigo onto the field. While he tries to keep Rodrigo under control, the Crazy Hot Dog vendor flails about, releasing hot dogs to the folks sitting in the stands. Every season brings new antics. Be sure to catch this crazy duo this baseball season.