Klement's/Brewers' racing sausages pay a visit to Langlade Hospital|
|Forget politicians, sports stars, singers or actors.|
Antigo had some real celebrities in town on Friday.
Langlade Hospital employees celebrated Brewer Day on Friday, and the Klementís Racing Sausages of Miller Park fame came to pay a visit.
The giant links posed with children from the hospitalís day care center and other employees and also strutted their stuff, staging a race down the hospitalís delivery entrace from Langlade Road to the employee parking lot.
Brett Wurst, a bratwurst wearing green Austro-Bavarian lederhsen, won.
The costumed characters made the trip north at the urging of a hospital employee, having a free day because the Milwaukee Brewers were on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The sausage mascots race before the bottom of the sixth inning at every Brewer home game as a promotion for Milwaukee-based Klement's Sausage Company, whose sausages are served at Miller Park.
The race started in the early 1990s with just three sausagesó the bratwurst, the Polish sausage, and the Italian sausage. Since then, two new sausages have joined the raceóthe hot dog, introduced in the mid-1990s, and the chorizo, which was unveiled and eventually joined the race in the mid-2000s.
They all have official names. In addition to Brett Wurst, they are Stosh Jonjak, a Polish sausage who wears dark sunglasses and a blue and red rugby shirt; Guido, an Italian sausage in a chef's outfit; Frankie Furter, a hot dog in a baseball uniform; and Cinco, a chorizo in a sombrero.
The over-sized foam sausage costumes measure seven feet, three inches from the top of the head to the knees of the runners, with representatives of the Brewers or Miller Park handling the racing duties in Milwaukee. At Antigo on Friday, the costumes were escorted by two company representatives and were donned by hospital staffers.
The sausages appear at many charity events, including an annual 5K run/walk in their honor, with proceeds going to Brewers Community Foundation, and are available for personal appearances on non-game days. They also have a twice yearly home-and-home relay race against their Pittsburgh Pirates counterparts, the Racing Pierogies.
They have also starred in two SportsCenter spots for ESPN. The first, set at ESPN's cafeteria, was shown at Miller Park on May 19, 2006. The second features them in a parody of the Running of the Bulls with ESPN employees.
There have been a few famous sausage snafus.
On July 9, 2003, Randall Simon, then the first baseman of the Pittsburgh Pirates, hit the head of a runner's costume with a baseball bat. The tap didn't hit the actual head of Mandy Block, who was wearing the Italian sausage costume, but it did knock her over, and she took the hot dog down with her. The Polish sausage helped the Italian sausage up and all sausages finished the race. Simon was arrested, fined, and suspended by Major League Baseball for three games. He later apologized. Block asked only that the offending bat be autographed and given to her. Simon obliged. Since the incident, T-shirts and other memorabilia have been sold with the slogan "Don't whack our wiener!" Pittsburgh lost the game 2-1.
On Feb. 27, 2013, news outlets reported that the Italian sausage costume was missing. According to police, eyewitnesses saw someone wearing the costume leaving the Milwaukee Curling Club in suburban Cedarburg the evening of Feb. 16, proceeding to visit several bars in the area and pose for photographs with patrons before disappearing. The costume was ultimately dropped off in a hurry at a Cedarburg bar on Feb. 28 by two unidentified men.
Since that incident, the mascots have been closely guarded on their out-of-park outings.
Brett Wurst won the battle of the Klementís Racing Sausages at Langlade Hospital on Friday.
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