PRESS RELEASE – When you say the words “hot dog,” there are three images that should immediately come to mind: summer, baseball and Coney Island. This season the Brooklyn Cyclones will check off all three of those requirements, when they celebrate everyone’s favorite ballpark food and change their name to the Coney Island Franks for one night only.
The celebration will take place on Sunday, July 3rd, one day prior to the world series of competitive eating – the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest – which is held just a couple of foot longs away from MCU Park.
The summer of 2016 will also mark the 100th Anniversary of Nathan’s Famous on Coney Island. The business was started in 1916 with a small hot dog stand opened up by a Polish immigrant, Nathan Handwerker. In the 100 years since, over 435 billion Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs have been sold, and Nathan’s has become so synonymous with these mouthwatering treats that some parts of the country simply refer to frankfurters as Coney’s.
“Hot dogs are as much a part of Coney Island as the beach, rollercoasters and boardwalk,” said Cyclones Vice President Steve Cohen. “When we were coming up with an identity for our team back in 2001, one of the names that we strongly considered was the Hot Dogs. With Nathan’s celebrating their 100th Anniversary this year, we thought it was the perfect chance to see what could have been. But instead of Hot Dogs, we wanted to keep with the Nathan’s tradition and go with the Franks.”
As part of the Cyclones – err, we mean Franks – celebration of all things hot dog, the team will wear special uniforms that pay tribute to Coney Island and the frankfurter. The first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a special Franks snap back cap to commemorate the one-day name change. The team will offer special hot dog related offers at that evening’s game, with details announced in the coming weeks. To cap the night, fans will be able to kick off their Independence Day Celebration with a post-game fireworks spectacular.
Hot dogs are so much more than the standard by which all other ballpark foods are judged. They are a meal fit for a king and queen. On June 11, 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt served Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth during their first-ever visit to the United States. This meeting, which has since been given the moniker “The Hot Dog Summit,” is credited with normalizing the relationship between the United States and Great Britain ahead of World War II and it was all thanks to – what else? – a hot dog!
But that’s not all. Legend has it that Barbara Streisand stayed true to her Brooklyn roots and once had Nathan’s hot dogs delivered to London, on a private jet, so she could give guests at her dinner party a taste of home. Walter Matthau, of The Odd Couple, loved the Coney Island delicacy so much that he requested that they be served at his funeral – and they were. Even the start of the Coney Island delicacy is tied into Americana, as Nathan Handwerker borrowed the $300 needed to start the Coney Island landmark from his famous friends Jimmy Durante and Eddie Cantor.
So join the Coney Island Franks at the ballpark on July 3rd as they celebrate the marvelous meat that is as synonymous with Brooklyn as “Fuhgeddaboudit!” Tickets for this game, and the rest of the 2016 season, are on sale now by calling 718-507-TIXX, logging on to BrooklynCyclones.com or in person at the MCU Park Box Office.
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Thanks to John Cerone for the heads up.