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AMI's Annual Hot Dog Lunch Hits a Home Run on the Hill

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
 

Capitol Hill staff, lawmakers, lobbyists, meat industry representatives and members of the media today will convene at the Rayburn House Office Building Courtyard to once again celebrate National Hot Dog Month at the American Meat Institute’s (AMI) annual Hot Dog Lunch.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce designated July as National Hot Dog Month in 1957. 

“There are few icons more recognized in U.S. culture than the hot dog,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle.  “Year after year, this social event on Capitol Hill, which is one of the most popular of the summer, is a testament to the continuing national – and bipartisan – popularity of hot dogs.” 

The crowd will not go back to their offices hungry.  The 4,000 hot dogs, brats, kielbasas and other sausages expected to be served, if laid end to end, are enough to circle the Capitol Rotunda four times; equal the length of 50 D.C. buses; and stretch the entire length of the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall.  And whether one’s topping of choice is onion or sauerkraut, mustard or ketchup (to the chagrin of the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council), condiments will be bountiful.    

Any uncooked or pre-packaged leftover food will be donated to DC Central Kitchen. 

The 2009 Hot Dog Lunch is organized by the American Meat Institute and sponsored by American Bakers Association, International Bottle Water Association, American Beverage Association, Hormel Foods – Chili, Diageo, Snack Food Association, McKee Foods Corporation and MillerCoors.

 Baseball All-Stars On-Hand

 Each year the Hot Dog Lunch pays homage to the extraordinary relationship and history shared by hot dogs and another American icon – baseball. Year after year, hot dogs are the top food served at ballparks and according to a National Hot Dog & Sausage Council poll, 63 percent of respondents said hot dogs were the one ballpark food they couldn’t live without.  As Humphrey Bogart said, “A hot dog at the ballpark is better than steak at the Ritz.” 

Attending this year’s lunch to greet fans, sign autographs and nosh on some dogs are three former Major League All-Stars, including one member of the Hall of Fame. 

Vince Coleman, a switch-hitter, joined the NL’s St. Louis Cardinals in 1985 and set a rookie record by stealing 110 bases. He was named the league’s rookie of the year by the Baseball Writers Association of America and The Sporting News.

Coleman led the league in stolen bases the next five years with 107 in 1986, 109 in 1987, 81 in 1988, 65 in 1989, and 77 in 1990. He is the only player in the 20th century to post three consecutive seasons of 100 or more steals and the first player in Major League history to steal 100 bases in the first three seasons of their career.

Coleman retired in 1996. He ranks sixth in all-time career steals, with 752.

Baseball Hall of Famer Phil Niekro is the winningest knuckleball pitcher of all time, and currently ranks 16th on the all-time wins list. He won the National League Gold Glove Award five times. Together with his brother Joe, the Niekro brothers are the winningest brother combination in baseball history, with 539 wins combined.

Phil Niekro’s 121 career victories after the age of 40 is a major league record, and his longevity is attributed to the knuckleball, which, while a difficult pitch for pitchers to master, is easy on the arm and difficult for batters to hit.  His total of 5,404⅓ innings pitched is the most by any pitcher in the post-1920 live-ball era.

Jack Morris played 18 seasons between 1977 and 1994, mainly for the Detroit Tigers, and won 254 games throughout his career. Armed with a fastball, slider and devastating splitter, Morris was a five-time All-Star (1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1991). He finished as the winningest pitcher of the 1980s, with 162 wins during the decade.

Morris is a four-time World Series champion (1984, 1991, 1992, and 1993) and 1991 World Series MVP.  On Tuesday, April 6, 1993, Morris set a major league record by making his 14th consecutive opening day start, an impressive achievement since he played on numerous title-contending teams.

 Morris has spent time as a color analyst for the Minnesota Twins, and as an occasional guest on Detroit Tigers broadcasts. He also spent time in Lakeland, Fla., as a part-time coach for the Detroit Tigers during spring training.

             National Hot Dog & Sausage Council Unveils Interactive Hot Dog Map

  In coordination with Hot Dog Lunch and National Hot Dog Month, the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council today unveiled a new, interactive map on its Web site, http://www.hot-dog.org/, featuring hundreds of hot dog restaurants, big and small, all across the country. 

"Members of Congress represent constituents throughout the country, but as you will see from the map, the hot dog is pretty well represented, too," said Council President and Queen of Wien, Janet Riley.  "Whether you are visiting a particular region and want to find the hometown dog or want to send the link of your favorite restaurant to a friend, you can find it on our new map.  And if you don't see your favorite place to get a hot dog, let us know and we'll be sure to add it!" 

For more information on hot dogs, visit the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council’s Web site at http://www.hot-dog.org/.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Together, AMI's members produce 95 percent of the beef, pork, lamb and veal products and 70 percent of the turkey products in the U.S.  Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory, public relations, technical, scientific and educational services to the industry. 

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