DOWNTOWN AKRON – What better way to move us towards normality than with foods that are anything but normal?
At Akron RubberDucks’ Media Day on May 3rd at Canal Park, the team presented their two new Extreme Food items for the 2021 season. A hot dog filled with surprises and a sausage waffle preparation await fans who are returning to the ballpark after a year of minor league baseball closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unusual foods won’t be the only memories of baseball in simpler times. The Ducks schedule is filled with fireworks nights, freebies, and celebrity appearances, including one from Jaleel White, known as Urkel from the TV show “Family Matters”. At the June 26 game, White will be available for either autographs or photos, depending on what health and safety protocols allow at the time.
“For a fan experience, with the exception of the seats spread out, you’ll be enjoying RubberDucks baseball as you remember it,” said Jim Pfander, general manager of Ducks. “And it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Two days earlier, the Ducks held an event for season ticket holders.
“It was emotional,” said Pfander. “You are part of the family. We missed them and it was great to see everyone again. “
Canal Park ticket buyers sit in pods that hold two, four, six, or eight people, with the ballpark’s maximum capacity being approximately 3,600. Fans must be masked if they are not eating or drinking and they will not be participating in field activities at least until May. The singing of the national anthem takes place in the hall, and the ceremonial first seat is thrown into the inflatable speed area. (Young people will still be able to operate the bases on Sundays, said Pfander.)
The fans are instructed to eat and drink in their seats, not in the hall. That includes those trying the new extreme foods that might be too hard to eat standing up anyway. They include:
• The Dog Check Roll: According to a press release, it is a foot-length hot dog made from beef, filled with a mixture of Stouffers White Cheddar Mac & Cheese and pulled pork, wrapped in puff pastry, baked and cut into small pieces, drizzled with BBQ sauce and cusabi sauce and served with chopsticks. “It replaces the OBJ dog named after Brown’s broad-based recipient Odell Beckham Jr. (This should not infer any conclusions about Beckham’s future with the team.)
• The WONE Waffle Rockwurst from Statz & Amanda: The media release states that it is a bratwurst that is served in a Belgian waffle bun and topped with caramelized onions and our special mustard.
Louis Willmon-Holland, the duck’s culinary manager and inventor of the waffle rock sausage, said the sauce he put on top was a homemade honey-mustard sauce.
“I added a little secret to make it cuter,” he said.
The RubberDucks, managed by Rouglas Odor, begin their season with the hosting of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, which began on May 4th. As with all series in the 2021 schedule, it is a six-game series that runs from Tuesday to Sunday. For ticket information, visit akronrubberducks.com.
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