Chorizo Debuts In MLB Sausage Race

The Milwaukee Brewers' newest racing sausage Chorizo, center, crosses the finish line during a practice race Thursday, July 27, 2006, at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Chorizo is the first addition to the sausages that race every home game in the top of the seventh inning of a baseball game. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
AP Photo
It could have been wurst. On his first outing as the newest sausage at Miller Park, Chorizo didn't fall on his buns.

Wearing an oversized brown sombrero and a bright yellow shirt emblazoned with the number five, Chorizo became the fifth pork product to run the famed sausage race at the home of the Milwaukee Brewers.

He signed a contract with Brewers general manager Doug Melvin at a news conference at the stadium and then went for a run with the other sausages: Italian, bratwurst, Polish and hot dog.

Chorizo, who is also known as "El Picante" and "Cinco," will race for the first time during a game on Saturday. But that'll be the only time this year he runs in the Klement's Sausage races because of Major League rules regarding the introduction of mascots, said Rick Schlesinger, the team's executive vice president of business operations.

Chorizo will be put through the grind in the minor league, so he can get some extra seasoning before rejoining the other sausages next season, Melvin said. The team was given special permission to include Chorizo on Saturday, Schlesinger said, to coincide with its first celebration of Hispanic contributions to the sport. Brewers players will wear jerseys with the word "Cerveceros" on them, "Brewers" in Spanish.

Merchandise with Chorizo will be available starting next season, but fans who want to eat the spicy meat can already get it at the ballpark, he said.

The sausage race has been a staple of every home game since 2000, though the event began years before as animation. The sausages were propelled into the national limelight in 2003 when Pittsburgh Pirates player Randall Simon took a swat at the Italian sausage with a bat.

The addition of Chorizo comes after several years of receiving letters and e-mails asking for more sausages, especially some with a Latino flavor, Schlesinger said.